What Is Assam Tea And Where Does It Come From?

by Steven Popec 30. July 2012 12:00

Assam tea has been popular for hundreds of years. In fact, Assam is widely considered to be the world’s largest tea-growing region. Located in India, Assam is known for its popular blends of black, green, and white loose leaf teas, all of which feature a distinctly bright color and hints of fruit flavor.

Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about Assam tea, from its history to its flavor.

The history of Assam tea

Assam is a region in India. It is bordered by one of the country’s largest rivers, the Brahmaputra. Assam is located in the far eastern side of the country, bordering Burma and Bangladesh. The entire region is prone to flooding and experiences high-precipitation monsoon periods on an annual basis. More importantly, Assam’s unique climate and high-humidity have made it a veritable greenhouse for tea production.

Most tea producing countries of the world cannot actually grow tea natively. In almost all cases, tea crops are imported. However, Assam is one of only two regions in the world where tea plants grow natively (the other region is southern China, which is located nearby).

During the 1830s, adventurers from the United Kingdom began to venture into Assam. They discovered that locals were brewing flavorful, aromatic tea from the wild plants that grew on the hillside. These adventurers informed friends that there could be a market for the crop back in Britain. By the time the English East India Committee had colonized the region, Assam tea had already developed a reputation as being heathy, flavorful, and fragrant.

What makes Assam tea unique?

Assam tea is unique for a number of reasons. Assam tea is different than Darjeeling tea and Nilgiri tea because it is grown in the lowlands, not the highlands. Assam tea grows solely in the valley of the Brahmaputra River, in which the nutrient-rich clay provides ample fertilizer for tea crops.

Both Chinese and Assam teas are made from the camellia sinensis plant, although tea made in China is created from a slightly different strain of camellia sinensis. Assam tea is unique because of its glossy, dark green-colored eaves. The leaves of the Assam tea plant are also noticeably wider than Chinese tea plants.

In terms of health benefits, Assam tea is similar to Chinese teas and other blends. Assam tea has been linked to a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes, and it has also been suggested to improve the immune system, relieve tension, and soothe nerves.

Assam tea is notorious for being strong, which can make it challenging for beginner tea drinkers. Many people choose to drink Assam tea with milk, which tends to complement its malty flavor. Because of these characteristics, Assam tea is usually marketed as breakfast tea around the world.

Conclusion

Because Assam produces tea naturally, the region has perfected tea cultivation over centuries. Today, tea drinkers can take a look at some of ESP Emporium’s best Assam tea blends under the black teas category.

What Are The Largest Tea Producing Countries In The World?

by Steven Popec 13. July 2012 12:07

Unlike many crops, tea is produced in only a few specialized locations around the world. Interestingly enough, tea leaves only grow naturally in southern China and eastern India, which means that the crops had to be imported around the world before tea production could begin.

Today, tea is grown primarily in Asia, although significant tea-producing regions have sprung up in South America and Africa. Today, we’re going to provide a brief overview of the world’s largest tea producing regions.

China

China is the world’s most prolific tea producing country by far. In 2010, it produced nearly 1.5 million tonnes of tea, beating its nearest competitor (India) by approximately 500,000. China has a wide variety of popular teas derived from the camellia sinensis plant.

India

India contains some of the world’s most famous tea-producing regions. The country’s most popular exports include Assam, Nilgiri, and Darjeeling tea, all of which are available in black, white, or oolong blends. Assam, located in the western part of India, is one of only two places in the world where tea grows naturally.

Kenya

Coming in at 3rd on this list is Kenya. Tea and coffee are the most popular agricultural exports in Kenya, and the industry has continued to grow at a rapid pace in recent years. Kenya produces a number of different varieties of black, green, white, and oolong tea. 

Sri Lanka

Tea has become popular in almost all regions colonized by the British. The British took over Sri Lanka in the 19th century, rapidly turning it into one of the largest tea producers on the planet. Today, the region’s blends of Ceylon teas are known throughout the world.

Turkey

Moving away from East Asia and Africa, Turkey is also one of the world’s most well-known tea-producing countries. Turkish tea often refers to ‘çay’ – a special blend of black tea. However, a special blend of white tea called ‘Rize tea’ is also popular. Both Rize tea and çay tea are produced around the Black Sea, which is a particularly good spot to grow tea due to its mild climate and high precipitation. Turkey also has an advantage in that its inhabitants don’t usually drink coffee or alcohol, making tea the country’s most popular beverage across virtually all demographics.

Vietnam

Vietnam is a close 5th behind Turkey in terms of tea production. Tea is one of the most popular drinks in Vietnam. Being located right next to southern China, tea has a rich and storied history in Vietnam, and it has been produced for thousands of years in one form or another. Vietnamese tea is produced in both the highland and lowland regions of the country. The most popular blends are jasmine tea, artichoke tea, and lotus tea.

Conclusion

Rounding out the list of the world’s top 5 tea producing countries are Iran, Indonesia, Argentina, and Japan at number 6, 7, 8, and 9 respectively. However, tea production can be found in varying amounts all over the world, from the United States to Brazil to Nepal, making it one of the world’s most popular beverages

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