Headline June 13, 2019/ '' 'NEPAL'S TEAS NECTAR' ''


IN 1848, THE BRITISH EAST INDIA COMPANY gave the botanist Robert Fortune a mission :  smuggle live tea bushes out of China against -

Against the emperor's strict edicts and plant them in the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal, to propagate a tea industry under British control

The heist took years. The plants struggled to flourish in Indian soil, 6,000 feet above sea level. But by the close of 19th century, Darjeeling plantations were growing some of the greatest teas in the world :

''Vibrant brews the embodied a meadow's worth of traits and flowers, with a refined airiness that stood in stark contrast to India's brawny lowland teas. Darjeeling quickly earned the nickname  ''Champagne of Teas,'' and its fame grew after the British colonial retreat.

But today Darjeeling is suffering. A century and a half of rigid plantation agriculture has taken its toll on soil. Switching to organic growing methods to meet consumer demand is expensive.

The skilled work of overseeing an estate's production, once a prestigious career for Indians, raised in the colonial system, is losing its appeal, and decades of disputes with labor unions have cut harvests significantly during strikes.

A few hours across the border, however, Nepal's tea community is in the budding stages of loose-leaf  revolution. Growers are planting tea bushes in the same kind of steep, high-elevation-fields that granted Darjeeling its unmatched reputation.

Entrepreneurial farmers and factory owners, unburdened by Darjeeling's colonial-era baggage, are  developing remarkable styles of tea all their own at a fraction of the price, often with younger, more vigorous bushes thriving in comparatively richer soil.

You won't find Nepal teas at your local Starbucks., but they're increasingly popular with specialty boutiques and online stores across North America and Europe that are eager to pounce on rare teas  from emerging regions.

''Nepal and Darjeeling are so close together, but there's a characteristic of Nepali tea that's brilliant all by itself,'' said Jeni Todd, 48, an American buyer and consultant for tea shops and cafes who rents an apartment in Kathmandu, Nepal, for frequent visits. ''There's no bite or astringency at all. They're full bodied but smooth and accessible.''

A legend says that in 1863, the Daoguang Emperor of China gave Nepal's prime minister, Junga Bahadur Rana, a gift of tea plants; records show the country's eastern  IIam district, near the Indian border, began production shortly after Darjeeling's plantations were established.

Historically, most Nepal leaves were processed into inexpensive broken-leaf black tea grades destined for domestic consumption and export to the Indian commodity market.

Finer whole-leaf ''orthodox'' grades were usually sold to Indian merchants, then labelled by Indian sellers as Darjeeling tea. [Today, the amount of tea sold as Darjeeling is roughly four times the  maximum yield of the 87 origin-protected estates.]

When the brothers Bachan and Lochan Gyawali established Jun Chiyabari Estate in the Dhankuta district of Nepal in 2000, the last thing they wanted was to mimic Darjeeling's gardens just 150 miles away.

''Nepal has always been classified as a poor cousin of Darjeeling,'' said Bachan, 57, ''and when we spoke with tea buyers, it became clear that there'd be no reason for them to buy a similar tea from Nepal when Darjeeling will always be Darjeeling.''

Tradition and market demand have standardized Darjeeling's production into particular styles called ''flushes'' : Leaves picked in early spring are processed as a light, piney first flush, while more matures leaves picked later in the season are used for for a fruity, full-bodied second-flush.

Jun Chiyabari's equivalent of first flushes exhibits the full rush of  alpine air and sprightly florals that have made Darjeeling teas so famous, but the estate's real speciality is small productions influenced by East Asians tea regions like China and Taiwan.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of Nepal, and then the world.

See Ya all on Facebook, prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and .......Twitter-!E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Smooth & Accessible '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!