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Long before cut, tear and curl (CTC) dominated tea processing in the West, India exported sizeable quantities of handmade orthodox tea to an appreciative world market.
Small factories at small gardens cultivated the art of rolling and twisting and shaping tea. Artisan tea is labor intensive and tea masters are more selective about the leaves they accept.
Dr. Pradip Baruah, an avid explorer, said local tribesmen indicated the Assamica tea plants in this forest has existed in the wild since time immemorial. “I talked to the village elders and there is no knowledge of anyone planting here,” he said.