Tea Factory (Tea Museum), Ooty

Ooty is a popular hill station resort in India filled with abundant natural beauty as well as its massive tea plantations and estate gardens. Ooty is known as the tea farming destination offering an amazing opportunity for people to visit the place where tea is actually processed, packed and sold to all and all this happens within a Tea Factory in Ooty also referred to as the Tea Museum in Ooty.

Ooty is also known for its oil extraction industry obtained from the natural oils of the eucalyptus trees, clove, lemon grass, camphor and geranium used in different herbal massage treatments.

Like most tea factories across the world, the Tea Factory in Ooty is also well equipped to produce tea of different qualities. It also aims at exporting to large international markets and hence the entire tea manufacturing process is well planned and highly optimized and grounded up to churn out exceptionally good edible quality of tea that taste fresh and is then only retailed in numerous market places in India and Abroad.

The Tea Factory in Ooty is a two-storey building that also acts as the Tea Museum in Ooty with the entrance from the second floor that leads you into a huge hall where the tea leaves driers can be seen. This Hall is entirely lined up with large boards that reveal the tea-making history and how this art of tea-making spread across India.

You will notice tea leaves being cut and spread out over the driers after which they are transferred to the first floor to be cut, twisted and curled into the tea we are used to seeing. In fact, the term ‘CTC Tea’ was literally derived from these three words as a brand name that means Cut, Twisted and Curled.

On the first floor of the Ooty Tea Factory, you will notice a chain of 5 CTC high speed stainless steel rollers Machines that run in opposite directions where the tea leaf are passed through for the cutting, twisting and curling process. The tea leaves are then spread over a fermenting floor in beds measuring 10 feet in length and 4 feet in width and not more than 3 inches thick. During fermentation process, the tea leaf reacts with the oxygen in the air that causes the change in colour from green to copper red. It is during this process, when at a particular point; the tea leaf emits a fruity fragrance which indicates that it is ready for drying.

The dried tea leaves are passed through an elevator and into the Fibromat machine within the Ooty Tea Factory to remove the fibre in the tea. There are two sifts or mesh placed at the end of the Fibromat machine helps to separate the dust from the tea leaves. The tea leaves are then graded as BOP, BOPF, BP and Pekoe in accordance to their granular sizes. Similarly, the tea dust is graded into Pekoe, Red, Super Red and Super Fine dusts in accordance to their sizes.

The tea leaves are then given different flavors ranging from ginger to cardamom and mint etc. and packaged in the Ooty Tea Factory. In fact, we use the basic CTC label black tea leaves and for anti-oxidant purposes, the tea leaves are extracted before the fermenting process that gives us the famed green tea. The tea dust is also packaged into tea bags, a popular method of tea preparation used by many these days.

The Ooty Tea Factory features a small shop on the first floor just near the exit point that helps to promote the tea leaves produces by retailing them to the general public. Free tea is offered to all visitors exiting the Tea Factory building as promotional tactic. This hot cup of tea is usually cardamom flavoured that adds to the taste and warms you during the cold Ooty weather.

The Ooty Tea Factory also houses a small chocolate shop outside its premises that can be reached by means of directional signs for all visitors that point out towards this chocolate shop. This is an odd combination, but it is a way to lure the crowd as tea and chocolates including eucalyptus oils are three of the most thriving businesses in Ooty.

Do plan at least half an hour and not more than an hour to complete your tour around this Tea Museum in Ooty. Also, do note that several road vendors will approach you for a free taste of tea and also try to sell you tea packets, hence, be cautious as these tea packets are not the original ones that you get at the Tea Shop within the Ooty Tea Factory and therefore you might end up with a fake product unless you are a good judge of tea bags.

The Ooty Tea Factory is situated at a walking distance from the Ooty Town and for the physically challenged visitors; local tuk-tuk service, auto rickshaws and taxis are available for hire.

The entrance fee into the Ooty Tea Museum and Factory is Rs. 5/- per head, which is quite a minimal amount that one can shell out to witness the making of a common item that you savour daily as a second habit for most Indians without which your day doesn’t go by. This is an interesting rendezvous to experience for sure where you get the opportunity to savour freshly processed tea in the Ooty Tea Factory, a definite wonderful experience and a must-try.

Address: The Tea Museum, Dodabetta Tea Factory, Dodabetta Road, Ooty, The Nilgiris.
Contact Numbers: + 91 – 423 – 223 1679 & + 91 – 9443 055 529
Email ID: [email protected]

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