Try it: Kanoka Assam – India, in our Direct Trade Teas
Grower: Kanoka Tea Estate
Tea Maker: Pallabjyoti Nath & Pranabjyoti Nath
Location: Panchnoi Village in Tezpur City - Sonitpur District, Assam, India
Elevation: 45m (147ft)
Cultivation: Natural (Organic, but no certification)
Signature Teas: Kanoka Assam
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Kanoka Tea Estate is located in Assam, a large tea-producing region in Northern India. It is a low-lying area with tropical, humid climate and rich clay soils. The land is fed by the Brahmaputra River and heavy monsoon rains. Camellia sinensis assamica, with large leaves, is most prevalent here.
In the region, tea workers struggle to profit from their labors, as they don't have the knowledge or ability to craft quality teas. Tea pluckers are paid USD1.50 a day at most for very difficult work that they cannot progress in. Small growers are also paid very little for selling their raw leaf to the factories. The region mostly produces CTC (Crush Tear Curl) tea, a low-grade style of tea for tea bags.
Kanoka Tea Estate is a small, family-owned tea farm in the middle of Assam. Located in Panchnoi Village in the old city of Tezpur, the estate benefits from the heavy precipitation and humid climate in the area which contributes to the robust, malty taste of Assam tea. The gardens cover a total of 6 acres, and are headed by brothers Pallabjyoti and Pranabjyoti Nath, together with Pranabjyoti's wife, Manmoyuri.
The estate uses all-natural Vriksayurveda agricultural techniques. These ancient Indian plant sciences focus on the health and lifecycle of the plant and soil, using natural herbal medicines to help boost them. Kanoka Tea Estate is also a member of Assamica Agro, a local cooperative that is promotes sustainability in tea, with the use of local vermicomposting and cow-based fertilizer. The members of the cooperative are continually working to develop new techniques.
While there are other all-natural estates in Assam, many of them are in conversion from conventional agriculture. Because the Nath Family is the first to cultivate this land, no pesticides or chemicals have ever been used on the land or on these tea plants. To keep the garden from becoming overgrown, the team weeds the fields manually.
The estate's smooth, complex teas are the result of careful handcrafting using natural materials. Every step of the tea-making process is done with great attention, from handplucking to handprocessing the tea.