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Darjeeling "GI Protection"



The quality, reputation and characteristics of Darjeeling tea are essentially attributable to its geographical origin It possesses a flavour and quality which sets it apart from other teas, giving it the stature of a fine vintage wine. As a result it has won the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers worldwide for more than a century. Any member of the trade or public in ordering or purchasing Darjeeling tea will expect the tea to be the tea cultivated, grown and produced in the defined region of the District of Darjeeling and to have the special characteristics associated with such tea.  Consequently, Darjeeling tea that is worthy of its name cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. Darjeeling tea cannot be replicated anywhere. It is this equity that is sought to be protected by the Tea Board and the Ministry of Commerce under the norms of the TRIPS Agreement of the WTO.As champagne cannot be manufactured in any place other than the Champagne District of France (even though the grapes used are the same kind) but has to be referred to as sparkling wine, in the same manner only tea grown and produced in the defined area of the Darjeeling District in  State of West Bengal, India can be called DARJEELING tea. Any tea grown in any other region from the same sort of tea plants cannot be called Darjeeling tea. Darjeeling tea, a rare coveted brew which is desired globally, but is only grown in INDIA.   

Darjeeling- A Paradise :
In the northeast Indian region of Darjeeling, women tea pluckers make their way up the steep mountain paths every day at dawn towards the 87 fabled gardens that have been producing the highly prized black teas for over 150 years. Located on grand estates some perched at altitudes of over 5,000 mts. the gardens are in fact plantations that, at times, stretch over hundreds of acres. But, they are still 'gardens', because all tea grown here bears the individual name of the garden in which it is grown.

First planted in early 19th century, the incomparable quality of Darjeeling teas is the result of unique and complex combination of agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the region, altitude, meticulous manufacture and disdain for quantity. The climate of Darjeeling is perfect for tea cultivation. Tea requires at least 50 inches of rainfall annually. Alternate spells of rain and sunshine are considered good for the crop. Also, the fog helps in maintaining the required level of moisture. The tea bush grows at a height of 700 to 7000 metres above sea level, so it has all the space that it needs to grow.   

Why is the location such a hallmark?

There are both scientific as well as popular religious beliefs behind why Darjeeling is the most suitable place to grow tea. The local people believe that the Himalayan range is the abode of Shanker Mahadeva and the breath of God brings winds that cool the brow of the sun filled valley, and the mist and fog which provide the moisture. The fountain that flows from the piled hair of Shiva provides water for the crop and it thrives. The diversity of Darjeeling tea is further accentuated by differences in wind and rainfall that depend on the altitude and exposure of the slopes under cultivation.

The quality, reputation and characteristics of Darjeeling tea are essentially attributable to its geographical origin.  It possesses a flavour and quality which sets it apart from other teas, giving it the stature of a fine vintage wine. As a result it has won the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers worldwide for more than a century. Any member of the trade or public when ordering or purchasing Darjeeling tea will expect the tea to be the tea cultivated, grown and produced in the defined region of the District of Darjeeling and to have the special characteristics associated with such tea.
Consequently, Darjeeling tea that is worthy of its name cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world.
Darjeeling tea cannot be replicated anywhere.   

DARJEELING TEA – a Geographical Indication :
Under international law, geographical indications mean indications which identify a product as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or other characteristic of the product is essentially attributable to its geographical origin.

Darjeeling tea is India’s treasured Geographical Indication and forms a very important part of India’s cultural and collective intellectual heritage.  It is of considerable importance to the economy of India because of the international reputation and consumer recognition enjoyed by it.
In the legal sphere, countries are seeking to protect Geographical Indications as geographical indications, collective marks or certification marks.

About Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling Tea. As exotic and mysterious as the hills themselves. A tradition steeped in history and a mystique that is felt in every sip. Walk into the cloudy mountains and feel light hearted.

