Chai Chun, India’s leading tea boutique, based out of West Bengal, announced the 100% acquisition of Darjeeling-based Okayti Tea Estate. Chai Chun, a unit of Evergreen Group, is one of the largest tea producers in India, with an annual production of 15 million kilograms CTC teas. Recently, in association with Indian Railways, Chai Chun launched a “Train Tea Cafe” at Asansol Railway Junction, which is set up quite fascinatingly, within a train bogie.
Mr. Rajeev Baid, Founder Evergreen Group, and Chai Chun – recently acquired Okayti Tea Estate
The 150 year-old Okayti estate has been patronized by well known figures like Jawaharlal Nehru, Queen Elizabeth and Nikita Khrushchev. Tea produced from this garden is certified as 100% bio-organic. Chai Chun plans to step up its global expansion efforts, and strengthen the legacy of the Darjeeling tea.
Okayti tea garden sprawls over 1,600 acres and is surrounded by stunning scenery with a mighty view of Kanchenjunga. The estate’s elevation ranges between 4,000 and 6,200 feet, making OKAYTI one of the highest elevation estates in the region producing the literal “champagne of teas”. A favorite tea among the noted tea lovers of the world since 1888, Okayti counts brands like Harrod, TWG, TEE, Fortnum & Mason and many more among its global buyers, while it is being exported to more than twenty countries worldwide.
Initially named Rangdoo, tea from this estate was so highly acclaimed at London auctions that they ended up calling it ‘the only okay tea’ and subsequently the estate was named “Okayti”.
Okayti’s factory built in 1888 is one of the oldest tea factories in the world which still functions flawlessly and produces a whopping 1,60,000 kilograms of the world’s finest organic tea annually. The machinery and the setup of the factory are well kept which processes the fine tea leaves in an orthodox way.
Rajeev Baid, Founder of Evergreen Group, is an iconic tea industrialist/entrepreneur who in a very short time has made his mark in the tea industry. From a tea vendor in the railway stations to a breathable reality of the Evergreen Group proudly producing 15 million kilogram CTC tea annually. The spark within Mr. Baid felt the connection of tea with people and how it changed their day or mood.
Mr. Baid was quick to realize the connection people had with tea and how it changed their day or mood. He was determined to learn more about tea and strengthen this connection. With a simple and clear intent, he began this beautiful journey. The vision soon grew its wings to build a rich, diverse and multi-splendor culture of tea drinking.
To bring the best and most sorted teas in its freshest form, to complement cultures and people in all corners of the world has been the constant goal of the first tea boutique chain in India. Mr. Baid’s unique passion for tea has given birth to Chai Rasa tea cafes, Tea on wheels, and Chai Veda, which are all aimed to give tea lovers a holistic tea experience.
Mr. Baid’s romance and long-lasting passion for elegant tea continues with 100% takeover of Okayti Tea Company. He stated, “Chai Chun is proud to have Okayti as a family member. This is a complete game changer in the diaspora of Darjeeling teas. Our vision is to extend the exclusivity of the brand and uplift the understanding of such a refined tea. Our mission is to spread the availability of great tasting Indian teas, beautifully packed and the finest collection for experience to the world.”
The garden will soon be transformed into a destination spot. This step has been taken to increase tourism in the region. With over 700 families living around the estate, Mr. Baid expects to raise the livelihood of the area through this move and open doors for the world to experience stunning nature along with tea culture. Further, Mr. Baid has envisioned setting up a world-class tea academy where people from across the globe can study the history of teas, benefits, plantation & manufacturing along with the culture of the tea people.
Evergreen Group is headquartered in Siliguri Darjeeling, India, and is a key supplier to major Indian, brands, export houses, tea cafeterias and renowned tea selling units. The brand carries more than 165+ varieties of tea, including premium teas such as black, green, white, oolong, along with flavored teas, fruit teas, herbal teas, floral teas, corporate gift ranges, accessories and more, both in loose tea and packet categories.