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Tales of The Tea

History of Darjeeling Tea

by ZYANNA Admin 14 Mar 2023

Darjeeling tea is a type of tea that is grown in the Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is a prized tea that is known for its unique flavor and aroma. The history of Darjeeling tea dates back to the mid-19th century when the British established tea plantations in the region.

In 1835, the British East India Company sent Dr. Archibald Campbell to explore the hilly areas of Darjeeling for potential tea plantations. Campbell found the region to be ideal for tea cultivation due to its high altitude, cool climate, and well-drained soil. In 1841, the first tea garden was established in Darjeeling, and by the 1850s, several more tea gardens were established in the region.

Initially, the tea produced in Darjeeling was sold under the name of "Chinese tea" as it resembled the Chinese teas in appearance and flavor. However, in the 1860s, Darjeeling tea gained recognition for its unique flavor and was sold under its own name.

During the 20th century, Darjeeling tea became increasingly popular worldwide, and the tea gardens in Darjeeling became a major source of revenue for the region. However, the tea industry in Darjeeling faced several challenges over the years, including labor disputes, political unrest, and competition from other tea-producing regions.

Today, Darjeeling tea is a highly sought-after tea that is known for its delicate and complex flavor. It is grown in small quantities and is often referred to as the "champagne of teas." Darjeeling tea is protected under Geographical Indication (GI) status, which means that only tea grown in the Darjeeling district can be sold under the Darjeeling name.