In the south, the hills of Bois Cheri have hundreds of acres of tea plantations. During the harvest, women start picking the leaves at dawn. They only remove the first two or three leaves on the stems. The tea is then transported to the manufacture where it is first dried and wilted for two days. It then ferments at room temperature for an hour and a half and is stabilized by heating at 110°C for 10 minutes. After the leaves have been sorted according to their calibre, the tea macerates for a whole month. It is finally flavoured with vanilla by adding some essential oils giving it the particular flavour of Mauritian tea! Once Bois Chéri vanilla tea has been tested, it is difficult not to become an addict!
The Bois Chéri is the most famous tea plantation in Mauritius. Its speciality is the traditional vanilla tea.© iStockphoto.com / Santosha
Sugar was one of the country's main sources of revenue before tourism thrived.© iStockphoto.com / Abadonian
The Mauritian economy is dependent on tourism as well as sugar, textiles, services and farming.© iStockphoto.com / Emilie1980
Mauritius is also a producer of tea, at first on a very small scale when the French introduced the plant into the island around 1765. The British developed the industry.© iStockphoto.com / Abadonian
No machinery can replace the meticulous elbow grease that goes into tea picking.© iStockphoto.com / Nadezhda Prokudina