The Darjeeling Tea Book
Author: Gillian Wright
In this superbly illustrated book, Gillian Wright tells the story of Darjeeling, the beautiful hill station in the Eastern Himalayas. She traces the history of its world-famous tea from its origins in China to the present day. The British appetite for tea convinced the merchants of the Raj that they should bring tea growing to India. The author recounts the adventures of the nineteenth-century botanists who succeeded in bringing the closely guarded secrets of tea manufacture from China to India; of the founders of Darjeeling and of the pioneers— British, German and Indian— who took up tea plantation on the then remote mountainsides. Wright tracks the changes that accompanied the transition from British to Indian ownership after Independence, and describes the gardens of today through the seasons, places of astounding biodiversity, where leopards still roam and uncounted smaller creatures and unnumbered plant species thrive. Her encounters with planters and workers, especially the women, without whom the industry could not exist, illuminate their lives, hopes and aspirations. This is a fascinating portrait of Darjeeling and its teas, widely acknowledged as the finest in the world.