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KANGRA VALLEY TEA: A BRIEF HISTORY
“Kangra valley is a mystical land encircled by mystical places: Punjab, Jammu Kashmir, Lahul and Spiti, Chamba, Tibet and Ladakh. It is populated to this day by ancient clans, castes and races, the Rajputs of Rajasthan; the Gorkhas of Nepal; the Chambis, Kashmiris, Punjabis and the nomadic Gaddis, lanoline-infused goat herders who move seasonally with their flocks from mountain to valley in search of fresh pastureland. Such is the richness and variety of Kangra, a charming – and charmed – place!” Writes Frank Miller a tea consultant, freelance F&B writer and photographer.
Kangra is home to the exiled Tibetan leader, Dalai Lama and a large settlement of exiled Tibetans. Although earthquakes destroyed many Kangra tea gardens, it is slowly gaining back its popularity as a tea region. The Kangra valley tea is finding its way into the Indian tea market with its quality and flavour.
KANGRA TEA FLAVOR PROFILE
Kangra tea is very similar to Darjeeling tea, except that the astringents content in the Kangra tea is much lesser. Another notable feature of the region is it is the only region in India that grows Chinese or Indo-Chinese hybrid tea bushes. Kangra tea is cultivated in an all-organic region in Northwestern India, this makes the Kangra tea grassy, mellow and subtly sweet.
THE FAMED KANGRA GREEN TEA
The Kangra green tea is the best in India because of its unique profile. The Kangra green tea often has a citrusy, yet nutty flavour to it with just a little bit of bitterness. The Kangra region was the main source of green tea supply to Central Asia, West Asia, and Russia.