I recently travelled to east Nepal to Ilam, the country’s tea growing district. Ilam shares its border with India and Darjeeling, another albeit, less beautiful setting for tea. I am not sure if you can buy Illam tea in the West, but it certainly is delicious. The photograph here, a little hazy with the pre-monsoon heat, shows the road as it twists and turns up until we reach a sufficient altitude for tea production. I’m investigating organic tea and the over use of pesticides in the West compared with the pure tea over here in Nepal.
Locals often infuse the tea with spices, or my favourite: Illam tea infused with black pepper – it’s not a simple process of just adding pepper, instead the pepper has to be heated, crushed and then slowly fermented within the tea. Next time you are in a supermarket, maybe check if they stock Illam tea, in my humble view, the purest and best in the world.