‘Camellia Sinensis’ or what you popularly call ‘tea’ is an evergreen plant belonging to Camellia family.5000 years back in China this beverage was first discovered. However, the fact is, it is native to both India and China. Such a wide variation in blends!!! How? Now, you must have seen wide varieties of teas. The difference in flavor and characteristics of the blends is due to –
  1. Climatic condition of the region they are produced
  2. Kind of soil in that region
  3. Altitude of the tea producing area
Darjeeling Tea has a History… What is it? Well, story of Darjeeling blends began around 150 years back when a civil surgeon named Dr. Campbell planted seeds of tea in his own garden at Beechwood in Darjeeling, just for experimenting. This place is 7000ft above the sea level. Was he successful? Yes, to his great delight Dr. Campbell was successful in raising the plants. So, in 1847, government selected this area for tea nurseries. Record says that in 1852, British planted the firs tea gardens for commercial purpose in Aloobari, Tukvar and Steinthal tea gardens. Seeds of all these estates came from the government nurseries. At that time, Darjeeling was a hamlet sparsely populated. Affluent people and army used this place as hill resort. Now, many people do not know that tea production is a “labor intensive enterprise”. It requires huge number of workforce for planting, tending, plucking and manufacturing the produce. Therefore, local people from Nepal border and Darjeeling were employed for the task. In 1866, Darjeeling had as many as 39 tea gardens contributing to a total of 21000 kilograms of this beverage. In 1870, the number of these estates increased to 56 giving rise to a production of around 71000 kilograms of tea. In between 1860 to 1864, Darjeeling Company found 4 new tea gardens. Darjeeling tea, by then, was recognized as a profitable venture. Today, Darjeeling produces the best aromatic blends in the world. At present, you know Darjeeling has 86 tea estates producing around 10 million kilograms of this beverage per annum. Do you know what the best part of Darjeeling blends is? Every type of Darjeeling tea is hand plucked. An Exciting Fact about Darjeeling Tea Presently, around 70% of Darjeeling tea gardens have started producing Organic blends, meaning they do not use any chemical fertilizers for harvesting the blends. These teas are checked further and finally accredited as “Organic Tea”. Now, Darjeeling is the favorite beverage of many people across the world. They even shell out few bucks more to enjoy the tantalizing flavor of this blend.