Indian Tea Varieties: Types of Tea In India

Indian tea

Table of Contents

Indian Tea: Background Information

India annually produces up to 1 billion kilograms of tea, ranking it as the planet’s 2nd highest tea producer and the fourth-largest exporter. China, Kenya, and Sri Lanka join India in the top 4 tea-producing countries. Such is the enormity of the tea commodity in India that a board had to form to handle all aspects.

The Tea Board of India controls regulations, research, and even promotions. The Board tracks the quality of the tea grown in India and works with growers to develop ways to improve upon the existing quality. The Board also provides assistance to producers of all sizes within the industry.

Along with producing a high volume, India also consumes a significant portion of this beverage. The country accounts for no less than 19% of the total global tea consumption. In fact, the country of origin enjoys approximately 76% of the tea that India produces.

That figure leads all other global tea producers which typically export more tea than they consume. Nearly every part of India supports a tea-growing region. Over 14,000 tea estates operate in 15 different states across the country.

History of Indian Tea

Origins and Early Cultivation of Tea in India

Tea’s journey in India dates back to ancient times, shrouded in legends. According to one tale, a Buddhist monk named Bodhidharma brought tea seeds to India from China in the 6th century. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that commercial tea cultivation began.

In 1823, British officer Robert Bruce discovered wild tea plants in the forested hills of Assam. His brother, Charles Bruce, started experimenting with these plants and successfully produced tea from them. The Assam region soon became the heartland of Indian tea production.

British Influence and the Establishment of Tea Plantations

The British East India Company recognized great potential in Indian tea and initiated its large-scale cultivation to rival Chinese tea imports. In 1835, they established the first tea plantation in Assam, which marked the official start of the Indian tea industry.

Seeing the profit in tea cultivation, the British colonial government backed it with support and incentives, promoting tea estates. They motivated Indian and European planters to put their investments into tea production, which led to a swift expansion of tea plantations across Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri regions.

In the mid-19th century, they established the Darjeeling tea industry, adding a unique dimension to Indian tea. The cool climate and high-altitude plantations in Darjeeling facilitated the production of teas with unique muscatel flavors, thus earning the region the title of “The Champagne of Teas.”

Over time, Indian tea production grew exponentially, and tea became an integral part of Indian culture and economy. Today, India stands as one of the world’s largest tea producers, offering a diverse array of teas cherished both domestically and internationally.

Major Tea-Growing Regions in India

India, with its diverse climatic conditions and geographical landscapes, boasts several prominent tea-growing regions that contribute to its rich tea heritage. Here are some of the major tea-growing regions in the country:

Assam

Located in the northeastern part of India, Assam is the largest tea-producing region in the country. Its fertile plains and abundant rainfall provide an ideal environment for tea cultivation. Assam tea is known for its robust and malty flavor, making it a popular choice for breakfast teas and blends. The distinctive reddish-brown liquor and strong aroma of Assam teas have earned them global recognition.

Darjeeling

Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in West Bengal, Darjeeling is renowned for producing some of the world’s finest and most sought-after teas. Often referred to as the “Champagne of Teas,” Darjeeling teas are celebrated for their unique muscatel flavors and floral aromas. The region’s cool and misty climate, along with its high-altitude tea gardens, contributes to the tea’s exceptional characteristics.

Nilgiri

Located in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Nilgiri region is known for its picturesque landscapes and pleasant climate, making it suitable for tea cultivation throughout the year. Nilgiri teas are prized for their fragrant and delicate flavors, often with notes of fruitiness. The teas from this region are lighter compared to Assam and Darjeeling teas, making them an excellent choice for iced teas and blends.

Kangra

Nestled in the picturesque Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kangra is a lesser-known but significant tea-growing region in India. The region’s high altitude and cool climate contribute to the development of distinctive and delicate teas with a unique character. Kangra teas have been gaining attention in recent years for their quality and fine craftsmanship.

Dooars and Terai

Located in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas, the Dooars and Terai regions, spanning parts of West Bengal and Assam, are known for producing a significant quantity of CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) teas. These teas are used primarily for tea bags and mass-market blends.

