Kolukkumalai Tea Factory Kottagudi

Thirty-five km outside of Munnar, India, the Kolukkumalai Tea Estate is built high atop the precipitous ridge that rises above the plains of Tamilnadu. At about 8,000 feet above sea level, this is the highest tea estate in the world. Known for its excellent, flavorsome teas, this estate is also known for its panoramic views and the for the rugged mountains that surround it. The factory at the center of the estate has stood for several generations, having been built more than 70 years ago. It uses traditional techniques even today that serve as a draw for tea enthusiasts. Orthodox tea-making is a seven-step process that includes withering, rolling, sieving, fermenting, drying, fiber extraction, and grading. All of this work happens in the small factory that has not been changed since the British constructed it in the 1930s. Housed in a two-storied building with wooden interiors, tea is processed in the traditional method, which is different from the more popular CTC method. One can enjoy a variety of flavours here and buy fresh packets from the attached shop. There are different varieties to choose from like the Broken Orange Pekoe and the Flowery Orange Pekoe.