The bulk of tea consumed in the Netherlands comes from South Asia, with Sri Lanka and India being among the largest tea exporters world-wide. Tea is the second most popular beverage after water and it is often considered a 'cheap drink'. This session highlights, however, that tea plantation workers pay a high price for the drink's cheapness. They are marginalised by intersecting power hierarchies of post-coloniality, class and gender. As a result, workers' labour and living conditions are characterised by poverty and precarity. Paradoxically, this situation takes place amidst an industry that is formally regulated and highly unionised. Based on a recent study of tea plantation workers' conditions in Sri Lanka and India, this session will highlight the links between the price of tea and its conditions of cultivation and production. It asks whether the governance of tea plantation labour constitutes a form of 'modern slavery' and what can be done to improve tea plantation workers' conditions.