First planted in the early 1800s, the incomparable quality of Darjeeling Teas is the result of its locational climate, soil conditions, altitude and meticulous processing. About 10 million kilograms are grown every year, spread over 17,500 hectares of land. The tea has its own special aroma, that rare fragrance that fills the senses. Tea from Darjeeling has been savoured by connoisseurs all over the world. Like all luxury brands Darjeeling Tea is aspired to, worldwide.

Celebrate existence, and with it the legends that make Darjeeling Tea the most coveted tea in the world. Let it overwhelm your senses.

Darjeeling, where the breath of the Himalayas surrounds the traveller and the deep green valleys sing all around. Darjeeling is where the world’s most fabled tea is born. A tea that echoes mystery and magic in every sip.

Darjeeling lies to the north east of India, among the great Himalayas, in the state of West Bengal. Every morning, as the mist rises from the mountains, women tea pluckers make their way up the steep mountain paths towards the 87 fabled gardens that have been producing the highly prized black teas of Darjeeling. Located on grand estates veiled in the clouds, the gardens are in fact plantations that, at times, stretch over hundreds of acres. But, they are still ‘gardens', because all tea grown here carries the name of the estate, or garden, in which it is grown.

It is believed that the Himalayan range is the abode of the deity Shanker Mahadeva, and it is the breath of God that brings the winds that cool the brow of the sun-filled valley, and the mist and fog which provide the unique quality. Darjeeling was born, they say, as a thunderbolt from the sceptre of Indra.

Darjeeling Tea cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world. Just as Champagne is indigenous to the Champagne district of France, so is Darjeeling Tea to Darjeeling.

The crafting of Darjeeling Tea begins in the field. Where women workers begin plucking early in the morning, when the leaves are still covered with dew. The spirals of walking women gradually twist, then unfold to form a line. The tea is picked fresh every day, as fresh as the crisp green leaves can make them. The tea bushes are mystic messages on the Earth’s canvas. A tale of excellence, brewed cup by cup, produced with the loving care lavished by the workers. Caressed to state-of-the art perfection by unchanging tradition. Quality that is cherished worldwide.

The earth sings for you in Darjeeling. The women pluckers smile and, with the radiance of their joy, the sun rises over the gardens. Behind them, set against the rosy dawn sky, loom the snows of Kanchenjunga.

The gardens are brushed by thick clouds and cool mountain air and washed by pure mountain rain. The rainfall on the leaves sings a song of green and the earth gives up its warm breath. Darjeeling Tea yields its highly sought subtle fragrance only in this climate. And at daybreak, when the birds begin their morning songs, the sun’s rays transform the mist into dew pearls on the leaves.

The sun traces its path across the heavens leisurely. Stars that are unreachable suddenly seem ready to be touched. The hum of nocturnal life which characterises the mountains sings a melody that has to be felt rather than heard. A cool rustling breeze dances across the land. The earth is as majestic as the tea that is born there.

It’s an idyllic existence close to nature’s heartbeat. That’s what makes this tea so unique. The tea pluckers sing of the tiny saplings which bend in the wind as they work. A melody of greenness surrounded by blue skies and the sparkle of the mountain dews. And tied to the circle of life, the tea bushes sustain themselves day in day out, season after season, through the years. Life on a plantation is a completely natural, refreshing state of being.

True Darjeeling Tea possesses a flavour and quality, which sets it apart from other teas. As a result it has won the patronage and recognition of discerning consumers worldwide for more than a century. Darjeeling Tea that is worthy of its name cannot be grown or manufactured anywhere else in the world.

All teas produced in the tea growing areas of India, including Darjeeling, are administered by the Tea Board, India under the Tea Act, 1953. Since its establishment, the Tea Board has had sole control over the growing and exporting of Darjeeling Tea and it is this which has given rise to the reputation enjoyed by Darjeeling Tea. The Tea Board has been engaged in the protection and preservation of this treasured icon of India’s cultural heritage as a Geographical Indication on a worldwide basis.

