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Glenburn Tea Estate pic‘Glenburn is a heavenly little plantation retreat that lies on a hillock above the banks of the River Rungeet, high in the Himalayas, overlooked by the mighty Kanchenjunga mountain range.

Started by a Scottish tea company in 1859, Glenburn then passed into the hands of one of India’s pioneering tea planting families – The Prakashes, One of India’s pioneering tea-planting families, we have, over the years, come to be known as the “Chaiwala family“ – which literally means “tea planters“.’

This fascinating setting has been inspired by the vineyard experiences found across Europe. How leaf tea is planted, cultivated and cropped, as well as made into the product we know on our local store shelves. The Glenburn Tea Estate experience is designed to educate, entertain and satisfy their visitor’s thirst for knowledge.

There are two bungalows to provide estate guests with elegant and comfortable accommodation. Each building has four suites, and has access to gardens, verandahs and terraces.

‘All meals, snacks and refreshments are included in the tariff, and we plan all the menus according to the select preferences of each guest. The menus comprise a range of cuisine – from interesting local fare and traditional Indian dishes, to exotic South-East Asian delicacies, and a variety of European dishes making full use of the fresh Italian herbs, and salad leaves we grow in our well-stocked kitchen garden. We try to source as much fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices as we can from our own garden, so feel free to plan your own menu based on what’s in season! Family recipes including Tea-Leaf Pakoras, Chocolate Brownies, Tibetan Momos and Burmese Khow Suey – all served to you with a discrete but attentive Glenburn touch’.

The Estate provides its own bread, marmalade, cakes and cookies for guests. The experience sounds sublime.

See more of the Glenburn Tea Estate in Kolkata on their equally elegant web pages here.

roastedCoffeeBeansIn what might turn out to be a regular in a series of posts on the culture of coffee – we explore a little-talked about aspect of coffee production.

Why not take your holiday on a coffee plantation? All the benefits of superb, fresh local roast beans and magnificent views and exposure to different cultures. Perfect.

(It might even be a tax deductible expense if you are on a procurement research trip – but consult your accountant or professional advisor before booking, of course).

The world market for coffee plantation holidays is, by its very nature, a limited one. However, the origins of coffee production, linked to imperial expansion in the 19th Century affords plantation owners some great opportunities to boost their revenue by making improvements to their properties and maximising the visitor impact of the coffee bush’s need to grow at altitude.

Below are some plantations holiday venues that we think offer real appeal…and great coffee too!

losariCoffeePicThe Losari Coffee Plantation – Java, Indonesia

Although this spa and coffee plantation is currently under development until April 30th, 2011 a quick look at their website will show you both the quality of the surroundings, the landscape and the quality of visitor care offered.

moivaroCoffeePicMoivaro Lodges and Tented Camps

This Tanzanian estate in Africa offers another kind of coffee plantation experience.

Here the focus is on the diversity that the estate and landscape offer visitors, with a lesser focus on coffee that at Losari.

However, a quick look at the Moivaro website offers some great African estate experiences and the prices represent good value.

You can find a Coffee Plantation Lodge brochure for Moivaro here on Google Docs.

Paradisa Plantation Retreat

paradisoCoffeePicThis small estate is couched on the south west coast of India in the State of Kerala.

The landscape for the accommodation is outstanding, spread across plantations of organic coffee and spices. It is the forest, rivers and wildlife that make this plantation stand out for us.

That and the terraces available to have your morning coffee or the views over ballustrades for breakfast – fantastic.

If you have a great coffee destination for a holiday, or research trip, let us know at Caffe Carino and we’ll give you and the venue a mention.

The Caffe Carino team – too busy to holiday at the moment