Guide to Indian Black Teas

14 03 2010

Indian black teas are known for their strong aromatic liquor and a full-bodied flavor. The leaves used to make Indian tea come from the assamica variety of camellia sinensis (which give the tea that stronger flavor). Tea in India dates back to 500 BC and only black tea was produced until the recent decades. Here are the major types

Assam

Comes from the Assam region in North Eastern India, where it is grown near sea level in very humid conditions and high temperature. The tea has a strong malty flavor and amber color. It is often used in creating blends like English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast. Collected in two flushes – First flush in late March, while the second flush is collected later and considered superior due to containing golden tips.

Darjeeling

This tea comes from India’s cool and wet Darjeeling region. Produced from harvests from 3 flushes – where the first is most sought after while the 3rd (aka. Autumnal) is of lesser quality. Its leaves yield in a thin-bodied, floral liquor of light color with a distinct muscatel flavor. Although classified as black tea, Darjeeling undergoes an incomplete oxidation process (<90%) in most cases.

Nilgiri

Grown in the southern part of the Western Ghats mountains in Southern India, between 1000 -2500 meters above sea level. A lot of the tea undergoes the CTC process, resulting in dust for tea bags, but the full-leaf version is rather sought after and expensive. Nilgiri is a brisk and flavorful tea with an especially intense aroma and a dark-amber liquor.

Munnar

Produced in the city of Munnar, in Kerala state located in southern India.

Kangra

Also known as Himachal tea, grown in the city of Kangra in Northern India 3500 – 5500 meters above sea level. Its leaves have a reddish-brown color and the liquor has a floral character.

GuidesChinese White | Chinese Yellow | Chinese Red | Japanese Tea

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One response

15 03 2010
Marlena

Thanks, I’d not heard of Munnar or Kangra teas

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