To assist the Tea Board in its role of authenticating regional origin of Darjeeling Tea, it has developed a unique logo, known as the Darjeeling logo.
At a legal level, Tea Board is the owner of all intellectual property rights in the Darjeeling word and logo both in common law and under the provisions of the following statutes in India:

•The Trade Marks Act 1999 DARJEELING word and logo are registered certification marks of Tea Board;

•The Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999: DARJEELING word and logo were the first Geographical Indications to be registered in India in the name of the Tea Board;

•The Copyright Act, 1957: The DARJEELING logo is copyright protected and registered as an artistic work with the Copyright Office.

Section 24.9 of the TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) states that no foreign jurisdiction is obliged to safeguard any Geographical Indication if the same has not been properly protected and enforced in the home country. With this principle in mind, an online system to monitor the supply chain system of the Darjeeling Tea has been introduced lately. A Kolkata based software firm, with prior experience in the Tea Trade has been appointed to develop, monitor and maintain a software system where the entire trade chain can be tracked down, right from the Tea gardens to the final shelves where the premium Darjeeling Teas are kept before reaching the Tea Connoisseurs across the world. This system will be extended to the ground level checking as well. To this effect, a renowned international agency has been appointed to conduct onsite checks on quality and homogeneity of the teas packed based on organoleptic parameters as well as the packaging and proper and optimum use of the logo and mark. This is undoubtedly a giant leap towards enforcements of rights and reputation across the globe.

Use of the Darjeeling word and logo are protected as Geographical Indications in India and as Certification Trade Marks in UK, USA and India.

The DARJEELING logo is registered in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, (former) Yugoslavia, Egypt and Lebanon as a collective mark, in Canada as an official mark and as a trademark in Japan and Russia. The DARJEELING word is also registered as a trademark in Russia. Tea Board has registered the Darjeeling word as a certification mark in Australia, as a community collective mark in the EU and as a collective mark in Germany and Japan. (Register for use of Darjeeling)
As a pre-requisite for domestic and international protection of Darjeeling as a certification trademark and a Geographical Indication, the Tea Board has formulated and put in place a comprehensive certification scheme wherein the definition of Darjeeling Tea has been formulated to mean tea that:

• is cultivated, grown or produced in the 87 tea gardens in the defined geographic areas and which have been registered with the Tea Board;

• has been cultivated, grown or produced in one of the said 87 tea gardens;

• has been processed and manufactured in a factory located in the defined geographic area; and

• when tested by expert tea tasters, is determined to have the distinctive and naturally occurring organoleptic characteristics of taste, aroma and mouth feel, typical of tea cultivated, grown and produced in the region of Darjeeling, India.

The certification scheme put in place by the Tea Board covers all stages from the production level to the export stage and meets the dual objective of ensuring that (1) tea sold as Darjeeling Tea in India and worldwide is genuine Darjeeling Tea produced in the defined regions of the District of Darjeeling and meets the criteria laid down by the Tea Board and (2) all sellers of genuine Darjeeling Tea are duly licensed. This licensing program affords the Tea Board the necessary information and control over the Darjeeling Tea industry to ensure that tea sold under the certification marks adheres to the standards for DARJEELING Tea as set forth by the Tea Board.

Thus, only 100% Darjeeling Tea is entitled to carry the DARJEELING logo. While purchasing Darjeeling Tea, you need to look for Tea Board’s certification and license number, or else you will not get the taste and character that you should expect from Darjeeling Tea.

There is a rare charm in the taste of Darjeeling Tea which makes it irresistible. The fine wine of teas is ideally to be drunk from the finest porcelain. After all, these are the rarest and most prestigious of teas and are savoured worldwide. The delicate flavour of the tea can be savoured at its best sans milk and sugar.
Tea is a work of art and needs a master hand to bring out its noblest qualities. Here are a few steadfast guidelines to follow in order to achieve the perfect cup.

Fill the kettle or teapot with freshly drawn cold water (it must contain oxygen in order to bring out the full flavour of the tea). We recommend using fresh water because the quality of your water will directly affect the taste of your tea. When the water is near boiling point, pour a little into the teapot, swirl around, and tip away. This leaves a hot, clean teapot.

