Darjeeling in India is world-renowned for its tea variants. With the West becoming increasingly health conscious, the tea growers in Darjeeling have commenced growing non-traditional varieties of tea.
The latest fascination is organic tea that is hugely popular among western consumers.
Many tea producers in Darjeeling are now producing and marketing the organic variety of tea. Though the concept is not new to the region, tea experts claim that people are returning to the organic and healthy varieties of tea as is the case with other food items these days.
Organic variety of tea is cultivated using natural products for manure and pest control.
"The benefits of this tea are that if you consume this tea, chemicals do not go into your body. We use only all natural things i.e. as a fertilizer we use cow dung that is decomposed and as a spray we use all natural things which remain in the tea and if you take the tea, it is beneficial to your health," said S. Subba, Manager, Sincell Tea Estate.
Chemical fertilizers have been replaced by cow dung as manure while crushed Neem leaves are used for pest control. Even the tea bushes are interspersed with Neem trees to naturally increase the pest control effect.
"Tea has an image of being a very healthy product, but the downside is how many pesticides are being used by the plantations to get this high variety. People are reassured when they see the organic samples," said Vaterie Peyre, a buyer of the organic tea from Switzerland.
The organic tea has already won the attention of international clients despite being comparatively expensive than the normal varieties of tea.
Besides China, Sri Lanka and Kenya are the other major exporters in the global organic tea market.
Exporters hope that very soon the organic tea will be popular in the country of its origin also as people realise its benefits.
Organic Green Darjeeling tea is a rich produce of the Seeyok farms on the India-Nepal border.
Certified as organic by the internationally recognized institutions such as IMO of Switzerland, the tealeaves of these farms impart a unique enriching flavour that is widely sought after around the world.
This tea is cultivated using nature's solutions for pest control and environmental protection. Tea is planted and harvested according to lunar cycles to extract the healthiest crop with the most stimulating flavor.