India Straight from London’s Food Market

Tea2you Darjeeling tea stall in Borough Market in London

Tea2you Darjeeling tea stall in Borough Market in London

Luckily to get premium Indian tea we don’t need to travel as far. During the Easter break I found myself exploring one of the biggest cities in the world which cultivates tea drinking traditions for centuries.

Borough market is probably the most well known food market in London attracting locals and curious tourists (now including me too!). Vibrant and colorful, it offers everything from fresh Italian pasta to delicious duck sandwiches to Croatian specialties and, well, premium tea.

I stopped by the Darjeeling tea stall for a quick conversation. Ratan Mondal, the owner of Tea2you, asked just two questions to help me choose:

“Do you drink tea with milk or without?”

“Without”, I said.

“Do you prefer strong tea or rather soft?” his second question came.

“I like softer taste”, I replied.

And a couple of moments later I slipped a pack of first flush Darjeeling tea into my purse bought for 4.99£. Ratan instructed me not to use any tea strainers for this tea and to pour a splash of cold water on top when making it. Indeed, a very light taste of pure black tea.

In a nutshell:

  • Darjeeling was first introduced in 1841 by Dr. Campbell, a civil surgeon who brought tea seeds from Kumaon hill of North India and planted near his residence in Beechwood, Darjeeling.
  • Real Darjeeling tea is grown in North-East of India at 6,000 feet above sea level in the Himalayan foothills.
  • Only human eyes can choose the very best tea leaves. Hence, it is normally hand-picked.
  • The European Commission has registered Darjeeling tea as a Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) product – the first commodity from India to set such a tag. This implies that the brew produced only in Darjeeling can be sold as Darjeeling Tea in the EU countries.

Find out more about Borough market and read a short story of how Ratan Mondal came into the tea selling business.

Ratan Mondal explaining how to prepare Darjeeling tea

Ratan Mondal explaining how to prepare Darjeeling tea

My shopping - premium black tea from Darjeeling

My shopping – premium black tea from Darjeeling

One response to “India Straight from London’s Food Market

  1. Pingback: 2014 in review: Top 5 posts | UP FOR A CUP·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s