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Happy Valley Tea Estate, Darjeeling, India

As a chef and the child of an Englishman, I am fascinated by tea. I drink several cups a day of ‘proper’ tea; black tea with milk and sugar. Darjeeling is of course famous the world over for tea production. The soil, altitude and climate are perfect for growing tea. So I booked a taxi and set off to visit Happy Valley Tea Estate on the south side of the mountain.

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The entrance to the Happy Valley Tea Plantation processing plant.

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Again I was told not to photograph so apologies for the poor quality, I took this on the sly.  😉 This chalk board keeps track of the daily yields according to which group collected them; contract workers (all female), male workers and day workers.

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Tea leaves are sorted and dried in these long bins.

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Several varieties are available to sample at the end of the tour. This charming lady is a tea picker and occasional hostess for tour groups.

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The small store where we tourists shelled out the bucks for some delicious tea.

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Shots of the plantation as well as some workers and the farm dog. (As far as I could tell he guarded the out house).

This is a video I shot out in the plantation. During the guided tour we learned a lot about which leaves are harvested and why. I wanted to give you all a little tour of the plantation and recite what I could remember from the lessons in tea making I had just learned. Obviously I am still learning about how to shoot and narrate a video for the web!

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