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Visiting a local factory, the manager walked us through all the production steps. While many might not have ever given much thought to how the green leaf in the field turns into the brown liquid in your cup, during the tour we get to learn about each step in the process: plucking, withering, rolling, fermenting, drying, sorting, and packing. We saw the tea factory workers in action, and get the chance to ask the nitty-gritty questions. Afterward, we got to taste a variety of different teas and learn about the distinct flavors of the different grades and how the various types are graded.
Originally Tea leaves produced in Nepal were sold to factories in Darjeeling. Only in 1978 first factory was set up in Ilam for the processing of Tea leaves and a few years later another factory was set up in Soktim, Jhapa district.
From 1978 to the 1990s, various efforts were made by the Nepal Tea Development Corporation to encourage the participation of small and marginal farmers in the growth and production of Tea as a cash crop. Slowly, the stagnant Tea industry was evolving into a fully commercialized industry , benefitting the country’s economic and socio-economic development. To further aid in the development of its Tea industry, in 1982, the Government of Nepal under the reign of the then King Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, declared five districts – Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, and Terhathum as Tea Zones of Nepal.
Since Nepal Tea Development Corporation was a profit-oriented organization, for the further development of the Tea industry, the need for a non-profit public organization was felt. And hence the National Tea and Coffee Development Board were formed by the Government of Nepal in 1993.
Government of Nepal National Tea and Coffee Development Board . National Tea and Coffee Development Board:: Government of Nepal. (nd). Retrieved May 24, 2022, from https://www.teacoffee.gov.np/oldsite/teainfo/history