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Shikha Gautam Aug 07 2013

What's so special about Darjeeling tea?

Debangana Sen Aug 07 2013
7 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Good ol’ Darjeeling!

Teaspoon for each cup and none for the pot.

Pour it fresh and have it hot

Flavour unparalleled and fragrance divine

It surpasses even the finest wine

Savour it, sense it, drink in the feeling

Not just any old tea, it’s real Darjeeling!

— Poster at a Kolkata tea boutique

Usually, the precursor for bad poetry is alcohol. For tea to have that effect, it has to be superlative. Darjeeling Tea definitely is that. Though the city might have been a hothouse of international spies once upon a time, it was tea that put the quaint hill town of Darjeeling on the world map. Dr. Campbell, the first superintendent of Darjeeling, planted the first seeds in the garden of his lodge sometime in the late 1830s or 1840s. Missionaries like the Barnes brothers, who set up modestsized plantations in the late 1880s, took up his pioneering efforts. The plantation started by them is presently the Bannockburn Tea Estate.

Tea Garden (by Akarsh Simha)

The first seeds were from Chinese hybrid bushes brought from the Kumaon Hills, but gradually these strains metamorphosed into what is now known as ‘Darjeeling Tea’. In 1886, one TT Cooper estimated that Tibet consumed 60,00,000 pounds (lbs) of Chinese brick tea annually. Cooper suggested that if this could be replaced by tea supplied from India, it promised a market of great value. The rest is history.

Glenburn Tea Estate (from the official Facebook page)

Today, there are some 87 tea estates in and around Darjeeling, employing over 50,000 people. Counted amongst the most interesting places to visit in Darjeeling, each garden has its own history and most have their individual blends of tea, which are collectively presented to the world as ‘Darjeeling Tea’. Among the best tea is supposed to be ‘first flush superfine tippy golden flowery orange Pekoe’. First flush refers to the youngest leaves, growing just below the bud. The younger the leaf, the more expensive the tea. Prices range between INR 500 and 2,000 per kg.

Photo of Darjeeling first flush Orange Pekoe

Nathmull’s on The Mall is a reliable outlet. The best-known estates in Darjeeling are the Badamtam, Runglee Rungliot, Happy Valley, Thurbo, Margaret’s Hope and Castleton — but these do not arrange tours currently. The most convenient visit would be to the fabled Makaibari Tea Estate. The best time to visit the gardens is in summer, when the plucking takes place. Also, check out various hill station packages available in India and plan out your vacation in the serenity of hills.

1 person found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
Darjeeling is famous for black tea. THE famous one you can find here such as golden tips on the mall road or chowrasta.THEY have different types of teas.Before buying you can taste as well here.
Ashish Kumar Jul 27 2014
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes
There are other outlets as well such as Golden Tips &Darjeeling Small Tea Growers Welfare Society.

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