Home / News / India /  110-year-old iconic Darjeeling cafe stops serving Darjeeling tea - here’s why

For the first time in its 110-year history, Darjeeling's famous cafe Glenary's has ceased selling Darjeeling Tea in protest of tea-planters' unwillingness to pay annual bonuses to workers all at once.

“The 110 year old Glenary's will stop serving and selling Darjeeling tea for the first time in its history, as a mark of protest, till the workers can enjoy their Dashain with their loved ones. On an average they get about eight thousand as their bonus, the largest amount that they ever see in a whole year, and every year it is the same drama," wrote Glenary’s owner Ajoy Edwards in a Facebook post.

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“Will stop drinking and selling #darjeelingtea till they give 20% bonus at one time, to the poorest of the poor in our society, our tea garden workers, because Darjeeling tea is #BloodTea," he added.

Dashain is Vijaya Dashami, or Dussehra, which is celebrated in and around Nepal.

Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government earlier asked Darjeeling Tea producers to split the 20% incentive into two payments. As per the suggestion, 15% of the total cash should be given before Durga Puja, and the rest funds should be given before Diwali. All labour unions, however, demand that the bonus be given to tea garden workers all at once.

In another Facebook post, Edwards displayed posters ready for a “peaceful movement" of tea garden workers that is supposed to take place on September 27 at 10 AM.

Posters for protest for tea garden workers
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Posters for protest for tea garden workers

Edwards is among several other Darjeeling residents who launched a campaign by dubbing Darjeeling tea "BloodTea". Glenary's, a renowned landmark in Darjeeling, sells almost 1,000 pots of Darjeeling Tea each day during the tourist season. Depending on size, a pot of Darjeeling tea might cost anywhere from 250 to 300, as per the owner.

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According to a Glenary's official statement, it intends to stop exploitation and protect the rights of tea garden workers. "We are about people. Not just our consumers, but also the farmers that grow and pick our tea," The Telegraph quoted the statement.


Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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