Nepal tea has a similar taste and colour to that of Darjeeling . This is in no small part due to the fact that the climate and geography of the area the tea is grown in is similar to that of Darjeeling Tea. However, that’s where the similarities end. For many, the Nepal black tea is preferred to Darjeeling, but due to supply not keeping up with demand it is a lesser known tea growing region.
The history of Nepali tea dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century. The British rule in India allowed the Darjeeling tea trade to thrive whereas in Nepal who had managed to retain its independence, the tea industry couldn’t support even the domestic demand for tea. In 1966 this all changed when the Nepal Tea Development Corporation was set up to help promote Nepali tea.
Since then Nepal tea has seen huge growth, not anywhere near the size of Indian and Chinese production levels but enough to sustain the industry. The Nepal tea garden produces some of the finest tea in the world.
There are two different processes for tea in Nepal, Orthodox and Crush, tear, curl (CTC). With orthodox tea, the tea leaves are processed by hand. It is mostly used in processing white tea, green tea and oolong tea.
The CTC method uses machines to process the tea, the leaves are crushed, torn and curled by the machines. Around 95% of the tea consumed in Nepal is made using the CTC process due to the lower production costs.