|Tea…the second largest consumed beverage around the world after water wakes the world with its aroma, taste and color. The origin of this most rejuvenating and refreshing drink goes back to 5000 years back when a Chinese Emperor accidentally tasted it and discovered the wonders associated with it. According to the story, Emperor who used to drink only boiled water drank it with some leaves in it. Upon tasting this leaf-infused water and entranced by its aroma, he proclaimed it as the ‘taste of heaven’.
Since then, with rich aroma and taste, tea has traveled across the globe enticing tea-drinkers. After China, Tea entered in to Japan and rest of the Far East. From there it established its strong presence in Europe and America by 1650. Once considered as the drink of royalty and upper crest, tea was very expensive and unavailable for mass public. But after introduction of speedy transportation, it became less expensive and available to masses also.
Tea’s association with India is weaved around many stories and some of them date back to time of Ramayana as researchers claim that miraculous ‘Sanjivani’ Herb is nothing but Tea leaves! But most widely accepted legend goes back to about 1815 when an Englishman had said to have noticed that people in Assam drink a kind of tea from locally growing plant. The real break through came in the year 1834 when a person called Alexander Bruce send some samples to East India Company and it was confirmed as ‘Assam Tea’ giving it a scientific name of Camellia Sinensis. Tea plantation in India started around 175 years ago by English men who found perfect climate and economical condition to grow it in India rather than importing it from China. Within no time, tea, which was secret to the Singpho community, who went on elephants to sow the God gifted seeds and collect the leaves from tea trees in forest turned into huge plantations and a global business. There was no looking back for tea plantations in Assam, Dooars and Darjeeling ever since than.
Today, India is one of the largest tea producers in the world, with over 70% of the tea is consumed within India itself! A number of renowned teas, such as Darjeeling, also grow exclusively in India. The Indian tea industry has grown to own many global tea brands, and has evolved to one of the most technologically equipped tea industries in the world.