Each of these regions contributes its distinct flavors and characteristics to the diverse tapestry of Indian teas. From the bold and robust teas of Assam to the delicate and prized teas of Darjeeling, India’s tea-growing regions offer an array of delightful choices for tea enthusiasts worldwide.

Health Benefits of Indian Teas

Traditional Medicinal Uses of Indian Teas

Indian teas have been treasured for their medicinal properties for centuries. In traditional practices like Ayurveda, various teas have been used to promote health and well-being. Some of the traditional medicinal uses of Indian teas include:

  1. Digestive Aid: Herbal teas like peppermint and ginger have been used to alleviate digestive issues, such as bloating and indigestion.
  2. Stress Relief: Certain herbal blends, such as chamomile and tulsi (holy basil) teas, have been known to help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep quality.
  3. Immune Support: Teas infused with herbs like tulsi, turmeric, and Indian gooseberry (amla) are believed to boost the immune system and protect against infections.
  4. Detoxification: Herbal teas with ingredients like dandelion and fennel have been used to support the body’s natural detoxification processes.

Modern Research and Scientific Evidence on Tea’s Health Benefits

In recent years, modern scientific research has shed light on the potential health benefits of Indian teas, particularly green tea, black tea, and some herbal blends. Some of the well-researched health benefits include:

  1. Antioxidant Properties: Green tea and certain herbal teas are rich in antioxidants, such as catechins and flavonoids, which help neutralize free radicals and protect cells from damage.
  2. Heart Health: Regular consumption of black tea has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. The flavonoids in tea may help improve cardiovascular health by promoting healthy blood vessels and reducing blood pressure.
  3. Weight Management: Green tea has been studied for its potential role in supporting weight management efforts. Its catechins and caffeine may help boost metabolism and fat burning.
  4. Brain Health: Both green and black teas contain compounds that may enhance cognitive function and protect the brain from age-related decline.
  5. Diabetes Management: Some research suggests that certain teas, like green tea and herbal blends containing fenugreek, may help improve insulin sensitivity and aid in managing diabetes.
  6. Oral Health: Compounds in black tea, such as polyphenols and fluoride, may help reduce the growth of harmful oral bacteria and promote dental health.

Health Benefits From Different Types of Tea in India

There are several health benefits that can be attributed to the consumption of Indian tea. Different varieties feature compounds in the tea leaves that are reported to be good for your overall health. Here is a breakdown of the most common benefits:

  1. Masala Chai: The combination of spices that are added to black tea to create this aromatic and flavorful drink is a very popular and tasty option. The mixture includes cinnamon, ginger, cloves, herbs, and elaichi. You can drink Masala Chai tea to combat body inflammation. It can also assist with beating fatigue.
  2. Assam Tea: This black tea grown in the Assam Territory has a body and a bold, malt flavor. It is a popular breakfast tea all over the world and no wonder – the health benefits alone make this a great beverage. Assam tea increases mental alertness and may prevent ovarian and lung cancer.
  3. Butter Tea: Traditionally made from tea leaves, butter, water, and salt, this is a popular drink in the Himalayan Region. Butter tea is also known as gur gur in the Ladakhi language and offers benefits fitting for high elevations. It is high in calories and is known to prevent chapped lips.
  4. Nilgiri Tea: As this tea is grown in the southern part of the Western Ghats, it is also known as blue mountain tea. This dark, flavorful, and aromatic tea is known to fight diabetes as well as provide weight loss. Nilgiri tea can also help you with your oral health between visits to your dentist.
  5. Darjeeling Tea: There are several varieties of Darjeeling tea that are popular all over the world. It is thin-bodied and has a distinctive aroma. Some say it is a soothing drink. Health benefits from this beverage include the prevention of gastric ulcers. It is also said to be the best tea in India.

It’s important to note that while tea offers potential health benefits, it is not a substitute for medical treatment or a balanced diet. Individual responses to tea’s health benefits may vary, and excessive consumption of some teas can have adverse effects, especially for certain individuals or health conditions. As with any dietary changes or health concerns, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

How To Prepare Indian Tea

Indian tea is typically enjoyed in one of two different ways. Either with milk or without. Blended varieties that are mixed with milk are popular choices such as the Indian chai tea mixes.

