Perching atop a tea leaf mountain, the Glenburn Tea Estate leans against the Darjeeling in your imagination. A beautiful old colonial tea planters bungalow plays host to men in linen shirts and panama hats – they are on the veranda reading and sipping on iced tea. The macho Himalayas brood off to one side and ribbons of tea bushes dissolve into the valley below.
On the surface, it looks as though nothing has changed here in 160 years since the British, eagerly looking to quench their thirst for tea, chanced their luck by planting the odd tea bush here. It paid off, tea production flourished and India overtook China as the World’s leading tea producer – keeping British kitchens, building sites and meeting rooms happy for years.
However, India is changing and fast. India now drinks more tea than any other country (including England), in fact they drink their way through 70% of the World’s supply every year – and now many of our British companies are owned by Indians. Our very own Tetley is owned by the Indian powerhouse that is TATA while Glenburn belongs to the Chaiwala family reflecting the changing fortunes of new India. Today the only Brits who come to visit the very charming Glenburn come as tourists and as tea tasters rather than tea makers.
Glenburn Iced Tea Recipe
‘The test of a good tea is that it can be drunk cold’ said Sanjay Sharma, Glenburn’s Tea Estate Manager. I believe him, this drink is beautifully refreshing (and there’s no way i’d drink builders brew, cold.)
1 pot of tea (whichever flush is being served in the bungalow at the time of making)
1 tsp fresh mint juice
4 tbs sugar
1 tsp fresh pressed ginger juice
2 tbs lemon juice
Brew one pot of tea, strain the tea leaves out and leave to cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Serve with ice.