Grower: Teenjure Cooperative
Tea Maker: Teenjure Cooperative
Location: Phakphok Town - Ilam District, Nepal
Elevation: 1,600m (5,200ft)
Cultivation: Natural (Organic, but no certification)
Signature Tea: Teenjure Brown
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Teenjure Cooperative is Nepal's first tea cooperative. First established 20 years ago, the cooperative facilitates the sharing of resources, knowledge, and community space for over 200 households. The main facility is located between 3 different areas in the district: Phakphok, Ekatappa, and Chamaita. The name Teenjure, meaning "three peaks", is a nod to these three areas.
The cooperative was founded by knowledgeable tea growers, who have since been invaluable to the development of quality tea. Some specialize in organic tea; others share their knowledge of tea quality. Tea students from the neighboring district of Jhapa often visit, contributing their expertise and tea-crafting efforts. All of this knowledge is shared among the growers. What unites them all is the use of all-natural methods, and the harvests from these high-altitude tea gardens is extremely fragrant and flavorful.
Small growers typically make a living by simply selling their harvests to the factories. However, the bought-leaf market is unpredictable, and is usually strongly influenced by outside factors like the Darjeeling tea industry. By developing and crafting their own quality teas, the members of Teenjure Cooperative can create an independent income stream for themselves.
It is part of the same growers cooperative federation as Hariyali Cooperative and Pathivara Tea Estate. All of the members are working together to advance the Nepalese tea industry beyond just being a raw leaf supplier for India.
View our travel diary: Amazing Tea Race - Ilam, Nepal
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