Our current offerings come from Darjeeling and Assam as these two regions in India have the best reputation for high quality tea.
Origins of Tea
According to legend, tea was first brewed in 2737 BC, while China’s Emperor Shennong was on the march with his army. While resting, the Emperor’s servant boiled water for him to drink. A dead leaf from a wild tea bush happened to fall into the boiling water and was unknowingly presented to the Emperor. He drank it and found it to be very refreshing, thus tea came into being.
Brief History of Tea in India
Tea plants are native to India. Traditionally the dried leaves were used in cooking to augment food dishes with their medicinal properties. Historically, only a small percentage of Indians actually brewed tea to drink it. In the 1820’s, the British East India Company recognized the potential for tea production in India. They signed a treaty with the local Indian king to take over production in the Assam region.
In the 1830’s Chinese seedlings were smuggled out of China by the British and brought to India in an attempt to overthrow China’s monopoly on tea.
After many years of cultivating the Chinese tea plants in the Assam valley, and later in the mountains of Darjeeling, large scale tea production began to take hold and boom. India began producing tea equal to, if not better than Chinese tea. From then on Indian tea, not Chinese tea, became the “norm” in Great Britain and its colonies. It was the dominate hot drink until the 1970’s when instant coffee rose in popularity.