Treat this as a Dispatch from Darjeeling. Here you will find tales about your teas, fables about the tea estate, legends about its birds, trees, and animals, and stories about the people who work so hard to prepare it.
I could not help but notice that these sunflowers were not the hot house variety. These are better known as common weeds. (In a flashback, I was reminded of the yellow and black ambassador taxis of yesteryears). When the multitude rise and show their power, it is a sight and might to behold. May there be a cup of Dorje Teas in every hand as we celebrate the tea bushes of Darjeeling.
On hearing the tinkling bells, I was reminded of every Hindi movie in which the ghost wears anklets and laughs enticingly. Moreover, the bells were moving just as a ghost does, going through walls and floating around.
Floating amidst the clouds with no seeming ties with the world, deep inside me I felt a primeval resonance of belonging to this wondrous world. I forgot my cup of Dorje Kashmiri Kahwa as I stared rudely at the fierce harmony of the Kanchenjunga.
While new books, new clothes, new friends and new experiences arouse a sense of excitement, it is the old and familiar that help you to recuperate and regenerate. A well-worn cardigan, a steaming cup of tea and the dear, familiar world of birds……. added to this, was a dilapidated book from the library.
If you're tired of the same-old, run-of-the-mill tea experiences, we've got something exciting to share with you. Meet Dorje Original Chai – the tea that's rewriting the rules of tea production and giving you a taste of authenticity like never before. Grab a cup, settle in, and let's explore what makes Dorje Original Chai so darn special.
In a world filled with endless data and information, sometimes it's nice to take a step back, sip some tea, and let your imagination run wild. Reading tea leaves is a reminder that life isn't just about facts and figures; it's about the little moments of magic that make it all worthwhile.
The last week at Second Chance House was one that transcended manmade borders, languages and customs. Selim Hill was home to a contingent of Oxford students who came from all over the globe. The house was abuzz with ideas, philosophies and plans.
The Sultan Tit's diet primarily consists of big and small insects. This tiny bird is a sincere guardian of the forest, diligently patrolling the treetops and underbrush to keep the population of insects in check. As it flutters from branch to branch, its wings shimmer in the dappled sunlight, the Sultan Tit showcases the delicate balance of nature's interconnected web.
Dorje Teas values each of these miracles of nature as they control pests naturally and allow our tea to be without pesticides.
Greetings, tea enthusiasts and curious connoisseurs of all things steeped in joy! Today, we embark on a whimsical journey into the delightful realm of the saucer - that small, unassuming plate-like object that accompanies your teacup on its delicious adventures!
Discover The Emperor's Choice Tea Box, a regal gift inspired by India's great miniature artists, and filled with the finest teas from Darjeeling's legendary Selim Hill Tea Garden. Delight in the luxurious flavors of First Flush, Roasted Darjeeling, and Moonlight Sonata White Tea. Order now for free delivery across India!
A month later, beating all odds and dangers such as snakes and other predators, the kalij junior brood was proudly presented to the world. My heart filled with joy as I saw them strutting around. Who said only peacocks have the right to be proud? The stoic trees just stood around in the background. They did not have much to say.
In the heart of tea plantations, a subtle yet powerful transformation unfolds with the arrival of the Sturgeon Moon. Like a divine symphony, the moon's ethereal pull orchestrates a mesmerizing interplay of energies, drawing the tea leaves and bushes into its celestial embrace.
As we bid adieu to the mesmerizing moonlit journey through April to October, we stand in awe of the emotional resonance that full moons infuse into tea leaves and bushes. Beyond the scientific explanations, these celestial encounters evoke a profound sense of connection to nature's rhythms, transforming a simple cup of tea into a sensory experience of wonder and magic.
I had been fortunate enough to see the sacred Brahma Kamal (Saussurea obvallata) in bloom. The Brahma Kamal blooms only for a night attracting bats and moths with its strong fragrance. It blooms only once and then slowly dies out.
Considered rare with healing powers, it has many stories surrounding it. Brahma fell asleep while meditating and was transformed into this beautiful, mystical flower. Shiva used this flower to attach the elephant’s head to Ganesh’s body.
As in a family, the trick is to forgive and forget and collect stories for the dinner table. Today I deserved some Dorje Moonlight White Tea as my honeymoon with the honeybees was officially over. I can know proudly proclaim that I have tasted the pleasure and the pain!