The typical method used to make Indian tea involves boiling a mixture of water, milk, and sugar together before adding the loose-leaf tea. Cover for two minutes then pour it into tea cups. To make tea without milk, boil water and pour it into a tea cup. Add half a teaspoon of loose-leaf tea and cover for two minutes. Then serve and enjoy.

Different Types of Tea In India

There are no less than 20 different types of Indian tea. In this section, we will break many of them down and describe the tea, where it comes from in India, and review a number of them for you.

Assam Tea

The first tea estate in India was established in the Assam Region in 1837. The tea grown here is at a relatively low elevation in soil that is both rich and loamy. Assam tea accounts for the highest amount of tea produced in the country. This Indian tea is rich, full-bodied, and very strong. It tastes malty and has a deep amber color.


Taylor’s Harrogate Assam 50 Teabags

Taylor’s Harrogate Assam Tea

Produced in the Brahmaputra Valley of India, this Assam tea is a powerful, malty beverage. This box contains a total of 50 English-style, tagless tea bags of 2.5 grams of tea leaves. Assam tea is high in antioxidants and this package features 100% natural Assam tea. Blended and packaged in England.

Pros

Rich flavor, perfect for a breakfast tea

Cons

The packaging looks cheap, however, the product is of good quality
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Vahdam Assam Black Tea – Single Origin Black Loose Leaf Tea

Vahdam Assam Black Tea - Single Origin Black Loose Leaf Tea

This package contains garden-fresh Assam loose-leaf tea from the most popular tea-growing region in the world. Packed and shipped direct from India, featuring 100% all-natural tea leaves with no additives or added flavors. This ethical, fair-trade supplier supports the education of the children from the tea growers’ families and redirects a portion of their profit to that cause. Expect a robust, full-bodied malt flavor that makes this Indian tea a great breakfast or morning pick-me-up. Also backed with a 100% money-back guarantee.

pros

High-quality product
Ethical producer

Cons

Do not brew longer than 5-minutes or it may taste bitter
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Darjeeling Tea

Tea in the Darjeeling Region is grown in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The plantations, located between 600 and 2,000 meters in elevation, have three harvests (called flushes). The first flush tea is light and aromatic. The second flush tea has more flavor with the final flush producing a tea of lesser quality.

The first flush tea is the most expensive of the three with the third flush costing the least. Darjeeling tea is considered one of the finest in the World as it is delicately flavored. There is often a floral or fruit flavor and the tea will be either gold or amber in color. The cool, wet growing region impacts the flavor of this with each flush.


Twinings London Darjeeling Black Tea Bags

Twinings London Darjeeling Black Tea Bags

Featuring a total of six boxes of Darjeeling tea with 50 tea bags per box, this is a great volume package. The tea grown in the Darjeeling Region of India is known for its woody aroma and slightly dry and delicate taste. These tea bags contain only natural tea leaves with no artificial ingredients.

Pros

A quality Indian tea from a well-known tea company
The package contains a total of 300 tea bags!

Cons

Short-dated tea may make consuming 300 tea bags difficult prior to the ‘best before’ date
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VAHDAM Darjeeling Black Tea Leaves from the Himalayas

VAHDAM Darjeeling Black Tea Leaves Himalayas

This bulk package of second-flush loose-leaf tea comes in a double air-sealed aluminum-lined zipper bag to preserve freshness. The 9-ounce/255-gram bulk pack makes an equivalent of 150+ cups of tea. The tea leaves are garden fresh and shipped direct from the plantations in the Darjeeling Region of India. A portion of profits goes back to the farmers as part of the ethical practices of the supplier. This product comes complete with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros

Second-flush teas are usually better quality than other flushes and this is good tea
The packaging of a sealed zipper bag provides airtight storage

Cons

The packaging of a sealed zipper bag provides airtight storage
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Nilgiri Tea

The extremely high-elevation Indian tea produced in the Nilgiri Region can be found in the Blue Mountains between 1,000 and 2,500 meters in elevation. The first teas grown in the region resulted from plantings in the 1850s by Europeans. Nilgiri tea has a subtle and elegant flavor that is floral with a creamy feel. They are fragrant and golden yellow in color.


