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Mission & Vision

Our Vision:

Kumaon as the first globally-traded tea region to be built and owned by local communities

Our Mission: 

Unlock the full potential of tea to reverse urban migration and climate change in the Himalayas of India and Nepal.

Our Work:

To do this, Young Mountain Tea is building the Kumaon tea region in the Indian Himalayas and introducing its teas to international markets. After six years developing the Indian supply chain and American market, we are raising funds to set up a Kumaon factory and scale our marketing.

Women picking tea in tea garden Champawat Kumaon India

HISTORY OF INDIAN TEA

In the 1840s the British smuggled the tea plant from China to the Indian Himalayas. The first Indian tea region to gain global recognition was Darjeeling, which the British built without sharing any ownership or profits with local farmers.

Meanwhile, the plant thrived in Kumaon soils. However the region’s distance from a port prevented supply chains for being established. Eventually the Kumaon tea gardens were abandoned except for one, which was managed by a local Indian family named the Birkbecks. 

TODAY 

Darjeeling is one of the most acclaimed tea producing regions in the world, however without any ownership stake in the estates, farmers are organizing strikes, and in some cases, leaving the industry entirely. A 2017 strike shut down Darjeeling’s entire production for half the season.

In Kumaon the absence of local jobs forces youth to migrate in search of work, leading to farms deteriorating into wasteland. To solve these problems the state government worked with the Birkbeck family to launch a tea program in the 90s. Four years ago, Young Mountain Tea began working with the Birkbecks to create a farmer-led model for tea.

Black and White Tea pluck hands in Kumaon india, Young mountain Tea

FUTURE

The Kumaon region will one day serve as the shining example of tea’s ability to empower communities and combat climate change, not only for India but for all 800 million mountainous people being driven by urban migration and climate change.

Desmond and Raj drinking tea in Kumaon India, Young Mountain Tea