Winner of the 2016 IACP Award: Literary Food Writing Set against the backdrop of the looming Himalayas and drenching monsoons, this is the story of how Darjeeling developed its tea industry under Imperial British rule and eventually came to produce the world's finest leaves. But today the industry is battling dropping production ,a violent struggle for independent statehood, labour unrest and the devastating effect of climate change. It's the story, too, of the measures being taken to counter these challenges and save India's most exclusive and iconic brew that are nothing short of radical. A fascinating portrait of the region and a story rich in intrigue and empire, full of adventurers and romance, it illuminates the historic, arcane and changing world of this celebrated tea.
It is not just about Darjeeling, though; and not even just about tea. It is also about the history of colonial and post-colonial India . As for the rest, it is a book teeming with characters and interest. Koehler, described as "writer, photographer, traveller and cook", has the polymath's curiosity for everything, as well as the writer's ability to listen to and retell a good story . A richly digressive book Nicholas Lezard Guardian
Jeff Koehler is an American writer, photographer, traveller and cook, and author of books and articles on food and culture including Spain: Recipes and Traditions, named one of 2013's top cookbooks by the New York Times; Morocco: A Culinary Journey with Recipes; and La Paella: Deliciously Authentic Rice Dishes from Spain's Mediterranean Coast. His work has appeared in Saveur, Food & Wine, NPR.org, NationalGeographic.com, the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Afar, Tin House and Best Food Writing 2010. After doing post-graduate work at King's College London, he moved to Barcelona, where he has lived since 1996. jeff-koehler.com @koehlercooks