Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra tea, known for quality, unique aroma, and a tinge of fruity flavor, has been registered with the European Union (EU) as a protected Geographical Indication (GI), State Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said on Thursday.
He said the registration was an important tool to recognise the quality, genuineness, and reputation of the product in the European markets, and this would boost the sale of Kangra tea. Such a boost in sales would eventually benefit tea growers in Palampur, Baijnath, Kangra, and Dharamshala in Kangra district, Jogindernagar of Mandi district and Bhattiyat area of Chamba district.
The Kangra tea — known for its unique taste and fragrance, attributed to its abundant pyrazine contents — was given GI status in the year 2005 by the Registrar of Geographical Indicators, Chennai.
According to the Tea Board India, Kangra tea is milder than Darjeeling tea in terms of flavor, Kangra tea has more body and liquor.
“..The climate, the characteristic terrain and soil conditions, and the coolness of the snow-clad mountains in Himachal’s famous Kangra region; all play a role in crafting a delightfully distinct cup of quality tea. Particularly the first flush with an aroma and flavor that has an unmistakable tinge of fruitiness. The history of Kangra tea dates back to 1849 when Dr. Jameson, then superintendent of the Botanical Tea Gardens, pronounced the region ideal for tea cultivation. Being one of India’s smallest tea regions makes Kangra green and black tea all the more exclusive. While the black tea has a sweet lingering after taste, the green tea has a delicate woody aroma,” says the Board.
The Chief Minister said during the British era, Kangra tea was exported to European markets and because of its quality, it bagged various awards from the markets of Amsterdam and London between the years 1886 to 1895.
“However, without a registration certificate, selling Kangra tea in European markets was not possible until now. But now its registration opens up opportunities for Kangra tea in European markets as well,” he added.
Mr. Sukhu said the State government was committed to preserving the traditional products of Himachal Pradesh and has launched various initiatives to benefit the local artisans and weavers. “The GI status has been given to more than 400 traditional products of the State including Kullu shawl, Chamba Rumal, Kinnaur shawl, Kangra painting, Lahaul woolen socks and gloves etc. The registration process for GI status for Himachali cap, Sirmauri Loeya, Mandi Sepubari, Chamba metal craft, Kinnauri apple, and Kinnauri ornaments was under consideration with the Registrar of Geographical Indication, Chennai,” he said.