As you drive along sprawling tea gardens, here are some interesting snippets you can share with your children…
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Hindi Chai comes from the Chinese (Cantonese) word ch’a because Tea originated in China.
- Globally, Tea is the second most common drink after Water!
- There are six varieties of Tea – black, oolong, green, yellow, white and pu-erh. All come from the same bush.
- India is the world’s second largest producer of tea (China is the largest).
- India’s obsession with tea, a colonial hangover, was frowned upon by many initially. Gandhi once wrote that tea drinking was unhealthy as it contained tannin.
- Two hundred years ago, Indian people were not drinking tea. Tea was not known about except in the remote areas of the north-east. (To read more about how Tea came to India and became a nationally popular beverage, click here)
- Tea is one of the most labour-intensive crops to cultivate as plucking of tea leaves cannot be done, except by hand.
- Plucking is always done by women and there is a specific way to pluck the leaf – two leaves and a terminal bud with a clean pluck.
- Tea is always grown on hill slopes.
- Darjeeling is India’s most expensive variety of tea. It sells for over Rs. 500 per kg. Almost all of it is exported out of India.
- Most of the tea that makes it to the Indian market from the gardens is called CTC – which stands for Cut Tear Curl.
- Today, India is the world’s largest consumer of tea.
A Little Something for the Parent
Tea has a rich and fascinating History. From being clandestinely smuggled out of China to wars waged to pay for its imports, the story of Tea is quite an incredible one.
As a tea-drinker and a history-buff, the story had me hooked. Should you wish to read more, here are two books I would recommend