Love your tea from the Himalayas?
You may have some exciting new varieties to try soon.
Researchers at the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology have discovered new tea plants with high genetic diversity in abandoned gardens on the slopes of the western Himalayas (Karthigeyan S, High Level of Genetic Diversity Among the Selected Accessions of Tea (Camellia sinensis) from Abandoned Tea Gardens in Western Himalaya, Biochemical Genetics, September 2008).
These new plants have germinated from seeds from the abandoned original China cultivar plants.
Those plants which survived without human intervention have more diversity, including higher catechin or polyphenol antioxidant content.
If these new tea varieties can be cultivated successfully, they should increase the agricultural resilience of tea plantation production as well as providing new taste experiences.
The Himalayas are already famous for growing some of the most desirable teas in their foothills, including the world-famous Darjeelings.
The high elevations and climate ensure that the plants contain more antioxidants and give more aromatic flavors for both black and green tea varieties, including green varieties from Nepal.
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This page was last updated by Sharon Jones.
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