It was raining on the day we visited the estate and this may have contributed to the slightly rushed pace of the tour.
We were greeted, on arrival, by an umbrella wielding guide who then proceeded to whisk us round the outside area. He was very knowledgeable, and pointed out many things of interest, but didn't really give us time to enjoy the sights. Also, at one point he did subtly request a tip. You are specifically requested by management not to tip the guides and to report such behavior. Obviously we didn't report him but was a little disappointing, nonetheless, and something to watch out for.
The hot tea and cake part of the tour was lovely. Really great tea, made on site, and served in a beautiful and tranquil seating area, overlooking a gorgeous tropical garden.
The factory tour is also reasonably brief but very interesting and impressive. Our guide for this section was also very knowledgeable and proud of the factory. And rightly so-the machinery, still in use and in good condition, is over a hundred years old. It's great seeing the tea making process from start to finish and leads nicely into the tasting session.
The tasting session is held in the shop, with a view to trying before you buy. There's a short informative film, and then you're given a clean spoon and glass, a description of all the teas and you're free to taste test as you please. There are over twenty teas to try, including the virgin white tea and the famous 'suicide blend'.
The purchasable teas are, understandably, expensive for the most part, however there a few reasonable ones and you aren't made to feel pressured into buying anything.
Short but enjoyable tour, and as it's entirely free and quite interesting, I'd definitely recommend if you're in the area.