It has been a day of travel today – Darjeeling to Kolkata to a delightful evening hosted by Mr Singh, the Chairman of Goodricke.  To say that we were greeted by warmth and kindness would be a gross understatement. The kindness I have been shown in the past few days has been unmatched. And the hospitality simply humbling.

I said yesterday that I would talk about the complex flavours of Darjeeling teas.  There are so many reasons why Darjeeling is so unique. The unique Chinese tea bush is one, the mixed oxidation leaves is another. The third is the high altitude the tea is grown at, and this is where I think of teas leaves like people.

The higher the altitude the tea is grown at, the more complex the flavours become. When we are at high altitudes, as I’ve discovered I the past few days, we struggle as well.  Our breathing is shallower and we tend to slow down. The tea leaf reacts in very much the same way – it’s growth slows down and it struggles. That struggle is what produces complexity and interest. Much like us. Each and every one of as our own story. We struggle, we go on and we survive. And we all come out the other end more interesting than when we went in.

Remember that the next time you sit with a cup of tea. Think of the struggle that leaf went through to produce the delicious flavours in your cup. And when you do that, think of the person who has tested your patience, driven you mad, and provoked your anger today. And then remember that they have a story, a complex story with struggles…you just don’t know their story.