Nestled in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, Kumaon lies 200 miles west of Nepal’s border and is one of the most remote regions in all of India. When the British introduced tea to India they were enticed by the acidic and well drained soils of Kumaon. The plant thrived on the mountainside slopes, but the region’s isolation made it difficult for the British to export the tea at their ports. Re-focusing their efforts in Darjeeling and Assam, the Kumaon plots were abandoned. In the 1920s, a group of six families moved to Kumaon from Sri Lanka to revitalize the gardens. One of these families, the Birkbecks, remains today in Kumaon and is bringing recognition back to this productive Indian tea growing area.
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