Nilgiri Estate Loose Leaf Black Tea

Nilgiri Estate Loose Leaf Black Tea

Packaged in a single 8-ounce bulk bag, the loose-leaf tea is produced in the Nilgiri Region of India. The tea leaves a broken up in this product and amount to 4 cups of leaves which will produce over 150 cups of tea. This variety of tea leaves also makes a great iced tea drink. The leaves are also suitable for brewing more than once if desired.

Pros

This is a mild tea and is great consumed hot or cold
The packaging is over 8 ounces of bulk tea leaves

Cons

If you prefer a stronger, bolder tea, this is not the one for you
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VAHDAM, Nilgiri Breakfast Black Tea

VAHDAM, Nilgiri Breakfast Black Tea

Harvested from select gardens in the Nilgiri Region of India, the all-natural tea leaves retain a rich flavor and aroma. This package contains 100% pure, unblended Nilgiri tea leaves which can be enjoyed as either a hot or iced tea beverage. The supplier buys directly from the grower as part of their ethical and fair-trade practices. This product comes with a 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros

This Indian tea has a complex, yet subtle sweetness to it, and this makes Nilgiri tea a nice ‘treat’ for any time of the day
An affordable, alternative black tea

Cons

This is not as bold as your typical breakfast tea, but it does make a good afternoon tea
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Green Tea

Although India is best known for growing some of the best black teas on the planet, their Green tea is also worthy of note. Primarily grown in the Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Sikkim, and Dooars Regions, the green teas are known to have distinct aromas and flavors unique to each area.

If you are a fan of green tea, then you may also want to check out our articles on Japanese tea and Korean tea.


Organic India Tulsi Green Tea Bags

Organic India Tulsi Green Tea

Featuring a blend of three varieties of Tulsi tea leaves (Rama, Vana, and Krishna) which results in a perfectly balanced herbal infusion. This great green tea in India contains several health benefits including relieving stress, immune system support, and increasing stamina, and is also loaded with antioxidants. Also, 100% certified organic. This package contains 18 tea bags per box.

Pros

The package is environmentally friendly, made from recycled materials
A blend of amazing flavors ranging from lemon ginger to sweet rose

Cons

This Indian tea is very rich in flavor and may be too much so for some drinkers
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VAHDAM, Green Tea Leaves from the Himalayas

VAHDAM, Green Tea Leaves from Himalayas

Hand-plucked tea leaves from the high elevation plantations in the Himalayan Mountains are what is contained in this package. This Green Tea is the purest natural detox tea with no additives or artificial flavors. The loose-leaf tea is shipped direct from India by an ethical, fair-trade supplier who turns a portion of profits back to the farmers. This product has a money-back guarantee.

Pros

Affordable, organic, and tasty tea
Effective as a 14-day detox tea

Cons

Not a huge quantity of loose-leaf tea if you are expecting a lot – this is meant to be used as a short run of 14 days.
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Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a partially oxidized tea, falling between the processing methods of green tea and black tea. The leaves used for oolong tea are allowed to undergo partial oxidation before they are heated to halt the oxidation process. The degree of oxidation can vary, leading to a broad range of flavors and aromas in oolong teas. Some oolongs may be closer in flavor to green teas, with lighter and floral characteristics, while others may have more pronounced fruity or toasty notes, resembling black teas.

Masala Chai

Tea plants grown in the Assam Region are used for Masala Indian Chai tea. What makes this such a popular beverage is the mixture of herbs, spices, cinnamon, and cloves that are added to create a bold, spicy, and flavorful drink. It has an aroma where you will note the spices immediately.

Try it yourself with this recipe:

Masala Chai Recipe

Ingredients
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black tea
Directions
  1. In a mortar, crush the cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon, or use a coffee grinder.
  2. Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the tea.
  6. Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
  7. Stir the chai, then strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.
  8. Enjoy!