Measure the tea carefully into the pot, allowing one rounded teaspoon or one teabag for each cup required. Many people prefer to use a tea ball or filter to keep the leaves from spreading throughout the teapot. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Do not allow it to boil too long, as it will boil away some of the flavour-releasing oxygen and result in a flat cup of tea.

Pour the water onto the leaves or tea bags. This saturates the tea allowing the flavour to release naturally. Do not pour the water and then add the tea, this will only result in a poor cup of tea.

Darjeeling Tea can be enjoyed not just for its taste but because it is truly good for you. Rich in anti-oxidants, this amazing tea strengthens your immune system. It courses through your veins and helps you unwind. Relaxing, mystical, magical.

Seasons are the dance of Darjeeling Tea. The dance begins in spring, waltzes through the summer and ends in autumn. That is the rhythm of the year on the gardens.

Nothing is purer or more unique than the fragrance from the cup. The tea is the essence of the mists, the green leaves and the blue skies. Take a deep breath and feel it stir your soul. To drink Darjeeling is to free the mind and absorb the sun.

Indian Tea

To begin with it is perhaps desirable to define "Tea". "Tea" has been clearly defined in the Tea Act,1953. As per provision of Tea Act, "Tea" means the plant Camellia Sinensis (L) O. Kuntze as well as all varieties of the product known commercially as tea made from the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis (L) O.Kuntze including green tea. Tea which is available in the market is in fact "Made Tea". Green leaves plucked from the tea bushes are manufactured into "Made Tea" or "Tea" in the Tea Factories through a series of manufacturing process.Green leaves, in the process of manufacturing "Made Tea" or "Tea" also generates by-product known as "Tea Waste". This "Tea Waste" is unfit for human consumption and has two uses viz.

 i) for  manufacture of caffine

ii) for using as manure in the tea field.


Made tea or Tea manufactured from green tea leaves is generally classified into two types viz. Black Tea and Green Tea. Green tea is different from Black tea since fermentation of green leaves is arrested in manufacturing green tea. Again black tea is of two types viz. Orthodox tea and CTC tea. Orthodox teas are manufactured with the help of orthodox roller in the process of rolling while CTC machine/Rotervan is used in rolling process in manufacturing CTC teas. CTC stands for Crushing, Tearing & Curling. While, most of the teas produced in Sri Lanka is of "orthodox" variety, Kenya produces mainly CTC teas.


The tea processing in any factory in the traditional way comprises the following phases


1. Withering

2. Rolling

3. Fermentation

4. Drying

5. Sorting & Grading


Apart from Orthodox, CTC & Green tea, powder tea which is known as “Instant tea”: is also being manufactured in India and in few other tea producing countries of the world like Kenya and Sri Lanka. The Instant tea is manufactured in separate factories known as Instant tea factory. The procedure for manufacturing Instant tea is different from that of black tea or green tea. The raw materials used for manufacturing Instant tea are green tea leaves and/or tea waste. The manufacture of Instant tea in India has started since 1960.


Tea, mainly the black tea is also being further processed with the help of tea bagging machine to manufacture "tea bags". This is one of the “convenience” tea generally preferred by the consumers of the western countries. “Filter papers” is being used as packaging material for manufacture of tea bags.


