Posted by: Prem Piyush | December 30, 2004

Bihar – the write thing! -(5) – Tea Production

Chai – Chai! Garam Chai! The most commonly heard words in north Indian stations used by tea vendors. Next time you may be sipping the Chai produced in Bihar in stations or in home. Chai (tea) is the most common beverage used by Indians. The mostly used variety among different kinds of tea is CTC tea. The reason it is called CTC, comes from the words Crush, Tear and Curl. Crush, Tear, and Curl is a method of processing the tea during production in factory. The tea afer passed through a series of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth" that Cut, Tear, and Curl to give it specific taste we enjoy in morning cups. And the Biharis have started producing tea of this type. Adding to your surprise, this variety of tea is as par the Assam CTC and it’s proved by agencies.
And the place where it is being produced is Kishanganj, which is also my home district. Kishanganj is at the down belt of Darjeeling and it have appropriate climate to produce tea, which needs high rainfall and sloppy land. The lands of Kishanganj have produced several crore kgs of green leaves. This is done by more than 10,000 acres of productive gardens. There is an aim to cultivate it on more than 20,000 acres of land and it will be attained very soon. More than 15,000 people are employed in this industry.
Once you come to these tea gardens, it will make you feel the surroundings of the moist green tea gardens of Assam. Here in Kishanganj there are no hills but plenty of small rivers and highlands make the environment tea friendly. Some gardens are near the main town too. If I drive 10 minute from my home, I will reach the green gardens. The gardens are new, they use negligible quantity of the pesticides and the land of Kishanganj is highly fertile .All these together makes the flavour and taste of this tea unique (Unless you have tasted the varieties of different tea you can’t find the difference).Do the local people take the local tea? Due to high cost of production and high demand outside Bihar the price of the locally produced tea is not less than the Assam CTC tea. So local peole buy Assam tea too. Despite the high competions in tea sector and the dominance of Darjeeling and Assam tea the Bihar tea succeeded in making it’s own place. From overall perspective it compares the well known CTC tea in local market and is being sold outside Bihar too. This tea is being exported too. In market if you see a tea with a brand name Kishanbari tea, be sure it’s from Kishanganj. And you can be sure that Biharis are good entrepreneurs ! Chai! Chai! Han Mere Bihari Bhai!
Get a glimpse of the tea garden in Bihar.

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