Monday, August 07, 2006

Counterfeit Tea

While most of us probably connect the term "counterfeit" with money, the fact is that just about any valuable product can be knocked off. If you thought pricey teas were the exception to the rule, guess again.

Darjeeling tea is often the target of tea counterfeiters, which is not surprising, given the fact that it typically sells for a premium. As Amelia C. Levy notes, in her quite excellent article, Magical, Mystical Darjeeling: Taking Tea in the Clouds, "every prized gem has its counterfeiters, and a good deal of tea over the years from other areas has been sold under the Darjeeling name."

Levy's article was published in the Tea & Coffee Trade Journal a few years back and you can find it here. Worth a look, even though it doesn't cover tea counterfeiting to any great extent.

Here's an entry from Tea News from Darjeeling Area about the problem of "unscrupulous dealers selling Nepal tea in the name of the premium brand." That's Darjeeling, in case you're wondering. Check out the full article here.

From Pakistan's Daily Times, here's an article that discusses the dramatic rise in tea smuggling. You can access it here, but be aware that you'll have to register at the site (for free) first.

On an unrelated note, but also from India, comes this article that posits that "tea is the new coffee" and gives the lowdown on algae tea, among other things. Yum.

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