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May 21, 2013

An Authentic Indian Tea Trip

By Erin Schumaker | Travel

An Authentic Indian Tea Trip

“This is not your usual India itinerary,” says Susan Geringer, founder of Geringer Global Travel. Indeed, the outfit’s 15-day culinary-and-tea tour is far from ordinary. Winding through the northeast section of India, it includes stops in Delhi, Lucknow, Varanasi, Kolkata, Kalimpong and Gangtok, as well as a visit to a Darjeeling tea estate, offering guests the chance to interact with locals and to visit areas rarely seen by travelers.

Northeast India is famous for its tea production, and the Geringer trip showcases the specialty at every turn. In addition to dining in the home of a local aristocrat in Lucknow, tasting fried delicacies from Kachauri Gali’s legendary food stalls, eating a traditional vegetarian dinner with a Brahmin family in Varanasi and taking part in an open-kitchen cooking class at the Glenburn estate in Darjeeling, travelers will visit plantations across the region, learning about the intricate process of producing tea and sampling different varieties along the way.

Geringer believes the best way to get to know a culture is by meeting locals one-on-one. What better way to go about that than over tea? Prices start at $5,415, including lodging, internal flights, meals, tours, entrance fees and guides; 877-255-7438; geringerglobaltravel.com.