Page:An account of the manufacture of the bla.pdf/25

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little in the sun; some put them out into the dew and then again into the sun three successive days, others only after a little drying put them into hot pan, turn them about until quite hot, and then place them into the hollow of a bamboo, and drive the whole down with a stick, holding and turning the bamboo over the fire all the time, until it is full, then tie the end up with leaves, and hang the bamboo up in some smoky place in the hut; thus prepared the Tea will keep good for years. A good way further east they dig holes in the earth, line the sides with large leaves, boil the Tea leaves, throw away the decoction, put the leaves into the hole, which they cover over with leaves and earth, and then allow the whole to ferment; after which it is taken out, filled into bamboos, and in this manner prepared taken to market. These Singphos pretend to be great judges of Tea. All their country abounds with the plant, but they are very jealous and will give no information where it is to be found, like the Muttuck people. All the Singpho territories are overrun with wood jungle, and if only the under wood was cleared, they would make a noble Tea country. The soil is well adapted for the plant. Nearly three years ago I by accident left a few Singpho Teaplants, which I had carried away, on the banks of the New Dehing, three days journey from the place where I had got them; they were discovered by some Singpho friends of mine and stuck into the earth; and there they are now growing, as if they had never been transplanted, and notwithstanding they were put in the shade. The Singpho country is a fine one, but as long as that nation can get the Tea leaves from the jungles, they never will cultivate the plant; the country is thinly inhabited by a set of men, who are always fighting amongst them-