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Tea Plantation in India

Tea is a religion of the art of life…….Oh yes; a small drink has been termed as one of the greatest gift to mankind. Tea is being related to happiness, joy, friendship, art and love in short to all good things in life.

The first documented consumption of tea in India was documented in the Ramayana (750-500 BC). However, after Ramayana the next documented records of Tea usage was found in first century AD with stories of Bodhidharma and Gan Lu Buddhist monks. Numerous researches indicated towards the cultivation and consumption of Tea in native to eastern and northern India. With Ayurveda adding medicinal properties through various plants and herbs Tea gained it importance with time. The taste of Tea (sweet and milky) helps disguise the stronger and more bitter flavors of some of the medicinal additives, while other, more pleasant flavors such as cardamom and ginger add a pleasing flavor and aroma to the tea along with health benefits.

India is the second largest producer and exporter of Tea after China. More fascinating fact is that India is also the largest consumer of Tea with nearly 30% of the global output also 70% of the Tea produced is consumed within India itself.

With Assam and Darjeeling Tea recording their name in one of the best Tea, Indian tea industry grew multifold and is one of the most technologically advanced Tea industries in the world. Production, certification, exportation and all facets of tea trade in India is controlled by Tea Board of India.

Nestling in the foothills of the snow-covered Himalayan range, Darjeeling grows one of the world's most exclusive teas. Carries a “muscatel” or “flowery” and “peachy” flavor at times, tea drinkers usually skip milk and sugar to enjoy the delicate and tasty flavor.

Let's begin our journey as a tea taster:

Darjeeling:
Darjeeling tea is said “A Tea like No Other To this day” as it is a Chinese variety of tea which was planted here but Mystery lies in the hills of Darjeeling as it was discovered that the exclusive taste of Darjeeling tea cannot be reproduced if planted anywhere else in the world. 

To orchestrate such a masterpiece, the soil, climate and certainly mysterious elements work in tandem. Rare like a fine wine, this tea fetches one of the highest bids in the world. From plucking to extracting and to processing every step is equally difficult, time consuming and done in orthodox way (more time consuming) to preserve the rarity of this majestic beverage.

Bagdogra is the nearest airport connecting Darjeeling and is about 65 km away. A road journey takes roughly 1 hour 30 mins.

The full bloom of saxe-blue Kutinji flowers wraps the picturesque range of Nilgiri Mountains once in every 12 years, thus naming it Blue Mountains, such is the rarity of the Nilgiri tea. Tea is grown in two different part of Nilgiri Mountain Range with difference in taste and flavor, Coonoor and Wayanad.

Coonoor:
Tea grown in Coonoor leaves you with a creamy taste. It is exquisitely aromatic, with high tones of delicate floral notes and deliciously fragrant. A truly flavorful tea for a stressful day, it is brisk and bright with an undercurrent of briskness. Tea grows at an elevation ranging from 1,000 meters to 2,500 meters with rainfall that varies from 60 to 90 inches annually favor the fine, elegant flavour and brisk liquor. The combination of fragrance and briskness makes this a truly unique tea, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. If you like a fragrant tea with good body and superlative flavor then Nilgiri is where you will find your cup of tea. Indeed “your cup of tea”.

The nearest airport is Coimbatore International Airport which is about 70 km and takes close to 2 hours by road to reach this heavenly place amidst the Nilgiris.

Wayanad:
Wayanad tea is termed as a born soother, as it is mild and mellow. With elevation ranging from 850 to 1400 meters and annual rainfall ranging from 2000 to 2500 mm, with almost same climate conditions throughout the year, Wayanad produces tea almost through the entire year. It has an Earthy reddish color, medium tone, full bodied with clear fragrance and light briskness. 

The nearest airport is at Kozhikode, Calicut and is at a distance of around 100 km from Wayanad.

Munnar:
Your heart might skip a beat for this haven of peace and tranquility, breathtakingly beautiful city of Munnar. An idyllic tourist destination or may also be called India's most popular tourist destination. Apart from tea plantations, pristine valleys, mountains and waterfalls, exotic species of flora and fauna in its wild sanctuaries and forests, the aroma of spice scents the cool air in Munnar. Munnar tea offers Liqueur of golden yellow with an orange depth. It is clean, medium toned, strong bodied with lively briskness, a touch of fruit and a startlingly lingering note of sweetness towards the end. An old saying goes “expect the unexpected and a lot can certainly happen over this cup of tea”.

Cochin airport is closest to Munnar and is approximately 115 Km via NH49, which takes almost 2 Hrs. 45 mins to reach by road.

Assam:
The mighty Brahmaputra makes its way through this land of single horn Rhinoceros. The nature’s bounty rich land of Assam that receives about 150 inches of rain every year is a special place for growing tea here. All who love their tea as bright and strong “Assam” will appease your soul, as it offers rich, full bodied, deep-amber color and bright tea liquor. It is known as perfect tea to wake up to because of its briskness, strong and malty character. It is considered to be single largest tea-growing region of the world, producing some premium orthodox leaf owing to unique climate, loamy soil conditions, low altitude and ample rainfall. It is these unique environmental conditions that give the teas their special quality, reputation and character and helps orthodox Assam Teas to qualify as a Geographical Indication.

Any occasion it might be, a cup of “Garam Chai” is always most welcome and considered as most hospitable in Indian homes…and yes not to forget the Pakoras as a great accompaniment.