ALL ABOUT NEPALTEA & TEAFRESHO
It is believed that Jung Bahadur Rana, the 8th prime minister of Nepal received tea seeds from the Chinese emperor Xianfeng in 1859. Later in 1861, in PM Rana's initiation, Col Gajraj Singh Thapa, governer of the district planted those seeds in Eastern part of Nepal called Ilam which is now a major tea growing region.
Introduction to Nepal
Nepal is a landlocked central Himalayan country in south Asia bordering China in North and India in East, West and South with area of 147,181 sq. km., It is relatively a small country and is the 93rd in list by area and 45th by population but it is the largest country in Himalayan range. For a small country, Nepal has tremendous geographic diversity. It rises from as low as 59 meters from the sea level in the tropical Terai, beyond the perpetual snow line to some 90 peaks over 7000 meters including planet's highest 8848 meters Mt. Everest.
Not only geographical but Nepal has also an unique cultural diversity. Among the population 29 million, there are 101 ethnic groups that speak over 92 different language who have their own rituals and ceremonies. It is a land of festivals! everyday is a day of celebration for one or the other community. Among all these diversity, the best part is one's pride of one's culture and respect to others'. This culturally rich land is also a home of spirituality and ancient wisdom from the vedic eras. Buddha was born in Nepal and spread the message of peace and harmony to the world.
Nepal was never colonized or conquered by other sovereignty. Its patriotic sentiment always stands higher like the Himalayas. The brave Gorkhas unified the country and protected from the British during their colonization over India.
Introduction to NepalTea
8th prime minister of Nepal, Jung Bahadur Rana received tea seed from Chinese Emperor Xiangfeng in 1859. There is no exact script mentioning this fact but the Col. Gajraj Sing Thapa, governer of the Ilam district at his time has remarkable name in the history of tea in Nepal. Col. Thapa was a close relative of PM Rana as well. He is a first person to plant tea in Ilam, Eastern part of Nepal which is now a main tea producing region. However, Nepal tea began within a time span of 10 years after the first tea plantation was set up in Darjeeling, hybrids of tea bushes were brought and Ilam Tea Estate was set up in Ilam District in 1963. In 1965 another Swoktim Tea Estate was set up in Jhapa District.
After a period of more than one and half century also, Nepal produces only 16.29 million kilogram of tea which is 0.4% of the total world tea output. Whereas India is second largest tea producer. The growth of the Nepal's tea industry was also affected by the political instability of the country. Produced tea leaves were consumed by the factories in Darjeeling for a long time. Nepal's tea was under shadow and not able to reach the global market since long time. In 1966 the Nepal Tea Development Corporation was establish and approach to develop Nepal tea as brand and establishing it in global market was starter. This slow-speed promotional move of Nepal tea has achieved little attention of global tea market since few decades.
Majestic Himalayas have a huge impact in climate and terroir which is establishing an uniqueness to the Nepal Tea. Higher elevation, clean environment, virgin soil, young tea plants and cooler, moister climate are the major factor and consequences for the great tea from the Himalayas. Tea gardens in Nepal are mostly owned by an individual family as a small farm. They collect tea leaves in group in coop basis and process tea in smaller quantity. Most of the teas are hand-processed and they are naturally grown and processed organic tea. Himalayan grown specialty tea from Nepal is getting popular and know in global market for its freshness, unique taste and fair-trade product.
Tea culture in Nepal
People start their day from the milky, sugary cup of tea. Some skip sugar for the health reason and some even skip milk. People consume CTC (crush, tear, curl), dust-like hard pallets mechanically processed, to brew their cup of tea. People find local tea shop for casual meeting to business dealing as well. When you visit someone's the first offering is a cup of tea. Tea play a vital role for the beginning of any communication, dealing, or casual discussion.
These days people started drinking green tea for health improvement. nevertheless, specialty and orthodox tea is not often consumed by the locals. There is no serious tea culture in Nepal like in China or Japan but it is casually there in everyone's home. Almost everybody in Nepal drink tea.
Types of tea produced in Nepal
Nepal is new in producing artisan, specialty tea. The tea craftsmen are new and developing their skills. There are mostly following verities of tea produce
Golden Tea (Black tea)
CTC (crush, tear, curl)
Artisan Blooming Tea