The Book of TeaMay 20, 2020
Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World’s Greatest Tea (Paperback)May 20, 2020
Darjeeling: The Colorful History and Precarious Fate of the World’s Greatest Tea (Hardcover)
Darjeeling by travel writer Jeff Koehler is a lush, expansive look at the past, present, and future of one of the most unique tea-growing regions in the world, and the increasingly rare tea that it produces. If you’re a Darjeeling drinker, this is a fascinating must-read.
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From Bloomsbury’s website:
This is the story of how Darjeeling tea began, was key to the largest tea industry on the globe under Imperial British rule, and came to produce the highest-quality tea leaves anywhere in the world. It is a story rich in history, intrigue and empire, full of adventurers and unlikely successes in culture, mythology and religions, ecology and terroir, all set with a backdrop of the looming Himalayas and drenching monsoons. The story is ripe with the imprint of the Raj as well as the contemporary clout of “voodoo farmers” getting world record prices for their fine teas–and all of it beginning with one of the most audacious acts of corporate smuggling in history.
But it is also the story of how the industry spiraled into decline by the end of the twentieth century, and how this edenic spot in the high Himalayas seethes with union unrest and a violent independence struggle. It is also a front-line fight against the devastating effects of climate change and decades of harming farming practices, a fight that is being fought in some tea gardens–and, astonishingly, won–using radical methods.
Jeff Koehler has written a fascinating chronicle of India and its most sought-after tea. Blending history, politics, and reportage together, along with a collection of recipes that tea-drinkers will love, Darjeeling is an indispensable volume for fans of micro-history and tea fanatics.
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