Instant tea and Tea bags are generally known as "convenience tea" since these are convenient for consumers to get the liquor with less hazards. Moreover, in order to preserve the quality of tea during its different stages of trading activities particularly in retail trading and also to maintain the uniformity of the quality to the extent possible, black tea or green tea are packeted either in original form or in blended form in small consumer packs. These are known as "Packet tea". So tea planters at the garden level, after manufacture of "made tea" from green tea leaves, use bulk containers or small containers for packaging. Bulk containers are generally consists of wooden tea chests, polyline jute bags, multiwall paper sacks etc. and can contain 25 kgs. to 55 kgs. of tea depending on the nature or size of the container. Small containers consists of paper sacks, wooden box, metal caddies, polythene packs etc. and can contain 2 gms. of tea to 1 kg. tea according to the need of consumers and based on suitability to its handlings. Tea in bulk, after coming out from the estate is also packed or repacked in small containers by merchant packers apart from its "sale" in loose form to the consumers.As already mentioned, green tea leaves plucked from the tea bushes when manufactured in the tea factory through a series of tea processing like withering, rolling, fermentation, drying etc., converted into made tea. Depending on the system of tea processing, tea is classified into black tea and green tea. Black tea is obtained by so called fermentation process where as for making green tea fermentation is prevented. The characteristic of the beverage like tea is determined by the major components of the leaf i.e. polyphenols, the peptic substances, the flavouring constituents and caffeine. The caffeine is known for its stimulating effect.


Quality of "made tea" or "tea"


The term "quality" in its broadest sense is used as a description of all the characters of tea by which it is judged on its market value. So quality means the summation of the desirable attributes comprising internal and external characters like aroma/flavour, strength, colour, briskness and character of infused leaf. The “quality” of the tea conforming to the specification laid down in the PFA Act may vary. The quality of tea also varies between garden to garden and also between the teas manufactured at different times -in a particular garden. The green tea leaves of the plant belonging to the species of Camellia Sinensis has its natural "aroma". The efforts of the tea manufacturer is generally aimed at to maintain the natural aroma in the made tea as far as possible.

The quality of "tea" depends primarily on the nature and chemical composition of the plucked leaf which is again dependent on the type of bush, the growing conditions and the kind of plucked leaf like coarseness and fineness etc. Only careful and proper processing will bring out the full potential of the green leaf.

Each of the characteristics on which tea is assessed by trade is affected by one or more the factors involved both in the field and in the factory. Since a variety of factors plays a role and the production of a particular character is usually obtained at the expense of another, pre-processing and processing conditions is generally adjusted as to bring about the most desirable characters in a tea made from a given material.


So the factors affecting tea quality apart from those involved in processing can be distinguished in 3 groups viz. genetic, environmental and cultural.


(i)          Tea quality is primarily determined by the genetic properties of the tea planting and those of the tea bush in particular.

(ii)          Both soil and climate are influencing the quality of tea. Climatic condition including temperature, humidity, sunshine duration, rainfall are important in determining quality. 

(iii)         Field operation like pruning, fertilising, shading, plucking round and plucking standard are also playing the important role in determining the quality of tea.


Tea Tasting


Like any other industrial product, tea is also assessed for its quality and value. This is being done in the first instance, by the tea maker in the factory to ensure of the quality of the product and to prevent defects if any.


The made tea of an estate, is also tested by the commercial tasters (generally known as broker) for determining the quality and its value. The term "taste" is used here in its general sense and includes aroma.


Tea tasting is aimed at describing and evaluating teas in the form of individual grades or as blended product. The description and evaluation include the appearance of the dry tea, of the infused leaf and of the infusion obtained by brewing the tea with boiling water, the taste characteristics of the infusion, commonly called the liquor, etc. During tasting the various characteristics that make up a tea liquor viz. briskness, strength, colour, body, quality and aroma or flavour, are assessed individually.


In assessing the characteristics of a tea the taster first examines the dry tea for colours, uniformity, twist, tip and aroma and then passes on to the infused leaf. Ideally, this should be of a bright copper colour and substantially devoid of the green tinge of unchanged chlorophyll. From the colour and evenness of the infused leaf the taster forms his opinion about the quality of the fermentation. The brightness of the infused leaf is correlated with brightness of liquor and both are indicative of briskness.


