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Tea Production in India – World’s largest tea growing region

tea-factory-assam

The first tea plant was discovered in the Southwest region of China from where it spread all over the world. The tea plant grows best in sub-tropical type of climate or in tropical zones. One of the best quality teas are mostly grown at altitude between 650 m – 1800 m and because of this altitude the plant grows at a slower rate and the plant develops an intricate flavour.

The main producers of tea around the world are China, India, Sri Lanka, Japan and Kenya. India being the largest producer of black tea has the largest tea growing area worldwide.

tea regions

ASSAM

Assam Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 45 – 60 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: 250 – 380 cm.

Just like its name, Assam which means “One without Equal” the tea produced in this region of the world is also distinctive. It is a saying “you haven’t woken up fully if you haven’t sipped Assam tea”. The first native tea plant (Camellia Sinesis Assamica) was discovered in the 1820s which reduced the dependence on Chinese tea imports. The tea produced here is strong and has a smooth malty flavour which is due to its unique weather condition, rich loamy soil and liberal rainfall. The Assam tea plant and its hybrid yields a good quantity of tea leaves with a strong, rich, coppery red cup of tea. Best quality Orthodox and CTC (crush, tear, curl) varieties of tea are manufactured here. The distinctive second flush Orthodox is valued for its rich taste, bright liquor and are considered the choicest tea in the world.

DARJEELING

Darjeeling Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 600 – 2000 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: An average of 310 cm.

Also known as the “Champagne of Teas”, tea from this region is exotic and mysterious just like the hills of Darjeeling themselves. The tea from here is celebrated across the world due to its distinct aroma which is unique to Darjeeling. Darjeeling tea comes only from 87 tea estates which has been producing the finest black and green tea. Due to its different products, Darjeeling Tea is the most coveted tea in the world and has savoured many tea connoisseurs around the world.

Darjeeling tea cannot be grown anywhere else in the world. It poses a flavour and quantity which sets apart from other teas. It is high in anti-oxidants which help in strengthen the immune system.

The Darjeeling tea when brewed gives a pale lemon colour to rich amber. The flavour is mellow, smooth, delicate and sweet. The elevation, soil and climate make the tea taste richer. The yield of the tea gardens is less compared to Assam’s tea gardens but the quality is much superior than anywhere found around the world. Teas in this region is harvested from February to mid-April (First Flush) which has a delicate aroma and flowery taste and from June to July (Second Flush) which produces a dark full-bodied cup with an exquisite muscatel flavour. The last season to pick teas are called Autumnal Darjeeling which is harvested just before the season ends.

NILGIRI

Nilgiri Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 1000 – 2500 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: An average of 150 – 230 cm.

Grown on the beautiful blue Nilgiri Hills in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala; Nilgiri Tea has a mild fruity, minty flavour due to the presence of Blue Gum and Eucalyptus trees which dot the region. Both Orthodox and CTC (crush, tear, curl) teas are manufactured here.

Teas produced here are aromatic with high tones of delicate floral notes and gives golden yellow liquor which is crisply brisk and bright.

KANGRA

Kangra Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 900 – 1400 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: An average of 270 – 350 cm.

Kangra Tea dates back to 1849 when Dr. Jameson, pronounced the region ideal for tea plant. A little milder than Darjeeling Tea in terms of flavour, Kangra Tea has more body and liquor. The tea has a distinctive woody aroma to it with a tinge of fruity flavour. Orthodox tea produced from this region has a sweet lingering after taste while Green tea has a delicate woody aroma which is unique.

MUNNAR

Munnar Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 950 – 2600 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: An average of 130 – 700 cm.

With its highest growing tea regions in the world, Munnar is known for its distinctive clean and medium toned fragrant tea. Liquor of this tea is yellow with an orange depth. Strong bodied with a touch of fruit and sweet lingering note to it. The beauty of the hills beckons you to an inspiring morning of tea.

DOOARS-TERAI

Dooars-Terai Tea

Elevation: Teas in this region are grown at an average altitude of 90 – 1750 m above sea level.

Annual rainfall: Above average 350 cm.

Nestled just below Darjeeling hills, it is a small tea producing area which is also the gateway to the beautiful and mesmerizing North-East India. The tea produced here is bright, smooth and gives full-bodied liquor which is brighter than Assam Tea.

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