From its inception, the wind chime was taught to look for the wind. Luckily for it, the windchime had truly found the wind in all its wilderness, in its abandon, in its restlessness and its restfulness. The wind chime had become one with Selim Hill Tea Garden. It guarded the secrets of this magical, mystical place!
Twirling the umbrella as the light rain sprays onto my face, I get completely engrossed by a small frog hopping away. Peering out of my umbrella, through the haze of water and mist, I see the raindrops hanging onto the branches and leaves like little teardrops at the end of long, wet eyelashes. Stop a while and see the world mirrored in a bead of rainwater. If you have faith enough, like a crystal ball, it may foretell your future.
Selim Hill has a temperate climate, perfect for many kinds of flowers. Of course, I had to plant roses. I have read all the Enid Blyton, Agatha Christie, P G Wodehouse books where there is always a splendid rose climbing the gate and blooming profusely. So, I planted roses – the climber Rosa Bonica, the Damask Rose, the Hybrid Rose and although I did not know which was which, they all had different shapes and colours.
In fact, a dragon fly is just the opposite. It is delicate as a wish and nature’s version of a ballerina. It seems that Mother Nature went to craft class and decided to create something beautiful. She made transparent wings out of gossamer. So much did she like them, that she made four wings instead of just two. In each she entrapped a sparkling dew drop.
You know how they say money isn’t everything and you cannot eat or drink money? To clarify, tea was used as currency in ancient China. Thus, if you are a tea lover, you could actually claim to be brewing and sipping money.
Bird songs do not come with a transcript, yet the heart understands and recognises the language clearly. Selim Hill is house to many varieties of birds. Dorje Teas constantly draws inspiration from these natural tweets with or without the blue ticks.
Dorje Teas believes that carbon credits are our allies in the fight against climate change. Take a moment to appreciate the quirky, superhero-like qualities of carbon credits. They may not wear capes, but they sure know how to save the day—one metric ton of CO2 at a time.
We have all, at sometime or another, wondered why a certain thing is called by a certain name. Sometimes our very own name has an unfamiliar and strange ring to it. Yet, it is our most favourite thing in the world.
Wandering through the meandering roads of the hills of Darjeeling, I come across some unusual and quaint names.
As the Mulberry trees start fruiting deliciously, children and birds chirp endlessly. Spring has truly arrived. For me the treat is to watch these customers wait patiently (or is it impatiently) for the fruit to ripen. Every once in a while, someone tastes the fare to check – not everyone likes sweet, some like it sour after all.
The walls at Second Chance House remind me of a cave. They are really thick. In fact, each wall is a foot and a half thick! Made in a special masonry style (now a lost art), it is made only of small and large stones which are put together in a special way. No cement has been used. How does it stand? I don’t know, but it sure has been able to stand the test of time for more than a century.
I like to plant flowers that are nectar laden. The relationship between the bees and the flowers, their dance and passion elevate the simple act of eating to an extremely stylish and exotic show and ceremony. However, if your show of flowers is chemical fertilizer and pesticide laden, the bees will simply transfer their ‘buzzziness’ to some other less poisonous place.
The “imperial plucking method” in China is quite elaborate. Tea is plucked in secrecy by young virgins (they say) with golden scissors and kept in golden baskets following very confidential methods of preparation. At Selim Hill, each woman is special and exotic in her own right. We do not use golden scissors or golden baskets. Our tea garden is not a hideout. Yet, we revere the magic that the moon conjures up.
Visitors to Second Chance House know it is not a homestay or a resort. In fact, we are all outsiders and graciously need to co habit with the many insects, small and large creatures and the original people of Selim Hill Tea Estate.
A house becomes a home when its hearth is shared by friends and family. As I share a pot of Dorje Teas with lawyers, doctors, artists, philosophers, writers, thinkers, friends and family, I know each has been sent as “a guide from beyond”.
Regular enquiries for homestays in the Kurseong/Darjeeling area led us on a hunt so that we could make suggestions to Darjeeling Tea Lovers. After visiting many homes, we stumbled upon a real gem – 11 Monteviot Homestay.
Needless to mention are the beautiful Selim Hill Tea Estate tea bushes, putting out their bounty on acres and acres of land. From birth to death, from marriage to divorce, from meeting to greeting, from winning to losing, from party to party…… the one thing that is common, is a cup of tea.
When I am on the swing, there is this constant feeling that if I kick hard enough, I can touch the sky. As I look out at tea bushes of Selim Hill Tea Estate, I get the feeling that if we work hard enough, we can swing fortune to our side and make Dorje Teas a household name.