TEA TOURISM

History of Tea in Darjeeling

Darjeeling was initially conceived as a health resort and the British came to Darjeeling for the purpose of setting up a sanitarium for their Army people. Dr. Campbell, the first superintendent of Darjeeling, was the man who actually stimulated the growth of tea (albeit on an experimental basis) in the Darjeeling hills in 1841. It is said that he managed to get a few seeds of the Chinese variety and planted them around his bungalow which has now come to be known as Beechwood.

Dr. Campbell's experiment yielded results. Tea trees grew very big-some up to 20 ft. Soon it was established that the climate in Darjeeling was greatly suitable for tea production. The government offered land on favorable terms and a number of entrepreneurs came forward to grab the chance.

Then the government designed a formula according to which each allottee of forest land could only clear 40 per cent of the land to plant tea and the rest would remain unadulterated forest. Captain Samler was the first tea planter who started the Alubari tea garden in 1856 under the management of Kurseong and Darjeeling Tea Company.

The pleasure of sipping a hot cup of tea and transferring its warmth to our body is as satisfying as the front warm glow that we feel in front of a hearth. A cup of tea serves as an ideal medium for friendship ---- many important deals have been known to have been finalized over a cup of tea.

Tea reaches across generations. It is drunk all day and in moments of crisis, it truly transcends social categories. Regardless of culture, tea brings people together.

That’s the life sustaining nature of its warmth. We start our day with a cup of tea. We welcome our guests with a cup of tea. Universally, any time is tea time. It seems that a cup of tea is the answer to all questions. Whether it is hot or cold, whether we are busy or idle, whether we are lonely or with friends ---- we always reach for that magic cup that seems to fill all the gaps in our life ----- What would the world do without tea!

TEA AND TOURISM

Tea Tourism is a fast growing segment especially in North Bengal, Dooars and Assam. A lot of tea gardens under the initiative of the Tea Board of India have started converting their old Managers Bungalows into boutique resorts. Away from the main cities, these tea bungalows are a perfect getaway and offer a variety to a normal tour program.

Our Tea Project is focused on creating awareness about Tea Tourism amongst the tourists traveling to North Bengal and Sikkim. Our Tea Experience is arranged in three different formats:

Visit to a Tea Estate – this is the entry level experience where the guest is taken to a Tea Estate as a part of sightseeing and shown the process of tea manufacture along with a detailed tour of the Tea Factory and Estate.

We arrange visits to Tukvar and Happy Valley Tea Estate

Full day tour to a Tea Estate – In this tour a full day visit to a Tea Estate is arranged along with lunch at the Tea Managers Bungalow, visit to the factory and the garden along with a small tea tasting session.

Full day tours are arranged to Goomtee and Selimbong Tea Estate

Overnight at a Tea Estate – This experience is suited for clients looking to relive the past and enjoy a personal hospitality experience. Accommodation is provided inside the tea garden manager’s bungalow in addition to the entire tea experience.

Overnight accommodation can be provided at Goomtee, Glenburn and Zuarantee Tea Estates

TEA TASTING IN DARJEELING

An exquisite Tea Tasting session can be organized at Nathmull’s Tea Lounge at Chowrasta in Darjeeling.

Although simply grown and harvested, tea is a drink full of flavour complexities and nuances. Tea is generally described as having a foreground (top note), middle ground, and background flavour. These three flavour dimensions come together to create the tea's flavour profile. In order to identify the exclusive individual characteristics and traits of the various types of tea, Tea tasting is done without any additives such as sugar, milk or other. The purpose of the tasting is to distinguish the elements of taste and smell. When tasting tea, use both your taste buds and your sense of smell to discern flavour and quality!