FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which are the locations where the Tea Sommelier Program in India will be conducted in India?
The Tea Sommelier Program is conducted in the tea gardens of the Darjeeling region. It is located in the north of the state of West Bengal.
Which is the closest airport to the training location?
The closest airport is Bagdogra (IXB).
Which is the closest railway station to the training location?
The closest railway station is New Jalpaiguri.
Which is the closest bus station to the training location?
The closest bus station is Siliguri.
Will I be picked up from the airport or bus/train station?
Yes, you will be picked up from the airport or bus/train station.
What is the type of accommodation?
The accommodation will be provided in homestays with the local people to gain an authentic experience of the region. They are very clean and hygienic with proper washroom and bathroom facilities.
Shall we have shared rooms or individual rooms?
Each participant is provided with a separate room.
Are the accommodations air-conditioned?
It is anyway cold in the mountains so air conditioners are not required. The air is clean and free from pollution. You can breathe as much fresh oxygen as you want.
What is the kind of food provided?
All the meals are fresh and home-cooked. The ingredients are sourced from local farms near the tea gardens. In many cases, the food provided is even organic.
Will I be dropped back at the airport or bus/train station after the completion of the Tea Sommelier Program?
Yes, you will be dropped back at the airport or bus/train station after the completion of the course.
If I arrive one or more days before the commencement of the program can my pickup be arranged?
We can arrange the pickup only on the first day of the program. If you decide to arrive early you have to arrange the transportation to your destination on your own.
If I leave one or more days after the termination of the program can my drop be arranged?
We can extend the drop facility only on the last day of the program. If you decide to stay back after the termination of the program you have to arrange the transportation to the airport on your own.
What is the type of vehicle used for local transportation?
There will be reserved cars for local transportation.
Should I carry some extra cash or are there ATMs nearby? Are there provisions to pay by card at the local shops?
Most of the local shops do not have card facilities. Even if they do, there are often network issues because the tea gardens are located in remote areas. Hence, it is advisable to carry some extra cash.
What kind of clothes and shoes should I carry? Is an umbrella or a raincoat necessary?
We recommend you carry some warm clothes and a pair of hiking/running shoes. In the high-altitude regions, the weather is often quite cold. For tea garden treks a hiking/running shoe is a must in order to have a firm grip on the steep terrains. It is advisable to carry an umbrella or a raincoat since sometimes the weather is unpredictable and there are unprecedented rainfalls.
Is it safe for women to travel and take the course alone?
Security is the last thing you need to worry about. We ensure your safety and take every conceivable effort to give you the best experience.
How many tea gardens shall we visit during the course?
You shall visit 2/3 different tea gardens, each having its unique methods of tea cultivation and tea processing which gives a unique identity to their teas.
Is there WiFi available?
In most of the places, there is no WiFi since the tea gardens are in remote locations and the accommodation facilities are also near the tea estates. However, most phone networks function so if you have an internet pack active on your phone it might work. In case of emergency, you can use the phones of the representatives of the Asian School of Tea to communicate with your family.
How many participants are usually there for each program?
We usually have a maximum of 3-4 participants for each program. We keep the numbers small to give each participant a wholesome experience.
What is the primary language in which the classes are conducted? Can I join if I do not don’t speak English?
The primary language is English. However, if there is a substantial number of participants speaking some other language then we arrange for an interpreter.