Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Darjeeling tea

The British East India Company led commercial tea cultivation in India by transferring germplasm and technology from China. Scottish botanist Robert Fortune was sent to smuggle and transport tea from China to India in 1848.

By 1850 annual consumption of tea in Britain was already at around two pounds per person. They had gone beyond looking for alternative supply sources; they wanted their very own source.

Darjeeling was just a cluster of villages under Kingdom of Sikkim and the plains of Darjeeling hills belong to Nepal. Dr, Arthur Campbell, s surgeon with the Company, and Lieutenant Robert Napier were responsible for establishing a hill station after leasing it from the Chogyal of Sikkim.

British Tea planters find the area most suitable tea plantains and started settling by 1856. Campbell planted tea in the garden of his residence, known as Beachwood, with stock came from the nurseries in the western Himalayan foothills.

Campbell stated in a report dated April 28, 1853 that’s some two thousand tea plants, ranging from twelve years old to seedlings of a few months, were growing at two thousand to seven thousand feet in elevation.

In 1859, Britons introduce large-scale tea growing to India, with the first crop taking root in Darjeeling. By 1874, there were 113 tea gardens in the area, employing 19,424 workers and at the end of the century the labor force had risen to 64,000, a third of the district’s entire population.
Darjeeling tea
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