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Tea Program in Munnar, Kerala

Munnar Tea Plantations
3-Days of learning all you need to know about tea in Munnar!
Munnar is located in the southwest of India in Kerala, approx. 130 km from the coastal city of Cochin. Munnar is a popular attraction for travellers who want to relax away from daily traffic, city life and turmoil, due to its picturesque mountain scenery and the surrounding environment. But above all, the sleepy little city is dominated by tea farming: it produces the famous black and green teas which are being consumed around the entire world every day.
Some of the tea fields are located at an altitude of 2200 metres. above sea level. Hence Munnar belongs to the world’s highest located tea cultivation regions. Due to the altitude and climatic conditions, the tea of Munnar is of highest quality.
Munnar does not only offer excellent tea; it is surrounded by exciting tourist attractions, such as the Blossom International Park, the Chinnar game reserve, Anamudi, the highest peak in India south of the Himalaya mountains; and lots of other attractions. But above all, Munnar offers tranquility, relaxation and space. The tiny, picturesque town is surrounded by serpentine-like streets, tropical vegetation and most of all tea plantations as far as the eye can reach.


You will stay for three nights at Greenview Inn in Munnar where you will spend the days with a knowledgable guide who can explain to you everything about tea cultivation and processing. On the first day you will hike through a tea plantation and get explanations. On the second day you will visit a tea factory, where you can follow the several steps of the process or producing black, green and white tea. On the following day, you will meet plantation workers who will explain you their work on the plantation and will talk about their everyday life. You can ask questions and the guide will translate.
After these three days, you can extend your time in Munnar by staying at Greenwood Cottages, in the middle of a plantation outside of town. You are free to decide how to spend your time, such as hiking through the plantations on your own, or just relax in the middle of the refreshing green vegetation and tea trees, where almost every day the same change of weather takes place, which makes the tea flourish so very well in the area - sun in the morning and mist with high humidity in the late afternoon.

Tea Program in Munnar

Minimum Duration: 3 Days
Maximum Duration: 1 Month
Language Requirements: English
Location: Munnar, Kerala
Accommodation: Greenwood Cottages
Price: In Tab "Rate"

About Tea

In China and Japan one believes that tea is the elixir for immortality and the nectar of gods. Different myths exist about the origin of tea. According to one, in 2737 BC the Chinese emperor Shen Nung accidentally discovered the miraculous plant when some leaves of a nearby tree fell into his kettle. Shen Nung noticed the encouraging and therapeutic values of those miraculous leaves and started to propagate the drink from that moment on. The Chinese actually believe that most of their botanical and agricultural knowledge comes from Shen Nung. According to another Chinese myth, a herbal medicine man started documenting his entire knowledge about 84,000 plants. Unfortunately he died before he was able to finish it and just reported 62,000 plants. But then the miracle happened: a plant grew upon his grave, which was found to possess in itself the virtues of all the lost 22,000 plants – and that was tea.
Commercial tea farming in India started around 1778 with the East India Company, directed by the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks. In the "Kanan Devan Hills“ around Munnar, tea farming started in 1880. 89% of the world tea production, which are 3376 million kg (2005), comes from Asia; India is the biggest tea producer worldwide with a share of 28%. Within India, 23% of the tea production is from Kerala.
The tea plant is actually a species of tree, which can live and being fruitful for around 100 years. When left to grow, it will reach a height of 12–15 metres; that it is why the plants are being pruned to 1 or 1.5 metres height and shaped like a bush to obtain a manageable height for effective plucking. Due to permanent plucking, the bushes are permanently kept in the vegetative phase, ensuring sustainable harvesting. Depending on the season, every 9–13 days, the new-grown leaves and buds are usually plucked by women, based on the rule: "two leaves and a bud“, which means to pluck the two youngest leaves and one bud to ensure the best quality of tea. An experienced tea harvester plucks approximately 30 kg of tea leaves per day. To produce 1 kg of tea, 4 kg of tea leaves are needed. A single tea plant can produce 70 kg tea per year. Due to the climatic conditions of Munnar, approximately 60% of the entire annual harvest is made during the high cropping periods from middle of April to June and from September to November.
Besides plucking tea leaves and buds other field operations include pruning, tipping (to ensure a uniform plucking surface after pruning) and manuring and shading (regulating shade which most of the time is done with shade trees such as silver oaks to improve temperature, humidity and soil quality on the tea plantation).
Teas are divided into three main classes: green tea is not oxidized, Oolong tea is partly oxidized and black tea is fully oxidized. Special teas include white tea and instant tea (which is water soluble).
For the production of green tea, it is necessary to stop the oxidation by exposing the fresh-picked leaves to high temperature. That can be done with steam or by roasting the leaves in a hot pan. After the heat related inactivation of the oxidation enzymes, the leaves need to be rolled and dried until there is a residual moisture of 2.5 – 3%.
For traditional production of black tea (which accounts for 75 % of the world tea production), the tea leaves go through 5 stages: first of all they need to wither to become flaccid and pliable. They are being spread on drying tables and being dried for approx. 12–16 hours by blowing air for the gradual loss of moisture. The next step is called "maceration“ which has the purpose of breaking the leave's cells in order to make the cell sap get in contact with oxygen. For 45 minutes, the leaves are being rolled in several tandem rotary or reciprocating sifters. The next step is the fermentation for which the macerated leaves are spread in layers for 2 – 3 hours at a temperature of 25 – 30 degrees and moisture of 90%. During this process, the leave's colour changes from green to copper and develops the characteristic tea flavour. Afterwards, the tea leaves need to be dried again, which takes 10 – 25 minutes in modern drying machines. Finally, the tea particles need to be sorted into different categories of sizes and fibers and flakes need to be removed. That results in three grades of tea: complete leaves, broken leaves, and dust. Within these levels, experts make further differences. The levels do not define the quality of the tea.
Black tea is often additionally flavoured. In Munnar, natural flavours are used, such as lemon, ginger, cardamom, Masala, mint, orange, apple, rose, jasmine and peach.


