Darjeeling: A History of the World's Greatest Tea
Darjeeling's tea bushes stretch across a picturesque landscape steeped in religious, sacred and mythical history. Planted at high elevation in...
- ISBN: 9789384898427
- Availability: In Stock
- Author Jeff Koehler
- Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.
- Binding Paperback
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Darjeeling's tea bushes stretch across a picturesque landscape steeped in religious, sacred and mythical history. Planted at high elevation in the heart of the Eastern Himalayas, in an area of northern India bound by Nepal to the west, Bhutan to the east and Sikkim to the north, the rows of brilliant green, waist-high shrubs that coat the steep slopes and valleys around this Victorian 'hill town' produce only a fraction of the world's tea, and less than one per cent of India's total. Yet the tea from this limited crop, with its characteristic bright, amber-coloured brew and muscatel flavours - delicate and flowery, with hints of apricots and peaches - is generally considered the best on the globe.
This is the story of how Darjeeling developed its prodigious tea
industry under Imperial British rule and eventually came to produce some
of the highest-quality leaves in the world. It is a fascinating
portrait of the region from the days of the Raj to that of the 'voodoo
farmers' of the present day, who get world-record prices for their fine
teas, all set against the backdrop of the looming Himalayas and
drenching monsoons. It is a story rich in intrigue and empire, full of
adventurers and unlikely successes in culture and religion, ecology and
terroir, and one that began with one of the most audacious acts of
corporate smuggling in history. It is also the tale of how the industry
had spiralled into decline by the end of the twentieth century, and how
this paradisiacal spot in the high Himalayas seethes with union unrest
and a violent struggle for independent statehood. It is on the front
line against the devastating effects of climate change and decades of
harmful farming practices, a war that is being fought in some tea
gardens - and, astonishingly, won - using radical methods.
|Publisher||Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt. Ltd.|