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The first Chamong Group garden was established in Assam in 1916. The family owned, professionally managed Chamong Group is now into its 6th generation and owns four estates in Assam and seventeen in Darjeeling. Some of our Darjeeling estates are heritage gardens, more than 100 years old. Collectively, the group is the largest producer of organic Darjeeling and Assam teas, both in terms of quantity and quality.
The Chamong Group’s state-of-the-art modernizations, its vast infrastructure and our insistence on flexibility and innovation have given us a competitive edge over others. A new fully automatic blending and packaging unit has recently been commissioned in Kolkata for hygienically blending and packing teas in keeping with the EU regulations and HACCP standards. We export to most of the major tea consuming countries in Europe as well as UK, Japan, USA and the Middle East.
The total tea production of the Chamong Group today is about 3000 M.T. annually. The group employs about 10000 personnel of which approximately 7000 are women.
History of Tea
The history of tea goes back to 2737 BC. There is a legend that once the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong was sitting beneath a tree while his servant was boiling drinking water, when some leaves from a tree blew into the water. Shen Nong, a renowned herbalist, decided to try the infusion that his servant had accidentally created. The tree was Camellia sinensis, and the resulting drink was what we now call tea. Thus tea drinking became established in China many centuries before it had even been heard of in the west.
It became such a favourite in China that during the late 8th century, a writer called Lu Yu wrote the first book entirely about tea, the Ch'a Ching, or Tea Classic. Japanese Buddhist monks who had travelled to China to study brought tea to Japan. But Britain, always a little suspicious of continental trends, had yet to become the nation of tea drinkers that it is today. Since 1600, the British East India Company had a monopoly on importing goods from outside Europe, and it is likely that sailors on these ships brought tea home as gifts.
It was the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza that would prove to be a turning point in the history of tea in Britain. She was a Portuguese princess, and a tea addict, and it was her love of the drink that established tea as a fashionable beverage first at court, and then among the wealthy classes as a whole. Capitalising on this, the East India Company began to import tea into Britain, its first order being placed in 1664 for 100lbs of China tea to be shipped from Java. The East India Company introduced cultivation of tea in India, beginning in Assam. By 1839 there was sufficient cultivation of tea of 'marketable quality' for the first auction of Assam tea in Britain.