Indian Tea Varieties – Types of Teas In India
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
- 1 Table of Contents
- 2 Indian Tea Varieties Background Information
- 3 Health Benefits
- 4 How To Prepare Indian Tea
- 5 Different Types of Tea In India
- 5.1 Assam Tea
- 5.2 Darjeeling Tea
- 5.3 Nilgiri Tea
- 5.4 Green Tea
- 5.5 Masala Chai
- 5.6 Noon Chai (Kashmiri Tea)
- 5.7 Ginger Chai (Adrak Wali Chai)
- 5.8 Cardamom Tea (Elaichi Chai)
- 5.9 Clove Tea (Long ki Chai)
- 5.10 Cinnamon Tea (Dalchini ki Chai)
- 5.11 Black Pepper Tea (Kali Mirch ki Chai)
- 5.12 Irani Chai
- 5.13 Tandoori Chai
- 5.14 Lemon Tea (with honey)
- 5.15 Butter Tea
- 5.16 Kangra Tea
- 5.17 Lemongrass Tea
- 5.18 Amrut Tulya
- 5.19 White Tea
- 5.20 Dooars and Terai Tea
- 6 Indian Teas FAQs
- 6.1 What are some of the most well know teas grown in India?
- 6.2 What is the difference between black tea and green tea?
- 6.3 Which Indian tea is the most popular among tea lovers?
- 6.4 Is Indian tea enjoyed best with or without milk and sugar?
- 6.5 Where are the major tea-growing regions in India located?
- 6.6 How important is the Indian tea industry for the country’s economy?
- 7 Conclusion
Indian Tea Varieties Background Information
India produces up to 1 billion kilograms of tea annually. This makes India the top tea producer on the planet and the fourth-largest tea exporter. Kenya, China, and Sri Lanka are the top three. Tea is such a massive commodity in India that a board had to be formed 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 all size producers within the industry.
In addition to producing a high volume of tea, India also consumes a great deal of the beverage. The country drinks no less than 19% of the total amount of tea consumed in the world. In fact, roughly 76% of the tea produced in India is enjoyed in the country of origin.
That figure leads all other global tea producers which typically export more tea than they consume. India is also unique in that nearly every part of the country has a tea-growing region. There are over 14,000 tea estates in operation in 15 different Indian states.
There are several health benefits that can be attributed to the consumption of Indian tea. There are five specific varieties that 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
VAHDAM Darjeeling Black Tea Leaves from the 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
VAHDAM, Green Tea Leaves from the 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.
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
- 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
- In a mortar, crush the cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon, or use a coffee grinder.
- Transfer the crushed spices to a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the tea.
- Cover and let steep for 3 minutes.
- Stir the chai, then strain it into a warmed teapot or directly into teacups.
And make sure that you check out these 2 short videos to learn more about Masala Chai:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
As this is an instant chai mix, each packet contains 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.
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
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.
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.
Considered a popular breakfast tea, thanks to its 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Western Himalayas Kangra Spring Black Tea Leaves
Packaged and shipped direct from the Kangra Region of India, this box contains 100% unblended Indian tea. There are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this all-natural tea. Officially certified plastic neutral and carbon-neutral, this tea can be brewed hot or cold.
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.
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 is a common variety grown in India, China, and Sri Lanka. It is often referred to as oolong or yellow tea, depending on where it is from. Essentially, white tea is produced from the buds of immature tea leaves. The flavor is subtle and may be weak compared to other teas.
Teamonk Certified 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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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