Archive for second flush

Castleton second flush 2018

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 18, 2018 by xi'an

After receiving an email from the tea dealers Nathmulls in the town of Darjeeling for an offer of the latest summer harvest of F.T.G.F.O.P. Castleton tea, I made a join order of two kilos for my te-addicted colleagues in the maths department in Dauphine, delivery that I found in my office this morning. Truly terrific tea, at about a fifth of the price asked by the major tea chain in Paris!

Darjeeling shortage

Posted in Mountains, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on January 31, 2018 by xi'an

When looking for Darjeeling tea in the recent days, I found out that the summer (or second flush) harvest has been very limited due to a 104 day strike in the region linked with the call for the creation of a Gorkhaland state and the separation from West Bengal. I remember discussing the issue last year in Darjeeling, with guides and taxi drivers, who were calling for the recognition of their cultural specificities, including the use of Nepali in local schools rather than Bengali. What amazes me a lot in this strike is the engagement of the tea garden workers, who have certainly few alternatives if any in terms of income sources. Unless I misread the situation and they were barred from attending the gardens… (Of lesser concern is the rise of the tea prices by a factor of ten for the highest quality leaves.) Hopefully, the tea gardens will recover from being left to grow wild for such a long while. And from workers leaving the region to find work elsewhere.