One of the nicest things to do while in Darjeeling is to pull over at one of the tiny tea shacks that dot the hillside and wrap your chill hands around a hot cup of tea as you survey the spectacular rolling hills with its beautiful tea gardens.
Connoisseurs consider Darjeeling Tea to be one of the finest in the world especially in terms of aroma and delicacy of taste. Once drunk by the tribals of the hills, tea is today India’s most popular beverage and is fast catching on as a popular refresher the world over. If you are fond of your morning ’cuppa chah’, you would love a tour of the Happy Valley tea garden.
Of the tea gardens in the region, the 435 acre Tea Estate is the most accessible to the tourist from Darjeeling town and is a part of most sightseeing tours. A tour of the garden promises to be highly instructive as you will get to see the actual process of Tea manufacturing from tea picking to manufacturing.
The Happy Valley Tea Estate claims to use the orthodox method of tea production wherein fresh handpicked leaves are dried by fans on withering troughs, rolled and pressed to trap the flavor, left to ferment and lastly re-dried and graded in terms of quality from the best quality unbroken to tea dust.
Plans are underway to open a museum shortly to tourists, showcasing century old artifacts and mementoes.