Can one ever imagine a morning without a warm cup of tea? Reading a newspaper or having early morning conversations with your family, while sipping a cup of tea has been an Indian way of living for ages now. But ever wondered how was tea introduced to us?
In the 18th century, Britishers launched the tea industry in India. They used Chinese seeds, planting and cultivating techniques, and converted large tracts of hillsides into tea plantations. Today, India is one of the biggest tea producing countries in the world. Interesting fact is that 70% of the production is consumed in India itself.
Tea belongs to camellia family of plants. Its bush grows only in tropical and subtropical climate, and is harvested by hands. The art of planting tea has been loved by many tea lovers and tourists. In fact, many tea estates in India allow tourists to be a part of plantation first hand. So where would one find these lovely tea gardens in India? Here are a few we picked for you.
Assam is the largest tea producing state of India and gives us our most loved tea – Assam Tea. The tea produced here is black and is loved for its malty flavour, result of Assam’s tropical climate. The Banyan Grove, near the Gatoonga Tea Estate here, is more than hundred years old and gives you an inside view of how tea states work. The best time to visit here is from May to end of June. The state also hosts ‘Assam Tea Festival’ in the month of November that gives an opportunity to make a visit to the magnificent tea Gardens of Assam.
Any cafe’s menu is incomplete without the famous Darjeeling Tea. A perfectly brewed Darjeeling Tea yields a light-coloured infusion with a floral aroma. Though traditionally Darjeeling tea is a black tea; the variety of oolong, organic and green teas from Darjeeling make it a place for different varieties. A place you must visit here is the Happy Valley Tea Estate. Established in 1854, these gardens are the highest in the world at an elevation of 2750 meters. The best place to visit here is from March to November in order to witness the plucking in action.
The hill station of Munnar is synonymous with rolling hills that are carpeted with verdant plantations of tea. Tea in Munnar is grown on its undulating terrain, or sometimes, terraced plantation. The Tea Museum at Munnar is India’s first ever tea museum that will take you through the tea history of Munnar and help you get insights on the glorious tea industry of India. August to May is the perfect time to visit the region.
Tea grown in Nilgiri Mountains is dark, distinctly aromatic and has a strong flavour. Tea has been cultivated here for over a hundred years and is an important industry in the region. Nilgiri Tea is also called Blue mountain tea. When you’re visiting Nilgiri mountains, visit the Tranquilitea Tea Lounge and check out the exotic teas on offer.
Kelagur Tea Estate, Karnataka
Spanned across 1,500 acres, the Kelagur Tea Estate is the world’s highest grown Orthodox Tea Estate. The process of tea making has been certified as organic and uses traditional techniques and is a major attraction for tea enthusiasts. The seven step process of tea-making involves rolling, withering, fermenting, drying, sieving, grading and fiber extraction. The tea produced here has distinct flavour and light due to its plantation technique.
The Cooch Behar Tea Estate, West Bengal
Located at the foothills of the Darjeeling Hills, The Cooch Behar plays host to 30,000 small tea growers in North Bengal and attracts people from all over the world. Established in the year 1950, Coochbehar Tea Corporation Limited offers the most effective and qualitative range of products to their esteemed clients.
These are a few places amongst the many places that grow tea across India. So when you sip your next cup of tea, try and guess where it comes from based on its taste and fragrance.
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3 Replies to “Beyond the leaves”
You missed listing Kangra Tea.
Thank You for bringing it to our notice.
We have added a separate article for the same.
Please Visit: https://teafloor.com/blog/from-the-gardens-of-kangra/
Happy Tea-ing! 🙂
Excellent information for TeaLovers.Thanks.