And make sure that you check out these 2 short videos to learn more about Masala Chai:


Golden Moon Masala Chai Tea – Organic

Golden Moon Masala Chai Tea - Organic

Grown in the Assam Region, the tea leaves used in this package are all-natural, 100% USDA-certified organic. There are no added flavors or artificial ingredients. The balance of this spicy and invigorating blend includes spices from South East Asia to create a delicious beverage you will want to drink several times a day. This product features a 90-day 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros

Good quality Indian spiced tea
The tea bags are eco-friendly

Cons

If you really wanted to, you could just make your own blend using a regular Assam black Indian tea
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Tea India Masala Chai

Tea India Masala Chai

This authentic Masala Chai tea package contains 80 round tea bags. There are no artificial flavors as the ingredients contained in each tea bag are 100% natural. The chai tea these bags produce is a lively blend of tea and spices which has a unique aroma and distinct flavor. Each box holds the tea bags in foil to keep them fresh.

Pros

A delicious chai that can be enjoyed daily hot or cold
This bulk package will last a long time

Cons

Depending on your taste, you may find this Indian tea too bitter when consumed without cream or milk
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Noon Chai (Kashmiri Tea)

This is a variation of the traditional tea grown in the Kashmir Region. It is a beverage that is cooked in a samovar – a copper kettle used to brew, boil and serve this tea. Noon Chai is salted and comes in a pinkish color. It is served in other parts of India as well.


VAHDAM Kashmiri Natural Cinnamon Cardamom Tea

VAHDAM Kashmiri Natural Cinnamon Cardamom Tea

The mixture in each package contains a perfect balance of fine Green tea leaves, freshly ground cinnamon sticks, crushed cardamom pods, almonds, and saffron strands. The tea that is brewed from this combination is rich and has a unique flavor. The tea leaves come direct from India and are vacuum-sealed within 24 to 72 hours of harvesting. The supplier is a supporter of ethical, fair-trade practices and turns a portion of profits back to the local farmers. This product has a 100% money-back guarantee.

Pros

This is an excellent green tea
There are health benefits to drinking this including weight loss

Cons

Weight loss results vary from person to person
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Ginger Chai (Adrak Wali Chai)

Ginger Chai is a mixture of ginger and black tea. The variations range from ground fresh ginger to ginger drops and ginger powder. The tea, which is often served with milk, has a caramel look and a bold scent of and taste of ginger.


Natures Guru Instant Unsweetened Traditional Ginger Chai

Natures Guru Instant Unsweetened Traditional Ginger Chai

As this is an instant chai mix, each packet contains a powdered mix. Just add to hot water or milk to enjoy. The blend of black tea and spices creates a robust aroma that hints at various spicy combinations with an all-natural taste that will give you a jolt and tease your taste buds.

Pros

This is a very tasty instant chai tea mix

Cons

The ginger may overpower all the other spices in this mixture
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Cardamom Tea (Elaichi Chai)

This is another of the popular ‘spice teas’ of India. It is prepared very much like Ginger Chai only this uses Cardamom as the chosen spice. You can grind up the cardamom into a powder for easy mixing with the black tea. This has a strong flavor and aroma of cardamom.


Quik Tea Chai Cardamom Tea

Quik Tea Chai Cardamom Tea

This all-natural chai tea contains no preservatives and is packed with nutrient-rich ingredients that are good for your health. The box of tea contains 10 packs, and this is one of several different flavors available from this tea company. The name tells you that all you need to do for a ‘quick tea’ is mix the powder from a single pack into either hot water or hot milk to enjoy.

Pros

Handy single-serving packs
Very tasty spiced tea mix

Cons

If you are not a fan of cardamom, you will want to avoid this product
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Clove Tea (Long ki Chai)

Clove Tea is one more variation of a number of popular Indian spice teas. This particular one requires cloves and once mixed with black tea will be bold with flavor and will also contain a strong aroma. You will smell and taste cloves with this tea which is best served hot.

