My family’s tryst with tea began in the early years of the last century. In 1912 my grandfather PC Chatterjee acquired and began to develop his first tea estate working quite literally on elephant back to supervise planting in the impenetrable jungles of North eastern India. He was then one of the very few Indian planter entrepreneurs in a predominantly colonial bastion.
Since those pioneering years, our family has made a long journey of exploration, learning and commitment. What began as a single estate adventure at the turn of the century has expanded under the stewardship of PCs two son’s to embrace more than 30 tea estates, covering over 20,000 acres of plantations and producing over 30 million pounds specialty teas.
We have added new dimensions to our work as well. We still grow our own teas. But in order to fulfil the individual needs of clients around the world we also blend, flavour and pack estate teas. We source teas from other premium estates as well, where responsible cultivation methods are combined with good standards of social and economic welfare for tea pickers and their families. In keeping with our original vision, we try to build a community of customers that shares not only our appreciation for fine teas but also our environmentally and socially conscious perspective.
The history of Indian tea is one of adventure and discovery, a definition of the pioneering spirit with all its episodes of courage and creativity. The birth of the tea industry in India, is in fact a story of epic proportions and one with which our family has identified closely for almost a century. Perhaps that’s the reason I feel its cultural echoes so strongly. It’s certainly the reason that I founded Signature Estates…to translate the wealth of learning and pleasure contained in our tea experience for the enjoyment of those who love tea and for those who are new to it.