Union Budget 2021 incentive to tea workers in Assam, West Bengal: What’s so special about tea in these states?

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Updated: Feb 09, 2021 5:26 PM

The art of plucking the tea leaves in these areas is mostly mastered by women workers, and tea export is important for India.

Here’s what is special about the tea which comes from Assam and West Bengal! (Image: Tea Board of India)

Tea gardens in Assam, West Bengal: During her Union Budget 2021 speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the Centre would devise a scheme for the welfare of the tea workers, especially women and children, in Assam and West Bengal. She also announced an outlay of Rs 1,000 crore for this. Tea industry in Assam and West Bengal is very robust, and the tea produced in both the states is unique and famous around the world for the refreshing taste. According to the Union Government’s Tea Board of India, there are eight varieties of tea in India, of which three are native to Assam and West Bengal, with each having its own specialty.

The art of plucking the tea leaves in these areas is mostly mastered by women workers, and tea export is important for India, which is known worldwide as the home to several varieties of distinguishable tea.

Here’s what is special about the tea which comes from Assam and West Bengal!

Assam Tea

The tea variety coming from Assam has been called the Assam Tea by the Tea Board. Plantations for this variety of tea are done at an altitude raging between 45 metres and 60 metres above the sea level and the area receives an annual rainfall of 250 to 380 centimetres. Assam produces both CTC as well as Orthodox varieties of tea, with the Assam Orthodox Tea being a registered Geographical Indication or GI. Assam Tea’s attributes include a rich and deep amber colour and it is known for its full-bodied nature, or the tea’s brilliant combination of colour and strength. Brisk, malty and strong, it is among the best teas to wake up to.

Darjeeling Tea

Grown at an altitude between 600 to 2,000 metres having an average annual rainfall of 309 centimetres, Darjeeling Tea cannot be grown or manufactured elsewhere in the world. The tea is plucked by female workers early in the morning amid the rising mist, because the tea leaves are fresh and covered with dew at this time. Due to its unique flavour and quality, the tea is renowned worldwide among tea lovers. The Darjeeling Tea has been protected and preserved as a cultural heritage of India with the help of GI tag on a worldwide basis. In order to enjoy the Darjeeling Tea at its best, it should be consumed without sugar and milk.

Upon being brewed, the Darjeeling Tea results in pale lemon to rich amber colour, and its brew has varying degrees of depth, brightness and body. The tea is brisk, sweet, delicate and smooth, and it is also good for relaxing and unwinding the drinker.

Dooars-Terai Tea

Located to the south of Darjeeling, the tea grown in the Dooars and Terai regions of West Bengal is planted at an altitude ranging between 90 metres to 1,750 metres, in an average annual rainfall of 350 centimetres. While the initial plantation of this tea had been carried out by British planters, Indian entrepreneurs have over the years made significant contributions to the growth of this tea. The tea grown in this region is bright and smooth, and results in a full-bodied liquor only a little bit lighter than the Assam Tea.

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