What’s Brewing?

What’s Brewing?

Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one”
– Ancient Proverb

And this proverb so applies to me :)

As champagne cannot be manufactured in any place other than the Champagne District of France (even though the grapes used are the same kind) but has to be referred to as sparkling wine, in the same manner only tea grown and produced in the defined area of the Darjeeling District of India can be called Darjeeling tea. Any tea grown in any other region from the same sort of tea plants cannot be called Darjeeling tea.

Darjeeling tea, a rare coveted brew which is desired globally, but is only grown in Darjeeling.

Women tea pluckers make their way up the steep mountain paths every day at dawn  towards the 87 fabled gardens that have been producing the highly prized black  teas for over 150 years. Located on grand estates some perched at altitudes of  over 5,000 ft, the gardens are in fact plantations that, at times, stretch over  hundreds of acres. But, they are still ‘gardens’, because all tea grown here  bears the individual name of the garden in which it is grown.

First planted in early 19th  century, the incomparable quality of Darjeeling teas is the result of unique and complex combination of agro-climatic conditions prevailing in  the region, altitude,  meticulous manufacture and disdain for quantity. The climate of Darjeeling is perfect for  tea cultivation. Tea requires at least 50 inches of rainfall annually.  Alternate spells of rain and sunshine are considered good for the crop. Also,  the fog helps in maintaining the required level of moisture. The tea bush grows  at a height of 700 to 7000 feet above sea level, so it has all the space that  it needs to grow.

If the information furnished above has made you curious enough to want to visit a tea garden, understand the cultivation of tea and gain a flavour of life in these tea gardens, you are welcome to visit my paternal ancestral home. Turzum Tea Estate is about 30 km from Darjeeling town. The best of my childhood memories are  that of the time I spent in Turzum. Vast expanses of tea gardens, the blue skies, the proximity to nature …  and the absolutely adorable locals.

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