Himalayan Tea

WTN140707_ART_HimalayanCoopLogoAdvertisements for Himalayan tea are becoming more common. A Google search for “Himalayan tea” yielded 29,000 results. The same search for “Darjeeling tea” yielded 622,000 results. In the US major tea brands including Teavana and Stash Tea Company market Himalayan Tea from Nepal as does The Tea Spot and others.

The visibility of Nepal tea is due in large part to the efforts of The Himalayan Orthodox Tea Producers Co-operative, founded in 2003. HIMCOOP is an association of 14 tea estates in Nepal that pool marketing efforts under the direction of John Taylor in Kathmandu, Nepal. Participating companies are bound by a code of conduct that insures standard operating procedures, integrity of product and transparency in transacting business.

“The quality of Nepal teas has improved tremendously in the last five or six years and we strongly believe it will improve further and apart from the regular orthodox,” Taylor told World Tea News. “Nepal already has a wider range of teas to offer in the specialty segment. This has been evident in the teas Nepal has been producing in the last couple of years and from the enquiries we have had for Nepal teas,” he said.

“We are definitely not engaged in diluting and counterfeiting Darjeeling. On the contrary, we have been and are trying to establish our own identity – our own brand. The buyer base for Nepal teas has increased and we expect it to increase further,” he said. “Moreover, more estates/factories are under organic conversion and we believe this will help us further to establish an identity and create a Nepal Brand.”

Darjeeling has four harvests annually. First flush is from mid-February through April. A second flush begins in mid-May through June. Tea harvested during the rainy summer months is called the monsoon harvest and late in the fall an autumn harvest completes the growing season. The plants lie dormant until spring.