Indian & Nepal tea : Darjeeling Orange Valley

Darjeeling Orange Valley

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Darjeeling Orange Valley

Darjeeling

Orange Valley tea garden

India

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Darjeeling tea is a tea from the Darjeeling district located in the northern part of West Bengal, India. It is grown in hilly area surrounded by unspoiled pine forests and luxuriant valleys sprinkled with mountain streams. That place offers a magnificent view of Kangchenjunga peaks (8585 m) covered with snow and an opportunity to watch one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. The Himalayas are believed to be the abode of God, whose breath brings a refreshing wind and dewy mist “cooling down” the sun.

History of this tea dates back to the first half of the 19th century when Dr. A. Campbell, a British Governor-General, insisted on planting some tea seeds near his residence in Darjeeling. After the success of his experiment in the year 1847, this region was chosen by the British Government to put out tea nurseries, or “tea gardens”.

The tea needs to grow at a certain height between 750 and 2000 m above sea level. Lush mountainside fields, rainy weather, cool fresh air and naturally occurring mist protect the bushes from direct sunlight and make the place excellent for tea cultivation. Nowadays, there are 144 tea estates (still traditionally called “gardens”) in the area, each of which is over 100 years old. Every tea is named after the garden it was produced by. Darjeeling has an unparalleled gentle taste; even a small difference in growing conditions can change the flavor, so this tea cannot be manufactured anywhere else in the world.

This type of tea is semi-fermented (~90%), which makes it a bit similar to Chinese Oolong teas. The tea plucking season is from the early spring till the late autumn. Unique climate conditions let Darjeeling tea be well-balanced throughout the whole year, but early spring harvest (so-called “first flush”) is the most valuable and expensive due to its very light color, particularly mild flavor and fresh floral aroma. Picking of the first two leaves and a bud is done manually, and the processing afterwards lasts more than two days including withering, rolling, fermenting and drying.

Orange Valley Plantation is located on top of the mountain near the Darjeeling town sprawling over an area of 347 hectares. Favorable weather conditions, high altitude, optimum soil and strict control by the best tea experts at the every stage of plucking and processing guarantee the supreme quality product for which this tea garden is renowned. Organoleptic characteristics of this variety are outstanding and this tea is said to show “the true nature” of Darjeeling.