Cinnamon Tea (Dalchini ki Chai)

As you can probably tell, various spices used as tea ingredients are very popular in India. Cinnamon Tea is one such example. Mixed with black tea, ground cinnamon produces a sweet-tasting tea that is soothing on the throat and smells absolutely delicious.

Black Pepper Tea (Kali Mirch ki Chai)

This variation on the spice tea theme is a tea that features black tea and black pepper with other spices. This tea has a strong aroma and comes with a snappy taste that hints at being rather spicy although it is not, depending on the other herbs that are used in the recipe.

Irani Chai

Considered a popular breakfast tea, thanks to the bold and bright flavor it has, Irani Chai is a unique beverage. Available mostly in select locations, this beverage is a blend of masala chai tea with additional spices added to give it added power. It is a good morning kick starter.

Tandoori Chai

This is probably the newest variety of tea in India. Clay pots are pre-heated to brew the tea which is then served in fresh and clean red clay teacups called kulhads. The unique concept of this tea service results in a beverage that has a slightly smoky flavor and aroma.

Lemon Tea (with honey)

Lemon Tea is a unique mixture of black tea, herbs, and spices as well as lemon. The citrus flavor is subtle, but it comes through all the other contents. Known as a healthy beverage to help with digestion, this drink also tastes great. It has a strong lemon scent mixed with other spices.


Organic India Tulsi Lemon Ginger Tea

Organic India Tulsi Lemon Ginger Tea

This Indian tea is a blend of three different Tulsi varieties including Rama, Vana, and Krishna which creates a stunningly balanced herbal infusion. This mixture is also known to contain several health benefits. The flavor of this tea is most definitely that of lemon and ginger which makes it a soothing and relaxing drink to enjoy anytime. This product is 100% USDA-certified organic and the packaging uses recycled materials. There are 18 tea bags per box.

Pros

Tastes great and makes a nice relaxing drink to help you calm down
The lemon-ginger combo is good for sore throats

Cons

You may taste more ginger than lemon in this drink, depending on the blend you receive
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Butter Tea

Made as a traditional drink by the Himalayans, Butter Tea is a mixture of tea leaves, yak butter, and salt. It is a popular drink in the region that borders India, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is called Po Cha in Tibet and features a bold and thick salty flavor.

Kangra Tea

The Kangra Region of India was one of the first to produce tea. It currently is responsible for a great deal of black and green tea in India. Kangra Tea is best known for its distinctive taste and flavor and is considered a standard of all teas grown in India.

Lemongrass Tea

Lemongrass Tea is a blend of black tea leaves and lemongrass. It is more of an herbal tea than anything else and is enjoyed primarily due to its strong citrus scent, flavor, and taste. There are health benefits that are associated with this beverage which are related to calming and immunity.

Amrut Tulya

Baked in a brass container, Amrut Tulya is an interesting mixture of tea leaves, crushed cardamom, fresh ginger, and fresh water. Once served, this tea has a bold flavor that is soothing to the mouth. The aroma hints at the spices contained and provides a comforting feeling.

White Tea

White Tea is a common variety grown in India, China, and Sri Lanka. It is one of the least processed types of tea. It is made from the young leaves and buds of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) that are plucked before they fully open. The leaves are simply withered and dried, typically under the sun or in carefully controlled indoor conditions. This minimal processing allows white tea to retain a delicate and subtle flavor profile with natural sweetness and floral notes. The tea brews to a pale, almost colorless liquor. The flavor is subtle and may be weak compared to other teas.


Teamonk Certified Organic White Tea Leaves

Teamonk Organic White Tea Leaves

The tea leaves in this product are produced in the high-elevation Darjeeling region of the Himalayans in India. This Indian tea is certified organic and ethically sourced by the distributor. In addition to containing many antioxidants, this tea is gluten-free, GMO-free, and all-natural. This package contains 100g of loose-leaf tea… enough for 50 cups of tea.

Pros

A very authentic-tasting tea with a pleasing blend of herbs
Affordable

Cons

Some people would prefer a stronger flavor of tea
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Dooars and Terai Tea

The cool, damp Dooars Region is home to tea plantations that grow this variety of tea. The lower elevations, ranging from 90 to 1,750 meters above sea level produce a different kind of drink experience. This tea is full-bodied and smooth with a light flavor.


