Abhai Singh & his Tea Journey: 60 years in the Indian Tea Industry, Shri Abhai Kr Singh is a pioneer in the realm of producing and manufacturing Teas.
His work had effect on the tea industry in East India, especially Darjeeling & Doors ( Bengal Plains) and Kangra Himachal Pradesh. His motto - "Make tea that the buyer wants", changed the perception of the way the tea industry looked at tea. It changed from a commodity to an art where creativity, dedication and attention was required. Over the 45 years of his participation in Darjeeling hills, he changed the way the First Flush tea was made and became synonymous with " Abhai Singh style - Light and Bright Cup". Popular not only with the planter but as well as the International buyers in Germany.
He always states that the flavor is in the tea leaf. How you make it either protects it or destroys it. And the Darjeeling leaf is floral and delicate. And keeping it intact resulted in an explosion of demand resulting in today more than 70% of Darjeeling making "Abhai Singh type of tea".
His journey with tea started in early 1960's in the Darjeeling hills. And with over 35 years of estate to estate work over the region. He finally started his manufacturing & plantation consultancy in the early 1990's. His knack for turning around loss making industry to profitable ones soared the demand on his time. Individual estates and Tea Industry Companies vied for his time.
Some of the companies who benefited from his expertise are Phugri Tea Estate, Orange Valley Tea Estate, Rishihat Tea Estate, Singtom Tea Estate, Gayabari tea Estate, Sungma Tea Estate, Puttabong Tea Estate, Singtom & Steenthal Tea Estate. Consulting Jasyshree Industries, Bagaria Group of Industries.
It was in early 2003, after consulting for 18 companies to develop their tea brands and product in Darjeeling and Bengal, he turned his sole focus on Manjhee Valley Tea Estate. It was entry into a dying Tea Industry of Himachal Pradesh ( North India). The aim was to uplift the region from its near collapse back to a profitable and acknowledged part of the Indian tea fraternity. And the last 15 year has seen Kangra tea reach various highs. Its formal inculcation into the Tea Board of India- tea growing regions. To addition of Manjhee Valley and hence Kangra himalayan tea into catalogs of international buyers.
In his words."I joined tea at the age of 25 years, and my first job was in a company by the name of Mcleod & Company, in a tea garden named Margaret's Hope, located in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. I joined the garden as a trainee (apprentice). It was working in this garden in-between 1968 and 1979 that I learned the basics about tea, which I consider the backbone to the knowledge I have today. During my tenure I had the opportunity to be one of the first persons to convert an estate in an Organic Estate in the Darjeeling Hills. I also looked after the 3rd largest tea Estate in India. These years gave me a number of experiences. One of the most important experiences was the ability to experiment with the production of tea. With the joint effort of my friend, Dr. I.D.Singh, it was possible to experiment with a number of hybrid tea plants, which lead us to understand which variety was best suited for what type of tea, and region."