Darjeeling

Twinings Transparency May Become Industry Norm

Abuse of workers at origin leaves a bad taste for tea drinkers that Twinings intends to eliminate. Last week Twinings, a legendary tea supplier dating to 1706, published a list and map of every Indian plantation supplying its tea blends. “Transparency is part of the journey to improving the lives of tea communities we...

Flat Prices Provoke Critics of India’s Tea Auctions

Darjeeling cut-tea-curl (CTC) is again filling auction warehouses and last week a green tea set an all-time high price at the Coonoor auction in South India, but all is not well with India’s auctions. India’s largest tea producers are chafing under a rule that 50 percent of the nation’s manufactured tea must be publicly...

Festival Builds Momentum for Nepal Tea Trade

KATHMANDU, Nepal Nepal signed several national initiatives last week that will further open the landlocked nation to trade. These include a new rail line linking Kathmandu to India, opening inland waterways essential to moving bulk products, and normalizing cross-border commerce. The third Nepal International Tea Festival concluded Sunday with a boost in momentum for...

Darjeeling First Flush Experiencing Jittery Start

DARJEELING, West Bengal The arrival of West Bengal’s chief minister for a two-day business development summit signals a strong desire to expand opportunities locally. But Minister Mamata Banerjee’s arrival comes amid heightened anxiety in the Darjeeling Hills as tea workers complain about conditions there. The first flush harvest, critical to the financial health of...

Darjeeling: A Fortunate Reversal

Darjeeling growers are anticipating the most lucrative first flush in decades. Tea estates average 35 percent of their annual gross and some earn nearly 70 percent of their revenue during the first flush. This year looks like it will be one of the best harvests in years. Volumes are small but rates per kilo...

Thanks to Smallholders, India Tea Exports Rebound to Record Levels

Outstanding yields in South India offset declines in Darjeeling as tea production reached a record 1,279 million kilograms in 2017, up about 1 percent from 1,267 million kilograms harvested in 2016. Exports topped 240.7 million kilograms during calendar 2017, a level not seen since 1981, according to the Tea Board of India. Exports were...

Tea Sensory Workshop in Darjeeling

Seeking to educate and empower the next generation of tea professionals, Gorkha growers are organizing a certified tea sommelier and tea sensory training workshop in Darjeeling. The week-long training sessions, timed to the first-flush harvest, begins Sunday, Apr. 29 through Saturday May 5, 2018 at Gomtee Tea Garden and Margarets Hope Tea Garden in...

Quality Winter Tea Emerges After Darjeeling Crisis

DARJEELING, West Bengal Makaibari tea estate reported the first signs that the teas of this famed region benefited from last summer’s unprecedented three-month rest. The first 10 kilos of organic and sustainably produced teas from 50 kilos of leaves plucked in late December revealed a “very good” tea according to Rudra Chatterjee, director at...

Darjeeling Rebounds: What’s Next

DARJEELING, West Bengal Darjeeling, at 175 years of age, once again demonstrated its resilience this year. Yield plummeted in the months after several hundred thousand workers took a 104-day break beginning in mid-June. The walkout, never officially declared a strike, drained the profitability from India’s most lucrative producing region. Street violence following the uprising...

2017 Darjeeling Protests: A Timeline

Darjeeling is a district in the foothills of India’s Himalayan mountains in the state of West Bengal. The region is famous for producing that nation’s most valued tea, so when tea workers decided to walk off the job earlier this year and bring tea production to a halt, the tea industry watched with anxiety....