1848: DARJEELING TEA ESTABLISHED
December 31, 1847
Mirza Firuz Shah
Bahadur Shah II 1837–1857
Once a botanist, Robert Fortune was hired by The Company to obtain the finest tea plants from China to establish plantations in India.
He began his espionage disguised as Chinese man ‘from a distant province’ and hired an interpreter as a precaution, as the Chinese were extremely protective of their virtual monopoly on tea production.
His efforts eventually resulted in the shipment of 20,000 plants to the Himalayas, established Darjeeling as one of the finest tea producing regions in the world, and India as a dominant world tea producer.