Kairbetta Estates is one of the premium tea producers in the country. The plantation and factory are situated on the outskirts of Kotagiri town in the Nilgiri Hills of South India, at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level.

Kairbetta is renowned for its manufacture of high altitude, high quality orthodox black teas as well as certain seasonal speciality teas.

Kairbetta Estates has its origin in and after 1887, when an Englishman J.T.Murray purchased many small but adjoining tracts of land from the Government and locals in the northeast region of the Nilgiri Hills (present day Kotagiri). He consolidated these pieces of land, cultivated tea and sold the green leaf to other factories nearby.

Around the year 1920, G.K.Martin, a coffee planter from Mysore bought up a good majority of J.T.Murray’s land in Kotagiri. It was under his management that the factory was constructed around the year 1926 and black tea was produced on the property. He and his wife Amy had two daughters, Margaret Cecilia and Dorothy Susanne. G.K.Martin thus left the plantation to his two daughters and their families.

Col. G.A.R. Spain, a retired Royal Air Force Colonel and husband of Dorothy Susanne, the younger daughter of G.K.Martin, started to look after the property in the early 1920’s after the death of his father-in-law in 1929. During his time managing the property, Kairbetta worked to modernize its machinery and field exercises. Col. G.A.R. Spain was a pioneer in certain agricultural practices, management systems and welfare programs that is still widely used in the industry.

In the year 1956, the Bhansalis purchased the property from the erstwhile family of Col. G.A.R. Spain. The Bhansalis, a Gujarati family based in Calcutta and Bombay at the time, were already in the business of trading tea and spices. They looked to expand their business, and saw this as a great opportunity. Since then the property has seen four generations of tea growers.

The story of Kairbetta Estates spans over a hundred years, and is closely entwined with the history of tea plantations in South India.




Kairbetta Estates was the first Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM Tea Plantation in India. Since 2008 Kairbetta Estates has been a pioneer in the field of social, economic and environmental innovation to ensure holistic development of the plantation and its people.

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities. Farms that meet comprehensive standards for sustainability earn the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal. These standards conserve biodiversity, ensure that soils, waterways and wildlife habitat is protected and that farm workers enjoy decent housing, access to medical care and schools for their children. Farms must commit to a process of continuous improvement and are audited each year in order to maintain their certification. By shopping for products bearing the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal, consumers can support a healthy environment and help to improve the quality of life for farm families. To learn more.
As a Rainforest Alliance Certified Plantation we are required to provide well for our workers and their families.

A part from providing above national industry standard wages, additional extra benefits,an improved access to dignified living conditions, health care and education for their children, we take pride in the other forms of social responsibility we take on which include:

Financially supporting and serving on the executive committee of the Nilgiri Planters Association Polytechnic for Higher Education.
Providing educational material on sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation along with trained staff to the community primary and middle schools.
Free primary medical attention and basic medication to all nearby community members at the plantation dispensary, which has a fulltime nurse and daily visits of a doctor.
Free medical camps throughout the year on the plantation premises attended by all nearby community members.
Continuous donations to festivals, community centres and other enhancement projects carried out in the neighbouring communities.


Kairbetta Teas in general are described as Currently a large majority of
our tea is exported to buyers in the U.K., Germany and other countries
in Europe. We currently also auction our teas for the domestic markets
at the Cochin and Coonoor weekly auctions.
In the 15th century, as the ancient Chinese began to produce more and more tea, they realized that with a special fermentation process, tea leaves became darker. The tea made from these leaves was more potent, and the leaves could be stored for longer periods of time without losing their potency.

The fermentation in black tea brewing is really a process that oxidizes the tea leaves: it also increases the amount of caffeine by weight, making black tea a unique energy source. To produce orthodox tea younger leaves are picked before being withered, mechanically rolled, fully oxidized, and fired.

Depending on the time of the year and the weather conditions we allocate time to produce a variety of finest speciality teas, tasted and perfected by us over four generations of tea growers. Following are some of the speciality teas we had produced this past year.
Spring Citron (TGBOP) - 2014
Produced in April, this olive green speciality is made from the tender two leaves and a bud harvested in the early hours of daybreak in a high section of the plantation. The harvested leaf is roasted at 65.5°C after which the leaf is delicately twisted and roasted once again at 98.5°C. Thereafter, the tea is stored in airtight containers for its natural flavours to emanate, for that added spring sensation.
Summer Zōri (Silver Tip) - 2014
Made in the month of July, this white tea is made from a single leaf and a bud. The harvested leaf undergoes a process of moisture removal and is then very lightly twisted so as to not damage the delicate buds and then roasted to capture the distinctive flavour. The infusion is uniquely bright with a sensitive aroma, reminiscent of a serene summer afternoon.
Autumn Maple (FOP) - 2014
In the month of October, with the presence of a light mist, the classic two leaves and a bud are harvested. The presence of the cool moisture in the air serves for a prolonged process of moisture removal. The aromatic flavour is typically brought out by sunrise manufacture. Smooth, refreshing and flavourful, the liquor is characteristic of Nilgiri High-Grown tea.
Winter Frost (SFTGFOP) - 2014
Prepared on a clear January day with temperatures ranging from 8-11°C, five day old buds are harvested. The processing is done under extreme wintery conditions in the early hours of the following morning and manufacture is completed before sunrise with temperatures at 2-4°C. The liquor is bright and strongly flavoured, perfect for those cold grim wintry mornings.


We are proud to announce our partnership with Bittersweet Beverages.
They carry an exclusive range of our loose leaf teas.


Every tea variety has its unique properties that require specific water temperatures and steeping times to allow the flavours and tastes to emanate fully. Having said that, the ultimate taste lies in your palate.

Loose-leaf teas usually require hot water at 92°C (198°F), 1.5 tsp. of loose tea per 1 cup (8 oz. or ~235 ml) of water and steep time of 3-4 minutes.

For tea in tea bags, always use boiling water. Pour the water onto the tea bag in your cup from a height to ensure the leaves uncurl and open up to release their flavours. Cover the cup and allow it to steep for 4-5 minutes.

After the tea is brewed, always taste the fresh brew and then add sugar, milk, lemon or any other additions as desired.


Kairbetta Estates Syndicate,
Kotagiri, Nilgiris, Tamilnadu- 643217

(+91) 4266 271729

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