Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Jewel in The Crown - Tea

Throughout the centuries the wonderland India was the target of many civilizations. The invaders and plunderers were the first to arrive and arrive they did relentlessly. The Greeks, Mongols, Arabs were the invaders who did not stay put but wrecked havoc on a populace that had long ago forgone militancy. The campaigns were brutal besides imposing ideological alterations vehemently as proselytizers. 

The land of rivers, forests and riches was a cynosure of many global entities. A branch of Moghuls settled permanently and rejoiced in conquest that was both enriching and at times brutal. The conquest was both overpowering and imposing. They brought about an enrichment by admixture of foreign culture in terms of lifestyle and architecture and religious pursuits but not more. 

The British set about a paradigm change as rulers wherever they went including in the Jewel in Crown. The junta paid a price through voracious economic exploitation, famine and subvert domination. But the then superior civilization in terms of technology and innovations did the populace a lot of good as well. They brought in infrastructure, organized and systemic management techniques - politically and administratively - and reforms all of these  still persist in contemporary era. 

The masters had caught on to tea by 1700 as a beverage. This was until then a  medicine in the cabinet. The popularity of the beverage brought into the fore play the dynamics of economics. To counter highly priced leaf from China efforts were made to cultivate the leaf in India.      

About 1800 Governor General William Bentinjck appointed a committee to cultivate the leaf in India. But in the absence of closely guarded Chinese cultivation technique the initial foray was a failure. Experimentation were than carried out in Assam with the result the Indian State is one of the leading producer.  

Subsequently the Nation became a quality tea producer and the black leaf  became popular in England and Australia.    

Thomas Lipton a Scot by Birth began purchasing the leaf in bulk in order to market it at a cheaper rate the the Chinese leaf. Today Lipton is a global brand. Though the production saga was phenomenal the locals were still far away for this wonder beverage and that is what the preceding two blog entries are about.

are all about.

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