About Indian Tea
Classic Black Teas
If you are looking to explore great black teas, India is a great place to start. The three regions we source from produce teas with distinct characteristics – rich and malty teas from Assam in the northeast, fragrant Darjeelings from the Himalayan foothills and beautifully balanced Nilgiri teas from Tamil Nadu in the south of India.
Rich and Malty Black Teas
Assam lies in the far northeast India. It has an enormous abundance of nature, from the alpine slopes of the Himalayas to lush sub-tropical valleys in the south. Indigenous tea was discovered here in 1823. The economic importance of this discovery was not lost on the British who started cultivation for export. Tea grows on the low-lying banks of the Brahmaputra River that flows from the Himalayas to join the Ganges in Bangladesh. The Assamica variety bush and lush growing conditions combine to produce Black teas of unmatched colour and strength with the best examples characterised by rich, malty flavour. Try our Assam Breakfast and Assam Gold
Famously Fragrant and Refreshing
Darjeeling, in West Bengal is a land of rolling foothills set against a backdrop of snow-capped Himalayan peaks. Historically under the control of neighbouring Sikkim and Nepal, the British established Darjeeling as a hill-station getaway from the intense heat of summer. In attempting to break the Chinese monopoly on tea production, tea bushes were planted here from seed in 1841 and flourished. Growing the China variety bush and being at high altitude gives Darjeeling teas many similar characteristics to the highest quality Chinese teas. Darjeeling predominantly produces black teas in two distinct “flushes”. The first flush teas in March are light and sweet. Summer second flush teas give a heavier cup of complex aromas, the most sought-after being the characteristic muscatel aroma of muscat grapes.
An Underexplored Gem
The Nilgiris are a range of mountains located at the junction of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala states in Southern India. Also known as the Blue Mountains, the densely forested hills were developed by the British as a hill-station retreat from summer heat. Teas grown here benefit from the rich ecology of the mountains and can be picked almost year-round owing to the relatively low altitudes. Long an underrated tea province, a new wave of producers is helping to put Nilgiri teas back on the map by focusing on high quality single origin teas like our Nilgiri Frost.
Our Favourite Indian Teas
The much anticipated first spring leaves of Darjeeling’s freshest crop