Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tea - From India with Love

Are you a tea drinker? I love a cup of tea, especially first thing in the morning. I used to drink coffee, but switched about ten years ago and I'm so glad I did. Tea is so calming and doesn't leave that bad taste in your mouth afterward.

I was looking through the photos I took when I was in India almost two years ago now (I can't believe it was that long ago) and wanted to share with you the glimpses of life on a tea plantation. Next time you have a cup of tea you can think of these scenes for the background story.

We visited the Glenburn Tea Estate near Darjeeling in north-eastern India. It is a lovely historic plantation set on top of a hill in the Himalayas.

I loved being shown all the stages of the tea process. We were able to hike through the tea gardens themselves and see the tea plants up close.

Did you know that tea bushes are pruned so they end up being like a bonsai. Some of them are 200 years old, but remain short with very thick trunks.  

We saw women picking tea leaves in one of the fields.  Since only the top two leaves at the end of each branch are picked and the tea is grown on steep mountain slopes, picking the tea leaves can only be done by hand.  I'm sure it was hard work carrying a large basket strapped to your forehead up and down the mountains all day so the smiles we got were impressive.

We toured the factory and were shown the many steps necessary to prepare the leaves so they are ready to be made into a wonderful cup of tea.

It is a very complex process and I have forgotten most of what I learned, but I haven't forgotten how much I loved the stenciled boxes that they use to ship tea around the world.  I would loved to have brought one home if I could have figured out how to do it.

We also sampled all the different types of tea produced at Glenburn and how the tea varied in each of the four seasons.  

Are you craving a nice cuppa right now too? I know, all that tea talk has that effect on me as well.

By the way, don't miss seeing the photos of the heavenly hotel at Glenburn - it was a complete highlight of the trip and was the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in.  There are also a few more photos of Glenburn in this post.


  1. Oh, this is just heaven for me. I adore tea, no doubt a legacy of my British Grandmum, who always said that tea bags were made from the scraps that fell on the floor. I don't know if that is true, but I have always made my pot of tea from loose tea leaves.

    I generally mix 3 or 4 varieties in the morning into my pot, depending on my mood, and Darjeeling is always included.

    The whole world looks better after a cup of tea.

    I order on line. Do you have any favorite sites?

  2. We love tea and drink it several times daily. :D

  3. Oops! I didn't mean to do that. I think it's neat that you were able to tour a tea plantation. Your photos are fantastic!

  4. Oh yes, I am a tea girl for sure. I started having tea parties with my Granny when I was about 3 I think. I still have the cups and saucers we used for those memorable tea ceremonies. A few years ago when I was in Paris we stumbled upon the famous tea shop Mirage (not sure about the spelling). Anyway, I bought a very precious small amount of Ambootia Darjeeling which is amazing. Normally I drink decaf teas - we have David's Tea here and they sell some great teas - I highly recommend the decaf Earl Grey. I also get a very nice black spiced tea from The Granville Island Tea Co. called Decaf Market Spice. As for mass produced teas, I will drink Typhoo or Yorkshire Gold both from Britian.

  5. What a unique post about tea! I have never seen a place where they make tea and the details about how they grow the plants is so interesting! I used to drink Nabob growing up. Now I usually have a cup of PG Tips in the morning and then another later in the day. But I'm still looking for the "perfect" tea.