The meaning of the word “clonal” on a label

27 March 2012
The meaning of the word “clonal” on a label

In the same way that wine can be made using different grape varieties, tea comes from different plants, each with its own characteristics. In this photo you can see the main cultivars used in the Darjeeling region (India). When a particular lot of tea is made solely from these varieties, Indians call it “clonal”. The word “clonal” on a label does not mean the tea comes from a cloned plant, but simply that the leaves were harvested from very specific cultivars. Some of these cultivars have been developed by an agronomic research institute and are known for their excellent quality and flavour.

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