Tea Tourism in India

Popular Tea Estates Open for Tourists:

India’s tea-growing regions offer a unique and immersive experience for tea enthusiasts through tea tourism. Visitors have the opportunity to explore picturesque tea estates, witness tea cultivation practices, and taste a variety of teas. Some of the popular tea estates open for tourists in India include:

  1. Makaibari Tea Estate (Darjeeling): Situated in the misty hills of Darjeeling, Makaibari is one of the oldest and most famous tea estates. Tourists can stroll through lush tea gardens, interact with tea workers, and learn about organic tea cultivation.
  2. Glenburn Tea Estate (Darjeeling): Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Darjeeling, Glenburn offers guided tours that include tea plucking sessions, tea factory visits, and delightful tea tastings.
  3. Munnar Tea Estates (Kerala): Munnar, in Kerala’s Nilgiri region, is renowned for its scenic tea plantations. Visitors can enjoy guided walks through tea gardens, understanding the intricacies of tea processing.
  4. Kangra Tea Estates (Himachal Pradesh): The Kangra Valley is home to several picturesque tea estates that offer tours. Tourists can witness the tea plucking process and observe the craft of tea processing.

Experiencing Tea Plucking and Processing Firsthand:

Tea tourism provides a hands-on experience, allowing visitors to engage in tea plucking and processing activities. Tourists can:

  1. Pluck Tea Leaves: Visitors are often invited to try their hand at plucking tea leaves under the guidance of skilled tea workers. They can experience the labor-intensive process of handpicking tender tea leaves.
  2. Tea Processing Demos: Tourists can witness the various stages of tea processing, from withering and rolling to oxidation and drying. They get an insight into how different tea types are crafted.
  3. Tea Tasting Sessions: The highlight of tea tourism is the opportunity to taste a diverse range of freshly brewed teas. Experts guide tourists through tea tastings, helping them appreciate the nuances of flavors and aromas.
  4. Cultural Immersion: Apart from tea-related experiences, tourists often get a glimpse of local culture and traditions. They can interact with tea workers, enjoy traditional performances, and savor local cuisine.

Tea tourism not only offers an educational journey into the world of tea but also provides a chance to connect with nature and experience the tranquility of tea gardens. It’s an enriching experience for tea lovers and travelers seeking to explore the beauty and flavors of India’s tea regions.

Indian Teas FAQs

What are some of the most well know teas grown in India?

Here are some of the most well-known teas grown in India:

–          Assam Tea
–          Darjeeling Tea
–          Nilgiri Tea
–          Kangra Tea
–          Munnar Tea
–          Kashmiri Kahwa Tea
–          Masala Chai Tea
–          Green Tea
–          White Tea
–          CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) Tea

These are just a few examples of the many different kinds of tea that can be found in India.

What is the difference between black tea and green tea?

Black tea and green tea are both popular types of tea that are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, but they differ in their processing methods and properties.

Black tea is made by withering the fresh tea leaves, then rolling, fermenting, and drying them. The oxidation that occurs during the fermentation process gives black tea its characteristic dark color, strong flavor, and higher caffeine content compared to green tea. The flavor of black tea can range from smoky and earthy to floral and fruity, depending on the region and variety.

Green tea, on the other hand, is made by steaming or heating the fresh tea leaves immediately after they are harvested to prevent oxidation. The leaves are then rolled and dried, which preserves their natural green color and delicate flavor. Green tea is known for its grassy, vegetal taste and lower caffeine content compared to black tea.

Both black and green tea contain antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that have been linked to health benefits, such as improving heart health, reducing the risk of certain cancers, and aiding in weight loss. However, due to their different processing methods, black tea and green tea may have slightly different nutritional profiles and health benefits

Which Indian tea is the most popular among tea lovers?

