A journey into Indias tea territory


Matt Gross takes us to the tea gardens of Darjeeling that produce tea that tastes not too different from heaven.

The Himalayas rose almost out of nowhere. One minute the Maruti Suzuki hatchback was cruising the humid plains of West Bengal, palm trees and clouds obscuring the hills to come; the next it was navigating a road that squiggled up through forests of cypress and bamboo. The taxi wheezed with the strain of the slopes.
For an hour or more, as we climbed ever higher, all I saw was jungle with hardly a village to break the anxious monotony. Finally, around 1,200 metres, or 4,000 feet, the foliage opened just enough to allow a more expansive view. From the edge of the road, the hills flowed up and down and back up, covered with low, flat-topped bushes. Tiny dots marched among the bushes and along the dirt tracks that zigzagged up the hillsides - workers plucking leaves from Camellia sinensis, the tea bushes of Darjeeling.

Read the full article

A journey into Indias tea territory

"Soils constitute the foundation of vegetation and agriculture. Forests need it to grow. We need it for food, feed, fiber, fuel and much more."

José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General - International Year of Soils 2015: Healthy soils for a healthy life