In 2019, working with the local nomad community, Kilung Foundation successfully established an herb tea business, Orgyen Terja, in Dzachuka.
In folk stories, Orgyen Terja was brought to Tibet as a hidden treasure by Guru Rinpoche. The dried leaf made tea has been traditionally enjoyed by Tibetans for hundreds of years. However, in recent years, this herb tea was almost forgotten. But its delicate flavor and healthful properties inspired us to revive it for the benefit of people drinking it, and also to promote local economic development.
Professors in Peking University identified the herb as Potentilla tatsienluensis. Laboratory analysis showed that the tea is caffeine-free, and contains rich functional components such as the antioxidant falconoid.
Local nomads were hired to collect and process it. In order to obtain its best form, flavor and aroma, we adapted modern tea roasting techniques to making the tea.
At the end of last summer, we successfully obtained all necessary business licenses and permits. In addition to local sales, we opened an online store on Taobao, the Chinese leading online shopping website. Orders are coming in from China and Taiwan. In the future we hope to expand sales beyond Asia.
The tea production ended with the coming of winter. Not only did the local nomads receive their payment, but the profits will support Kilung Foundation’s humanitarian projects in Dzachuka, in particular the rebuilding of the Kilung Shedra complex.