1 Person: 130 EUR
2 Persons: 90 EUR per person
Price includes:
* 3 Days Program as described with an expert
* Entrance Fees
* Accommodation for 3 nights without boarding in a single room in Greenview Inn (if two people, double room)

* Extra nights in Greenwood Cottages at € 15 per night in a single room without meals; transfers from Greenview Inn to the Green Wood Cottages is included (the duration of your stay in the Greenwood Cottages, you can decide for yourself); Double rooms € 10 per person
* Transport by car from Cochin (Kochi) International Airport or Ernakulam Junction railway station to Munnar - € 60 per car (1-4 passengers) one way.



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.


Malayalam is the language of Kerala. Although there are many people with good knowledge of English (much more than Hindi), it is always helpful to have a basic knowledge of Malayalam. You can take lessons (5 times a week for 2 hours each) with a single teacher. Classes are held in Fort Cochin, on the terrace of your property. Just mark in the registration form, "Language Training Required", and let us know your desired number of hours.
The price for 10 hours of lessons: 50 EUR.

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.



Check out our video on Cochin!

In this video, you see our volunteers, Sophie and Claudia in Cochin and our coordinator, Antonio. Also featured are some activities that you can do in and around Cochin.


Kerala - the Land of the Coconut Palms:

In Malayalam, Kerala means "Land of the coconut palms". This tropical state in the south west of India is strong in traditions and culture. Ayurveda, the Kathakali, and Kalarippayat (probably the oldest martial art of the world), all come from Kerala. The society of Kerala however, has also been shaped by the trade and cultural exchange facilitated by sailing vessels on the Indian Ocean. As early as in the 4th century, traders brought Christianity and Islam to Kerala and therefore, these two religions have far more followers in Kerala than in other parts of India: around 55% of Kerala's population are Hindu, 25% Muslims and 20% Christians.
Kerala is very attractive and interesting for travelling, offering tropical beaches and islands, house boat tours on the "backwaters", impressive mountains (such as the tea plantation area of Munnar) and National Parks, as well as a rich cultural heritage.

Cochin - Historic Port Town

The coastal city of Cochin, with around 600,000 inhabitants, spreads over several islands and peninsulas which are all connected via bridges. Ferries can easily bring you to the other parts of the city. An important island is Fort Kochi, the historic old town, where you will be accommodated. In the past, Fort Kochi was an important Indian Ocean port. The Chinese in the 13th century, the Portuguese in the 15th century and the Dutch in the 17th century left their remains. The town of Fort Kochi with its old courtyards, walls, churches and palaces, has a compelling flair which attracts cultural and wellness tourists; therefore there are many restaurants, hotels and guest houses, handcrafts and esoteric shops, as well as events. At night, it is particularly safe in Fort Kochi, as the Indian police operates its own "tourism police station" with a quirky police uniform museum. The modern and big city part of Cochin is Ernakulam, which is situated on the mainland and has a railroad station, many offices and large shops. Vypin Island is popular for beaches.

Our Coordinator in Cochin

Our coordinator in Cochin is Antonio.

Recreational Activities in Cochin

As a tourist destination, Cochin offers many ways to spend your spare time. These include the famous boat trips with houseboats on the "backwaters", which is available as day trips or as a multi-day offers, in which case you sleep on the boat. A beautiful multi-day trip and a welcome climate change, is also a visit to the tea plantations in the mountains of Munnar. There are several beaches in the area of Cochin, where you can swim.
In Cochin itself, there are many places for Ayurvedic massages, demonstrations of the traditional theater "Kathakali", the martial arts "Kalaripayattu" and folk dances and music performances (as "World Learner", you can even learn these), as well as take yoga or cooking lessons. In Ernakulam, there are large shopping malls and many shops with great deals; Fort Cochin has many tourist shops and a large number of restaurants and cafes. In the late afternoons, locals, Indian tourists and foreign tourists gather on the beach promenade of Fort Cochin to see the sunset.

Getting There


Getting To Cochin

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You book your flight to Cochin/Kochi (COK). There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Cochin.
You can also see if there is any cheaper international flight to Mumbai, New Delhi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah and then, book a flight separately, oder to Cochin.

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