Tea is grown on hill steps in Darjeeling mainly because of the steep terrain and the high altitude of the region. The slopes provide a natural drainage system that prevents waterlogging, which can harm the tea plants. Additionally, the altitude and cool climate of Darjeeling provide the perfect conditions for growing tea, with high levels of rainfall and humidity, as well as sunny days and cool nights.
The stepped terraces also allow for efficient water use and soil conservation, as well as easier maintenance of the tea plants. Overall, the hilly terrain and stepped cultivation has become signature characteristic of Darjeeling tea and contribute to its unique taste and quality.