Darjeeling: Climate change, recession in global markets, competition from tea varieties from Nepal, and the mismatch between production costs and its price have put the tea industry in Darjeeling at risk, an IndiaSpend ground report from the tea gardens has found.

Known worldwide as the ‘champagne‘ of Indian teas, Darjeeling tea stands its own against teas from the Nilgiri hills in South India and from Assam. Its unique flavour, believed to be induced by the right balance of sunshine, rainfall, mist and soil acidity in the Himalayas, and plucked by hand, has won Darjeeling tea “the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers worldwide for more than a century”, says the Tea Board of India on its website. “Darjeeling Tea that is worthy of its name cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world.”

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