Photographer's Note

Historically, Lahijan (a city located in the Iranian northern province of Gilan) is the first town in Iran to have tea plantations. With its mild weather, soil quality and fresh spring water, Lahijan stands to have the largest area of tea cultivation in Iran.

The history of tea culture in Iran started at the end of the 15th century. Before that coffee was the main beverage in Iran. However, most of the coffee producing countries were located far from Iran, making shipping very difficult. With a major tea producing country, China, located on a nearby trading path, "the silk road", and the shipping of tea was much easier. That was a main reason why tea became much popular in Iran. As a result, the demand for tea grew, and more tea needed to be imported to match Iran's consumption.
In 1899 Prince Mohammad Mirza known as "Kashef Al Saltaneh" who was born in Lahijan, imported Indian tea and started its cultivation in Lahijan. He started the cultivation in the region Gilan, south of the Caspian Sea. The climate there was well suited for tea cultivation, and the tea industry quickly expanded in Gilan and Mazanderan region. Kashef’s mausoleum in Lahijan is now part of the "Iran's National Tea Museum".
In 1934 the first modern style tea factory was built. Now there are up to 107 tea factories and a total of 32,000 hectare of tea farms.

Most of the farms are located the hillsides of Iran like the farms in Darjeeling. The color of Iranian tea is red and taste is fairly light, and it is delicious without adding any milk or sugar.

I took the shot in Ata Kooh, a mountainous place near the city of Lahijan. As you see the mountain slopes are carpeted with tea plantations. It was early in the morning; the best time for picking the young leaves of tea. Some people are also seen working there in the left.

Info taken from Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Atousa Taghavi (Atousa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1105 W: 57 N: 2111] (7131)
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