Black Tea Grades


On the basis of the physical appearance of the made tea, different grades are maintained. The type of different grade and its description is indicated below :



Kind of Tea

Grade Name


Whole Leaf


Flowery Pekoe



Fine Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe



Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe



Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe



Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe



Flowery Orange Pekoe



Orange Pekoe



Broken Orange Pekoe one



Golden Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe



Broken Pekoe Souchong



Golden Broken Orange Pekoe



Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe



Broken Orange Pekoe



Golden Orange Fannings



Flowery Orange Fannings



Broken Orange Pekoe Fannings



Orthodox Pekoe Dust



Orthodox Churamani Dust



Broken Orange Pekeo Fine Dust



Fine Dust



Dust A


Spl. Dust

Special Dust


G. Dust

Golden Dust



Orthodox Dust



Kind of Tea

Grade Name







Broken Pekeo



Broken Orange Pekeo



Broken Pekeo Souching


BP 1

Broken Pekoe one



Flowery Pekeo



Orange Fanings



Pekeo Fanings


PF 1

Pekeo Fanning s One



Broken Orange Fannings



Pekeo Dust






Churamani Dust


PD 1

Pekeo Dust One


D 1

Dust One


CD 1

Churamani Dust One



Red Dust



Fine Dust



Super Fine Dusr


RD 1

Red Dust One



Golden Dust



Super Red Dust



Kind of Tea

Grade Name


Whole Leaf


Young Hison



Fine Young Hison



Gun Powder






Fine Hison






Dust Orange Fannings

Tea Projects

Promotion Scheme for packaged teas of Indian origin

The scheme is proposed to be implemented in April, 2010 and will be reviewed after two years (March 2012). In case of a favourable response and a significant achievement, the scheme could be continued.

I.   Scheme Details

To help Indian exporters, to market teas of Indian origin in overseas markets on a sustained basis, Tea Board proposes a promotion scheme. Since the scheme is intended to promote teas of Indian origin, it is mandatory for companies wanting to avail of the scheme, to be marketing Indian teas in packets carrying the Indian tea logo or any of the speciality logos after complying with requirements for logo usage. The scheme covers all Indian companies/exporters marketing Indian brand teas in packets less than 1 kg.  The brand should be owned by the exporter.   Exporters desiring to avail of the scheme would be required to draw up a one year action plan with corresponding projected exports and submit application to Tea Board.

The scheme would be applicable for the following categories:-

1. Showrooms
Companies desiring to set up showrooms or retail outlets, outside India for retail sale of value added teas may receive 25% of the lease / rental charges. Maximum reimbursable limit under this head would be Rs. 10 lakhs per annum.

2. Promotional campaign
For intensive publicity campaigns for launching Indian branded products or for promoting branded products, upto 25% of the cost could be considered for reimbursement subject  to a ceiling of Rs.50 lakhs per annum, per market. Components eligible under “Promotional Campaign” would be (a) media (both print and electronic), (b) hoarding, (c) Bus / Tram panels, (d) P-O-P materials and (e) promotional literature. Tea samples or Trade discounts,if given, may not be included in this scheme. P.R. for the campaign would not be eligible. It is desirable that, wherever possible, Tea Board representative (i.e., Director, Tea Promotion) is associated during all stages of the promotion campaign.

3. Displays in International Departmental Stores + In-store Demonstration
For promoting value added tea products, tie up with local distributors and major stores is permissible. Level of assistance would be 60% of display and shelf rental cost subject to a ceiling of Rs.25 lakhs per annum per market.

4. Product Literature, Website Development
For production of product literature, development of website, etc. for fairs/events, assistance to be provided would be 25 percent of the total cost subject to a ceiling of Rs.50 Lakhs per annum per market.

5.  Inspection Charges
Inspection charges, incurred prior to shipment of packaged teas carrying Board’s logos (adhering to logo usage norms), would be reimbursed. A maximum of 25% costs of such inspection charges would be reimbursable.

II. Eligibility

1. All Indian registered exporters exporting value added tea would be eligible.
2. All registered exporters exporting for the past 3 years and holding valid exporters license and submitting regular monthly export returns to Tea Board
3. All registered Associations of tea producers and exporters are eligible to apply for assistance for promotion of Indian tea brands owned by their.


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