This Entrepreneur Couple Is Selling Unadulterated Darjeeling Tea; Now Has Buyers From UK & US

Darjeeling Tea
by Suchismita Pal
by Suchismita Pal754

Darjeeling is home to many lush green tea estates like Makaibari, Gomtee, Chamong, Happy Valley and more. Tea farming in Darjeeling started around 150 years ago when a civil surgeon named Dr Campbell planted tea seeds as an experiment in his garden perched at 7000 feet above sea level. Today, Darjeeling tea is popular all over the world. But did you know that in many cases, the tea procured from the gardens are infused with many flavourings and sometimes preservatives too before being released into the market? These external elements often degrade the quality of the tea. Vishal Parik and his wife Tripti, hailing from Siliguri near Darjeeling realised this and wanted to make a difference.

Darjeeling Tea

Vishal was born and brought up in Siliguri, close to the lush green tea estates of Darjeeling. His family also had tea connoisseurs and the passion passed on to him as well. He and his wife Tripti realised that though Darjeeling tea is exported all over the world, many of them lack authenticity. It was then they came across the idea of providing original unflavored Darjeeling tea globally.

Darjeeling Tea

The couple wanted to offer unadulterated Darjeeling tea manufactured using traditional techniques without the use of machinery. So they inaugurated their e-commerce brand Danta Herbs in 2020. Despite the pandemic, the artisanal tea brand has garnered buyers from all across the globe in a span of a single year.

Making Handcrafted, Unflavoured Chai Popular On A Global Scale

In Vishal’s words, tea farming isn’t just a cultivation process, it’s an art. He and Tripti procure tea from the renowned tea estates of Darjeeling and other parts of northeast India and meticulously process them using age-old techniques, with no artificial flavouring. In this way, they are trying to make handcrafted chai from the tea estates popular on a global scale. Also, the couple does not involve any middlemen in the manufacturing process, which in turn, reduces costs. Vishal and Tripti procure the tea directly from various tea estates in India in Darjeeling, Dooars, Assam and more. They also procure tea from Nepal. Due to the strategic location of Siliguri, they have the advantage of procuring the leaves during the ideal season. Also, they can go directly to the tea estates without much travel costs.

Also Read: Darjeeling’s Tea Estate Now Boasts Of A Taj Hotel With The Most Panoramic Views

The Traditional Manufacturing Process: Classification Of Tea Into White, Green, Black And Oolong

Speaking to Curly Tales, Vishal elucidated the process of tea farming in Darjeeling. He said, “The teas are plucked from the garden throughout the day by the pluckers. By the end of the day, they go for the withering process. The leaves are dried up and around 60% of the moisture is taken out from the leaves. The leaves are then rolled and left in the open air to ferment. This is the oxidation process. After this process, the juices are extracted out from the leaves. The quality of tea is not measured through any machine but by its look, smell and texture. Depending on the type, the teas are classified into white, green, oolong and black. White tea is least fermented and is rich in antioxidants. Black tea has the highest level of fermentation. This is the type of tea that is mostly exported and consumed all across the world.”

“Tea leaves are plucked in different flushes. Flush is basically the time of year when the leaves are in a position to produce a unique characteristic of their own. Right before the rainy season, there is enough sun, enough rain and enough humidity. This is the time of second flushing. The first flush is when the leaves start growing after December. After three months of the resting of bushes, the leaves come out with unique floral notes”, added Vishal. The brand has 100+ varieties of tea out of which 50+ are unflavored.

Their best-selling tea types are is Kashmiri Kahwa, Chamomile Tea, Nilgiris Tea, Single Origin Tea, Butterfly Blue Pea Herbal Tea and Wellness Tea, among others. The brand also offers a plethora of gifting options like Signature Herbs Gifts Boxes and Wooden Tea Chests for tea fanatics.

Also Read: The Glenburn Tea Plantation Estate In Darjeeling Offers A Cosy Stay With Spectacular Views Of The Kanchenjunga

The initiative by Vishal and Tripti is not only preserving sustainable tea farming techniques but is also acting as a steady source of income for local farmers. By taking India’s rich tea heritage abroad, they are definitely making the country proud.

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