India

Nepal

The first sites of tea production in Nepal date from the eighth century AD. The legend attributes them to a Tibetan King who thanked the population of Nepal for « offering » him the hand of a beautiful Nepalese, who became his wife (or one among many). In reality, however, the story is closer to the following: in 1863 the Colonel Gaj Raj Singh Thapa planted the first tea tree seed in the the Ilam garden (1060 meters in altitude). Tea production in Nepal remained stagnant in Nepal for a long time but in the last 20 years production has gained in quality and quantity. The main reason for this improvement is the influx of tea planters from Darjeeling (close by) and the Nepalese government which has decided to develop tea culture. The first organic certified teas were produced at the end of the twentieth century in the Guransee garden. Guransee is the word for Rhododendron, the National flower of Nepal. George Cannon was one of the first to import organic tea from this garden.
Similar to Darjeeling, there exist a certain number of gardens:
>> Kanyam (in the Ilam district) - located at about 2000 meters in altitude. This garden, in the foothills of Kanchenjunga was created by the King Birenda, in love with Nepal and everything that the country could offer.
>> Maloom, Junchiyabari, Mist Valley, Kanchenjunga, Shangrila…
The quality of teas from Nepal has improved considerably in the last five years and can, in certain cases be compared to teas from Darjeeling. Nepal also produces green white teas or oolong teas of a superior quality. Organic tea production is becoming more and more important.

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