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Indian Teas~There are 16 states in India that grow tea, but the best known are Assam and Darjeeling, two very different areas in topography & climate, resulting in very different qualities and taste.

Darjeeling is known as ‘the champagne of tea’ for its’ sophisticated, delicate taste. Each ‘flush’ or seasonal harvest gives tea qualities unique to the time of year when they are picked. The first flush in Darjeeling is very light and delicate, and mostly exported to other countries. The second flush, later in the hotter months, tends to be ‘fruity’, in fact is compared to a finish with a muscatel grape note. Our favorite, and the one many people in the U,.S. have never tasted, is the harvest in autumn, which results in a richer, nutty taste. It is available on our site.

Darjeeling is at the foot of the Himalayas and the high altitude and pure air contribute to the delicacy of this beautiful tea. All teas can be white, green, oolong or black, depending on how they are processed. This is, of course, also true with Indian teas.

Darjeeling is one of the tea-loving British’ favorite teas, along with Earl Grey. My neighbor from Wales was one who loved Darjeeling with milk & sugar. I prefer to drink it black to get all the nutty, warm notes of the autumnal flush we carry.

Assam is the largest tea-growing region in the world, and is in a much lower-lying area than Darjeeling. Assam’s climate is generally hot and humid and results in a very bold, ‘coarse’, earthy tea, perfect as a substitute for coffee in the morning and delicious black or with milk and sugar. It is also a tea used for blending with others to make Irish Breakfast. You can purchase our bold Assam tea.

To brew Indian black teas, use 195F water, and let the tea steep for a good 4-5 minutes. The water you use should always be filtered, especially if your tap water is chlorinated. You should be tasting nothing but the tea.

If you are a lover of black teas, you should try the Indian teas in the video. They taste absolutely different than Chinese black teas; in fact, teas taste completely different even when they are grown in the same country because it’s all about terroir…topography, climate, rainfall.

Check out Diane’s last video How To Brew Loose Green Tea with Local Honey