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India Tea Facts

India Tea Facts

After Europeans discovered tea in China, the British took tea plants to India in order to cultivate and develop an alternative source for the growing European appetite. India is now one of the World's largest tea producers and home to some delightful and unique teas.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling is renowned throughout the Western world as the champagne of teas. Darjeeling is nestled below the Himalayas. Air is clean and water is crystal clear. All vital components in producing high quality tea.

The name Darjeeling originates from Tibet, meaning 'Land of the Thunder Bolt.' Due to it's altitude, Darjeeling appears to touch the touch the sky and during storms is illuminated by lightening and shaken by the rolling thunder.

Assam

India's most Easterly state is home to a distinct and robust tea. Assam is now India's largest tea producing region.

Historically, Assam was one of the earliest frontiers of the 'Gold' rush which saw Britain's first mass cultivation of tea outside of China. Assam and much of Burma was seized by the East India Company around 1826, the move was strategic to secure India's borders, to access the valuable jungles and to enable an increase opium production. Assam provided the British with another vital discovery, one which would eventually revolutionise tea cultivation in India. Though discovered earlier by brothers Robert and Charles Bruce, it was not till 1835 that Camellia Assamica was formally acknowledged as being tea, rather than just one of the many other flower Camellia's which had been found. It was not until 1837 that the first batches of Assam tea were shipped to Calcutta, though tea production was very slow to take off due to the unyielding jungles of the region. It was not until the 1860's that volumes grew, even then its production was marred by the unbelievable worker death rates and horrendous working conditions.

For those interested in this part of tea's history we highly recommend Alan and Iris MacFarlane's great book 'The Empire of Tea'.

Dooars

Also located in West Bengal, the tea gardens of Dooars have seen increased investment in recent years  and in turn improvements in quality and yields. The majority of Dooars tea production is focused upon CTC, or Cut Tear Curl.

Nilgiri

Near the old summer retreat of the British Raj. Nilgiri is not only a beautiful area, it is also a producer of some fine, distinct and wonderful teas.

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