A cup of piping hot tea is the perfect start to my day. For those precious 15 minutes, nothing but my tea and my thoughts exist.
I am not much of a chai person, but morning tea has secured its position in my daily routine.
And Kangra tea from the Himalayas has become my new ‘go-to’ drink in the mornings.
Rich in antioxidants and known to boost metabolism, this tea will keep you company in sickness and in health. If digestive issues, cough, cold or inflammation are your sworn enemies, then the Rhododendron Kangra tea will be by your side in the battlefield.
Kandvari, an organisation based in the pristine Dhauladhar ranges makes this all-natural variety of Kangra tea from Rhododendron flowers, and that is just the cuppa you need to up your energy.
Kangra tea secured a ‘geographical indication’ status in 2005 and so, nowhere else in India can the variety be produced. You can purchase the aromatic tea only from certified vendors located in the Himalayan valley.
Kandvari is one such vendor.
Sumant Bhushan, a law graduate, founded the organisation so people all over India could enjoy the tastes of the Dhauladhar ranges.
Their all-natural, organic products are a way of empowering the rural people, spreading the culinary culture of Kangra and also providing you with preservative-free products.
“A sip of Himalayan Goodness!” is how they describe their Rhododendron Kangra tea. And they are right indeed.
Rhododendron is the state tree of Sikkim and Uttarakhand. It is also widespread in Nepal, Southwest China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The colourful flowers of the tree are a popular choice for the Kangra tea variety. The history of this Himachali variety has its shares of ups and downs- from being labelled as the tea “probably superior to that produced in any other part of India” to fading from the public demand.
Kangra, a popular tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh, was handpicked (pun intended) as a tea plantation site in the mid-1800s.
Dr William Jamesons, the Superintendent of the Botanical Tea Garden, conducted a feasibility survey in 1849 and found the Kangra valley to be a suitable location to begin tea plantations.
He brought hybrid tea shrubs from China and began commercial farming of tea in 1852.
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(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)