As one ventures North East India on a road trip, the best way to enjoy the breaks in between is to stop at the retail tea outlets. Making a second entry to the tea factories, these retail outlets showcase the tea coming directly out of the tea-factories. Packaged within the factory itself, and available for sale, it is a wonderful opportunity for tea-tours in the state.
More than 400 Km of the NH-37 highway has plethora of tea-gardens on either side of the road. One may choose to drop into any of the retail outlets on the way, but this outlet was a little different from the others!
Located near Lahoal,Dibrugarh, the Damayanti tea-gardens showcases its factory made tea right out into its tea-lounge cum retail outlet O! Chai. With its unique varieties of tea, the best part is, the tea lovers can enjoy their choice of tea, direct from the factory. A small place called the Mohanbari Crossing, just Km before Dibrugarh district, this outlet proudly faces the NH-37, inviting the passersby. Today, I was one of those passersby! Being a tea-addict myself, I couldn’t refrain from putting a break on my wheels. There had been an unexpected but pleasant rainfall today, as I was traveling along the road towards Dibrugarh, and with a tea outlet on the way, the occasion was nothing less than appropriate.
I stepped into the lounge and was quite impressed. The ambiance was good, the themes were perfect and the tea-collection was awesome. The customers had just started to step in though it was empty at the time I stepped in.
I walked a few steps to reach for the counter and saw the racks filled up with several varieties of tea; orthodox, green, CTC etc. The person across the counter mentioned that the outlet was just an year old and has been promoting the Assamese tea culture with this direct retail outlet. Great idea!!
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Outside the rains had just stopped and the weather seemed perfect for that tea.As I sat on the classy bamboo chairs, I glanced at the menu card. Of-course, I wanted to order tea, but I was hungry too and so I ordered a Paneer Sandwich along with a ‘Cutting Chai’. After a few minutes, there it was, the Assamese tea in cutting chai style!!!
While I enjoyed sipping tea here, I had decided to carry home a souvenir. Most of the tea bags were small and would not have been enough for my family back home, considering the number of tea lovers like me in my family. So,I selected this 1 Kg bag, a family pack for the entire tea-loving family, especially my mother, for whom tea is like a ritual.
Well, like always, it was time to move ahead, but not without marking a new destination. I exchanged contacts with the desk and he was prompt in his service. I guess that is more than enough for me to think of driving back again.