What do you think of when the word “tea”comes to you. Perhaps, Darjeeling ? Assam ? On this International Tea Day, we will introduce you to the lesser known but the wonderful flavoured tea of India.
Kangra is one of the most amazing teas, you can ever have. Already it has got its name as the geographical indicator tag. Known for its distinctive taste, aroma, light in liquor color content , Kangra tea is derived from the leaves, buds and tender stems of plants. It yields a distinctive brew that is gold in color with a sweet undertone flavor, giving a mesmerizing and refreshing feel with every sip. Kangra tea is grown in Kangra valley, consisting of Kangra district, parts of Chamba and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh.
The mention of quality of Kagra tea in the Gazetter of Kangra District (1882-82) is like this : “The tea now made is probably superior to that produced in any other part of India. The demand for it has steadily inceasing and much is now bought up by natives for export via Peshawar to Kaubl and Central Asia.”
The color and flavor of Kangra tea is unique and distinctive which is called Kangra, flavor. The unique color and flavor of Kangra tea, is due to unique climatic conditions prevailing in snow-clad Dhauladhar ranges of Himalayas.
‘Kangra Tea’ has, hence been registered as a geographical indicator since 2005 under the Himachal Pradesh Patent Information Centre, Shimla.
In 1886 and 1895, the tea received gold and silver medals at International conventions held in London and Amsterdam.
Kangra tea belongs to species of tea Camellia sinensis, variety sinensis , having multistemmed frame, narrow leaves and planted from seed stock is raised in Kangra valley.
Kangra tea leaves have up to 13% catechins that are saved with hight efficiency whole leaf-orthodox manufacture. These polyphenols are proven antioxidants, hypotensive, anti-caricinogenic, diuretic, antidentalcariatic and antimicrobial. It also has 3% caffeine and aino acids like the anine, glutamnine and tryptophan-the important vitalizers.
Tea industry of Himachal is about 150 years old. The first commercial tea plantation was established as “ Hailey Nagar Tea Estate “ at Holta near Palampur in 1852 at an elevation of 1291 m above sea level.
Kangra teas is grown in Kangra valley, consisting of Kangra district, parts of Chamba and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh.
Tea tourism is slowly beginning to gain ground in and around Kangra. Several of the tea estates and tea factories in Palampur and Dharamsala offer factory tours as well as home stays for those interested in learning more about the tea. The Dharmsala Tea Company offers guided tours of its factory and tea gardens, starting from its factory in Mann Tea Estate. Similarly, the Palampur Cooperative Tea Factory offers factory tours and home stays.