Europeans discovered tea in China, and then the Britishers took tea plants to India in order to cultivate and develop an alternative source for the growing European appetite. Soon tea plantations were growing in India and Octavius was one of the most eminent establishments of the Britishers.
Octavius Tea & Industries Ltd. was founded in 1898, as a subsidiary of Octavius Steel and was a proprietary business headed by Walter Duncan who was one of the founders of the major Tea Managing Agency Houses of 19th century.The establishment was initially formed as a potential investment from the surplus of more profitable steel industries, in erstwhile British India. Seemingly impressed by the beneficial climate of easy trade on the Indian shores, the intrepid traveller, a young Walter Duncan, descending from a farming family from Glasgow, set up the tea trading companies to cultivate the ‘honey brew’ of the Darjeeling slopes – tea, across Dooars, Cachar & Sylhet. It was around this same time that CA Goodricke & Co. in conjunction with Andrew Yule also set up independent tea plantations in and around the area.
When India attained freedom, the tea estates were acquired by Indian trading companies, still working under their original British brand name. Octavius Tea and its plantations in the Dooars also has a similar history. It is now headed by its Indian owners, who exercise full control over the tea plantations and its produce, with a view to providing the same essence and fulfilling a commitment to a benchmark in taste and quality as its British owners had envisioned.