The most popular Indian tea among tea lovers is Assam tea. Northeastern India’s Assam state is well-known for its robust, malty black tea. Assam tea is renowned for its potent flavor and is frequently included in chai tea blends. Due to its strong flavor, it is also a well-liked option when making iced tea. Many well-known tea brands use Assam tea, which is widely exported.

However, Darjeeling tea, which is grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, is also highly regarded and is considered a premium tea by many. Darjeeling tea is known for its delicate floral aroma and musky spiciness and is often consumed without milk or sugar to fully appreciate its nuanced flavors.

Is Indian tea enjoyed best with or without milk and sugar?

The answer to this question depends on personal preference and the type of tea being consumed. Traditionally, Indian tea is prepared with milk and sugar and is enjoyed for its strong, full-bodied flavor. However, some varieties of tea, such as Darjeeling, are best enjoyed without milk and sugar to fully appreciate their delicate and nuanced flavors. Green tea is another example of a tea that is typically enjoyed without milk and sugar.

Ultimately, whether Indian tea is enjoyed best with or without milk and sugar is a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer their tea strong and sweet with milk and sugar, while others prefer a more subtle flavor and enjoy their tea without milk and sugar. It’s worth experimenting with different brewing methods and flavor combinations to find the perfect cup of Indian tea that suits your individual tastes.

Where are the major tea-growing regions in India located?

The majority of India’s tea-growing areas are found in its northeast, primarily in the states of Assam, West Bengal, and the Darjeeling region.

Over 50% of India’s tea is produced in Assam, the nation’s largest tea-producing region. The state is bordered by Bhutan and Bangladesh and is situated in northeastern India.

West Bengal is another major tea-producing state in India, with tea gardens located in the districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Cooch Behar. Tea connoisseurs from all over the world are highly regarded for Darjeeling’s exceptional tea in particular.

The southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka, as well as the northern and eastern states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Arunachal Pradesh, are also states in India where tea is grown. However, Assam and West Bengal produce the majority of the tea consumed in India.

How important is the Indian tea industry for the country’s economy?

The Indian tea industry is an important contributor to the country’s economy. India is one of the largest tea producers in the world, with tea exports accounting for a significant portion of the country’s total exports. According to the Tea Board of India, the tea industry provides employment to over 3.5 million people, including tea garden workers, tea traders, and tea factory workers.

Many Indian states, particularly the major tea-producing regions of Assam and West Bengal, rely heavily on the sale of tea as a revenue source. Thousands of small-scale tea growers, many of whom have tiny plots of land, rely on the tea industry to support their livelihoods. These growers sell their tea leaves to larger tea estates or factories.

The Indian tea industry is significant culturally and historically, reflecting the nation’s colonial past and its connections to other tea-drinking cultures around the world, in addition to its economic importance. The sector is a significant component of India’s heritage and identity and has had a significant impact on the social and economic landscape of the regions where it is grown.


Conclusion

India’s tea heritage is a tapestry woven with a myriad of flavors and aromas, shaped by centuries of history and cultural influence. From the robust and malty teas of Assam to the delicate and muscatel flavors of Darjeeling, and the fragrant brews of Nilgiri, each region offers a unique tea experience. Beyond the traditional varieties, the country’s rich tea culture also includes masala chai, a spiced blend beloved by millions. Indian teas have not only become a cultural and economic mainstay but also a source of pride for the nation, enchanting tea enthusiasts around the world.

Indian tea is considered the best quality tea grown on Earth. With such productive tea plantations all over the country, you can try a different kind each week and taste the same tea close to just twice a year!

By exploring the exquisite flavors of Indian teas, you not only delight your taste buds but also support the livelihoods of countless tea growers and workers who passionately nurture the tea gardens. Whether sipping a cup of classic Assam tea in the morning or indulging in the enchanting muscatel notes of Darjeeling in the afternoon, each tea tells a tale of craftsmanship, heritage, and a deep-rooted connection to the land.

For a true tea connoisseur, Indian teas are the standard by which all others are measured. If you haven’t already done so, why not try some of the teas mentioned above today to see what makes Indian tea so great?

With so many types of tea in India, it can be hard to know where to start. So which Indian tea is your favorite? Please share your pick below…

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