This time last year: The many outfits of Mr. Rajah Banerjee, managing director of the Makaibari Tea Estate. Darjeeling, India. May 2013.
This time last year: I made my own tea. Top: leaves after the overnight wilt (separated in two piles, but same leaves). Note the handwritten label to identify my batch. Bottom: hand-rolling in the Makaibari factory. May 2013.
This time last year: Women plucking tea in the fields of Makaibari Estate, May 2013
This time last year (May 2013) I was in India. First Makaibari Estate, then a few days in Darjeeling town proper.
This is the Mahakal Temple on Observatory Hill in Darjeeling.
This comparison shows the difference in how tea bushes are grown and plucked depending on desired end product.
Left: “two leaves and a bud” make up the majority of good quality loose leaf teas from all origins. The bud and leaves are of similar size. Younger, smaller leaves will keep a greater range of flavor and aroma when processed.
Right: Leaves below the bud are allowed to grow larger so as to yield a larger quantity for CTC (crush, tear, curl) and “dust” grades of tea for teabags. Larger, older leaves, loose the fine flavors and aromas yet provide that deep, dark, black of black tea that is so often desired.
Images from my visit to Highfield Tea Estate, in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu, India. May 2013.
All of the tea I’ve consumed in the past month.
White, green, oolong, black, puerh.
China, Japan, Korea, India, Ceylon.
For all of your gas holding needs. Found at the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets, New Delhi. India, May 2013