Aug 132012
 

India’s geographical conditions result in varying climates and the tea produced under these varying climates are also vastly different.

These are the 3 major types of tea in India :

1.  Assam

    • Tea that originates from a region of India even higher than Darjeeling
    • Assam tea is produced by  the North Eastern part of the country. This region is dense with forests and is populated by many kinds of wildlife like rhinoceros.  Assam tea is rich and full-bodied.
    • In 1837, the first tea plantation was located  in Assam.
    • This is the largest tea producing region in India and is responsible for almost half of India’s tea production.
    • The strong and spicy tea can also withstand chalky water (water with high calcium carbonate content) and is the basis for various blends of  black tea.
    • There are some 2,000 plantations in Assam. The first batch of tea production from India begins in middle of April until  May.  The second batch is from  June until middle of August.

 Assam

2. Darjeeling

    • Located south of the Himalayan Mountains, Darjeeling is the most different and unique tea producing region.
    • The tea is delicate in flavor and considered to be  one of the best in the whole world .
    • Darjeeling tea comes in the form of  black or white teas  and green or oolong teas.  It is flowery in scent,  thin bodied, and light in color when correctly brewed.    Darjeeling teas are more typically characteristic of oolong since its oxidation is below  90%.  They are, however,  sold as black tea.  Darjeeling tea comes from  China’s small leaf  variety of the plant called Camellia sinensis  rather than the  Assam plant which  is large.
    • White tea,  a variant of Darjeeling tea, is slightly golden and delicately scented.  Its taste is mild with a tinge of sweetness. Their leaves are fluffy and light so one must put in more when brewing.  After picking by hand, Darjeeling tea is rolled and dried under the sun.
    • Oolong tea from the Darjeeling tea variant is light in color  compared to  the black Darjeeling tea during the first harvest  as it  is semi-oxidized.  Indian oolong tea  from the second harvest  is preferred by international  markets.  It is a dark orange liquid , thicker and has a distinctive muscatel flavor.    Only plantations that meet the most stringent  standards  are allowed to cultivate it.  The plantation’s altitude must not be below  3000 feet above sea level and have an average temperature during the season falling between 5 degrees to 20 degrees centigrade.   Indian oolong tea comes from two carefully picked leaves and a bud.  These are  air-dried naturally and under the sun.  The dried leaves are rolled by hand and fried in a pan at specified temperatures.
    • The Darjeeling plantations have 3 distinctive harvests.  The tea from each harvest is uniquely flavored.  The first harvested teas are light and fragrant, whereas  the second harvest is stronger.  The third, or autumn harvest,  produces  tea that is lower  in quality.
    • The Chinese plant type called Thea sinensis is mostly cultivated in this plantation. The shrubs grow slowly at the cold , high altitudes of the Himalayan slopes and accounts for their superior grade and quality.
    • It is a fully fragrant tea from the beginning of the second harvest period and is spicy with a bit of sweetness.

Darjeeling

3.  Nilgiri

    • Tea that originates from a region of India even higher than Darjeeling
    • This southern  region’s  elevations are between 1,000 and 2,500 meters
    • Subtly and gently flavored,   Nilgiri teas are usually mixed with other stronger tea types.

 Nilgiri

I.       Introduction
II.       Kinds of Tea Produced in India
III.     Types of Tea
IV.     History and Origins of Indian Tea
V.      Harvesting of Indian Tea
VI.     5 Places to Visit India Tea Plantations
VII.    Chai Tea

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