Regional Tea Production in India and Speciality Teas
North East India
Assam, North East India
With an ideal tropical and wet climate and the Brahmaputra River providing an extra water source, Assam produces more tea than any other Indian region. Assam black teas are heavily used in classic Indian chai and English blends.
If you like a bright, strong cup of tea, then Assam is definitely your cup of tea! Assam tea has a full-bodied malty flavour, deep aroma and rich colour.
Darjeeling is the most highly regarded tea production region in India, famous for growing “The Champagne of Black Teas.” Only tea grown here can be labelled as Darjeeling Tea.
Darjeeling First Flush – from mid-March to mid-May. It has an amazing rich aroma and a lighter taste as it is not fully oxidized. The taste is more like oolong tea than black tea.
Darjeeling Second Flush – from the end of June until mid-July, with malty, fruity tones and aroma.
Darjeeling Autumn Flush – harvested in October and November before winter and after the monsoon rain, these bigger leaves are no longer leftovers but used for a softer-bodied version of the second flush.
Sikkim has a similar climate to Darjeeling and was developed as a tea-growing area following a government programme.
The first flush has a light floral finish and a sweet taste. The second flush has a toasty and strong flavour, and the third flush is full-bodied and mellow. The final flush has a well-rounded taste and a slight hint of warm spices.
Tea from the wet region of Dooars is usually black, clear and heavy, with brisk notes and tobacco undertones.
Crystal clear, black and full-bodied, this tea is slightly lighter than Assam tea.
Kangra Valley, Himalayas
The constant rainfall and lack of pests and insects help Kangra produce its famous green and black teas.
Known for its unique colour and flavour, Kangra black tea has a sweet lingering aftertaste and the green tea has a delicate woody aroma.
Nilgiri, South-East India
Part of the Western Ghat mountain range, the Nilgiri Hills is India’s third-largest tea producing area, growing a large-leafed sweet, spicy tea. The main plucking season is between December and March.
Fragrant and aromatic with delicate floral notes. Nilgiri Orthodox tea has recently been registered as a Geographical Indication in India.
Anamallais, South India
With over 12,000 hectares under tea, Anamallais is home to the Tea Research Foundation, the second-largest tea research institute managed by UPASI (The United Planters’ Association of Southern India).
Biscuity aroma, brisk and bright. A morning refresher!
Wayanad, South India
This gorgeous green destination is full of plantations, forests and wildlife. After the 1897 coffee bubble burst, planters turned to tea instead.
Medium toned, earthy red with biscuit notes. Mild and mellow, and full-bodied with a light briskness.
Karnataka is the largest producer of coffee in India, but also produces over 5 million kg of tea. The plantations are found at a height of over 5000 feet and enjoy a salubrious climate.
Simple and fragrant with a golden colour. Fair bodied, balanced and medium toned. A great all-day tea.
Travancore is surrounded by lush green plantations of tea, coffee, cardamom, coconut, eucalyptus, pepper and rubber. Tea cultivation began after a leaf disease crippled the local coffee plants in 1875.
A medium fragrance reddish tea with yellow hues. Balanced with body, and great to drink at elevenses.
The beautiful hill station of Munnar is the commercial centre of some of the highest tea-growing estates in the world. This idyllic mountain tourist destination has expanses of tea plantations, waterfalls and exotic species of flora and fauna.
Clean and medium-toned golden-yellow tea with a hint of fruit and a sweet biscuit fragrance.