Organic Kangra tea a hit in Europe

February 20th, 2008 - 5:21 pm ICT by admin  

Shimla, Feb 20(IANS) A new way of producing organic tea in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra valley has appealed to the taste of Europeans, claims a tea planter. “I produced 1,000 kg of new organic tea in my tea gardens in Palampur. It cost me about Rs.500 to produce a single kg of tea. Among other processes, the tea leaves are prepared by hand and dried in the sun,” said Pavi Sareen, a tea planter from Palampur about 250 km from here.

“I was able to get Rs.1,250 per kg in the European market which is very encouraging indeed. Now I have passed on this innovative technique of making tea leaves to fifteen other fellow tea planters in the region,” said Sareen Wednesday.

The new Kangra organic tea variety could infuse new life into the traditional Kangra tea, which has been struggling to survive in recent years.

Traditional Kangra tea is only able to fetch about Rs.100 per kg in the Indian market as it has to compete with other cheap varieties from India and other Asian countries.

The British planted the first tea gardens in and around the scenic town of Palampur in the Kangra valley in 1882.

The production here is a small fraction of the country’s output and has dropped further in recent years.

Known for its unique flavour rather than colour, it was traditionally in high demand in Afghanisthan but has lost that market.

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