The First Flush

I like to drink tea, either from my neighborhood tea shop or from what I brew at home, a nice cup of Darjeeling. “Darjeeling Tea” means more than you might think.

According to the Tea Board Of India – “Darjeeling Tea” means: tea which has been cultivated, grown, produced, manufactured and processed in tea gardens (current schedule whereof is attached hereto) in the hilly areas of Sadar Sub-Division, only hilly areas of Kalimpong Sub-Division comprising of Samabeong Tea Estate, Ambiok Tea Estate, Mission Hill Tea Estate and Kumai Tea Estate and Kurseong Sub-Division excluding the areas in jurisdiction list 20,21,23,24,29,31 and 33 comprising Siliguri Sub-Division of New Chumta Tea Estate, Simulbari and Marionbari Tea Estate of Kurseong Police Station in Kurseong Sub-Division of the District of Darjeeling in the State of West Bengal, India. Tea which has been processed and manufactured in a factory located in the aforesaid area, which, when brewed, has a distinctive, naturally occurring aroma and taste with light tea liquour and the infused leaf of which has a distinctive fragrance.

All that is according to the friendly dictates of the Tea Board of India, which is hell-bent on making this insanely detailed litany of geographical peculiarities acquire the same cachet as, well, champagne. As the Tea Board is fond of saying, “Darjeeling Tea cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. Just as Champagne is indigenous to the Champagne district of France, so is Darjeeling Tea to Darjeeling.”

Hmm. Perhaps.