January 05, 2015
Darjeeling Tea became the first GI (Geographical Indication) tagged product in India. A few others from around the world are: French wine, Swiss chocolate, Mysore Silk, etc.
I grew up in a household where tea meant masala chai (with milk and ginger) so it was not until class 10 that I realised that Darjeeling Tea is supposed to be had without milk. It so happened that I was with some guests at Glenary's (a famous hangout in Darjeeling), that I observed that when they ordered Darjeeling tea, they did not add milk to it! On that very day, I realised that it will never be my thing.
I have however really enjoyed visiting the tea gardens and crossing valley after valley covered with tea gardens on my way to Darjeeling from Siliguri .The view is unbeatable, it looks like a never ending stretch of a carpet as all the tea plantations have been trimmed to the same shape and size. It is really beautiful. And like most of us, I too have posed, in the tea gardens wearing the local costume and a basket, pretending to pluck the tea leaves for a photograph.
-By A Local