DAILY PHOTO: Gorkha Monuments

Taken in December of 2021 at the Batasia Loop Garden War Memorial
Taken in December of 2021 at the Eagle’s Crag, Kurseong

DAILY PHOTO: Dali Monastery

Taken in December of 2021 in Dali (between Ghoom & Darjeeling)

DAILY PHOTO: [Allegedly Haunted] School for Boys

Taken in Kurseong in December of 2021
Headmaster’s House – Victoria Boys’ School

DAILY PHOTO: Red Pandas: In Action, Zoning Out, and At Rest

Taken in December of 2021 at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park of Darjeeling

BOOK REVIEW: Darjeeling by Jeff Koehler

Darjeeling: A History of the World's Greatest TeaDarjeeling: A History of the World’s Greatest Tea by Jeff Koehler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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As Bordeaux or Tokaj are to wine, Darjeeling is to tea, producing a quality beverage considered by many to be the best in the world. However, this isn’t merely the story of how this region of northern Bengal (or, alternatively, Gorkhaland) came to produce a unique kind of tea that would be sought-after around the world. It’s also a story of empire and how Britain’s insatiable demand for tea drove major developments in geopolitics. It’s yet further the story of recent troubled times of Darjeeling tea, from labor shortages to environmental degradation, and what tea estates have done to adapt – from management / organization changes to organic production techniques.

Lessons in the history and geography of tea may seem niche and uninteresting, but the story of tea is actually quite fascinating, involving Opium Wars, the Black Hole of Calcutta, and an industry shakeup resulting from India’s independence.

I found this book compelling, and thought it did a good job of zooming in and out between local and global (and past to present) to maintain the interest of a diverse readership. Whether the book is exploring attempts to transplant tea shrubs and expertise from China or the changing customer base for Darjeeling tea, it’s an engaging and thought-provoking story. If you’re interested in tea, world history, or agribusiness, you’ll likely find something in this book to hold your attention.

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