It Will Change How You See Tea, Forever!
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Tea production in India is usually correlated to Darjeeling, which produces a majority of tea for India and is known over the world for distinct flavour. However, other parts of India are also conducive to excellent tea growth and over the last few years, other tea hubs have sprouted up. One such place is Dharamshala, where tea tasting and production is now a favoured activity.

tea tasting in Dharamshala

Marvel at the beautiful expanse of tea garden in Dharamshala

Not only does it blends beautifully with the scenic environment, but the production of tea in Dharamshala is slowly gaining popularity amongst the tea sommeliers and real connoisseurs of high quality, fine tea.

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Dharamshala, known for its picturesque landscapes, serene environs and the Dalai Lama, is a true gem of the Kangra Valley. Among the key places to visit in Dharamshala are Namgyal Monastery, H.H. Dalai Lama’s Main Temple, Temple Road and others. While there are plenty of things to do in Dharamshala, tea tasting in this region is slowly but surely gaining popularity.

tea tasting in Dharamshala - kangra valley

Take a walk in the lush green tea gardens of Kangra Valley

As more organised tea estates develop fine quality teas, experiment with flavours and variations of the Kangra valley teas, estates like Anandini Himalaya Tea, the Dharamshala Tea Company, among others, have developed wonderful tea tasting workshops and walks around the estates.  Visitors can not only taste a varieties of teas, but get educated on the process from the plantation to the cup. A truly marvelous way to spend a few afternoons.

Apart from being a spiritual nerve centre, Dharamshala is also known for the Kangra herb medicines, ayurvedic herbal treatments for various ailments that plague the modern sedentary lives. Tea, an excellent detoxifier, draws the medicinal benefits of the soil in Kangra region, and infuses the values of herbs into the tea varieties.

tea tasting in Dharamshala - morning tea

Morning tea made out of fresh tea leaves just makes your day, isn’t it?

While the debate goes on between Darjeeling and Dharamshala for who has the best tea in India, the lesser known Himalayan variety certainly has its own charm and flavour. Kangra Tea has both black and green varieties of tea, and are more delicate and unique than its distant North Eastern cousin, the Darjeeling Tea. Not yet as commercialised, the true lovers of fine quality tea leaves will surely appreciate the delicate aroma of the Kangra tea.

Must Watch Video: Tea-Tasting In India

Video: Tea-Tasting In India

The tea estates of Kangra, one of the smallest tea producing region in India, are mostly passed down generations. Family owned tea estates like the Mann Tea Estate owned by the Dharamshala Tea Company or the Anandini Himalayan Tea Estate, owned by the heirs of the world renowned tea expert Mr. A.K. Singh, take forward the legacy of their ancestors, and do so with a lot of love and pride. These families have a genuine affinity towards their Kangra tea, and bring forth a lot of their love in the way they produce and market tea from the region. The Dharamshala Tea Company uses the local Kangra art in their packaging, to promote the indigenous art from the valley.

tea tasting in Dharamshala - tea

Green tea is considered as one of the best anti-aging beverage in the world

Similarly, Anandini Himalaya Tea has experimented with several infusions and flavours, some local from the Kangra region, to diversify their tea portfolio and introduce the lesser known Kangra tea to more people. A walk around the tea estate familiarises you to the process of how tea is picked, what are the leaves that need to be picked, and how the leaves are then processed to create the delicious teas we in India so love with our morning newspaper! A workshop on what foods go well with which kinds of tea further elevates your already heightened awareness about tea, and the entire experience becomes truly one to remember.

tea tasting in Dharamshala- tea variety

Sample various variety of tea in Dharamshala

The experience of tea tasting is Dharamshala is often not a solitary activity, but is combined with a wholesome introduction to Himalayan simple living. Start the day with a yoga session in the fresh mountain air along Dharamshala’s scenic tea estates. Once invigorated from breathing in the fresh air urban dwellers so miss out on, calm your nerves and bless your sensory organs with a delightful tea tasting session. This can be followed by piping hot lunch and relaxation, or a tour of the factory, where you can observe how tea leaves are processed and packaged for commercial use.

north east india tourism guide -tea garden

Unravel and unwind in fresh breeze in wide expanse of tea gardens

As the sun sets, one can enjoy an evening stroll along the verdant greens of the estate, and opt to experience a cosy homestay. The approaching night can be spent around a welcoming campfire, as the locals treat you to the most delicious piping hot local food. Expect spicy tanginess in the food, made with the locally produce greens, herbs and spices, distinctive of the region. The chill in the air, with a view of the towering Himalayan ranges, and hot Kangra tea for company, surely makes for an evening well spent!

darjeeling tea- darjeeling tour package - black tea

The aroma of fresh black tea leaves just stands out

While we all love our beloved garam chai from Darjeeling, it is time we broaden our tea horizon and give Kangra tea an opportunity to grow and shine in its pristine glory. A tea tasting session in Dharamshala should surely be on your bucket list – it will change the way you see tea forever!

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Neha loves to explore the stories behind places and people. She believes travel is the best form of education, and loses no opportunity to visit a new place. Neha writes to express stories that touch her heart or entice her mind. She’s a foodie and nothing gives her more happiness than delicious local food! She has a deep love for poetry and music, and swears by the artistic genius of Mirza Ghalib and R.D.Burman.

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