EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ASSAM TEA BUT WERE TOO AFRAID TO ASK!
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I am limiting myself to Assam Tea on this blog. I may touch upon other Indian teas – such as Nilgiri and Darjeeling but by and large I am sticking to the straight and narrow. Tea is a very vast and fragmented topic and there is enough fodder on the web to keep you entertained (and confused) for hours. What is called “tea” today is anyone’s guess. Any steeped fruity/herbal infusion (many with dubious health benefits) claims to be tea.
From the purist’s point of view “real” tea is the brew made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis tea plant that includes the Camellia Assamica variety grown in Assam. All other tea-like beverages (flavored or otherwise) that do not have the Camellia Sinensis as a base should be called by their proper name of Tisanes or Infusions.
“Tea” as we know it today is the darling of health faddists and fashionistas the world over. There are hundred and hundreds of varieties and it’s mind boggling. What is surprising, is how few people know about the Real M’Coy: Assam Tea. This is the tea that was once hailed by afficiniados as the “nectar of the gods”. It is the very same “brisk” English Breakfast tea that defines British cultural identity as we know it today. Assam Tea is a strong, malty brew unlike any other. It is flavored by the climate and geography of the place where it is grown– rather like wine or single malt Scotch whiskey. Once you drink Assam Tea, I promise you will be hooked and everything else will taste terribly namby-pamby.
While researching my novel Teatime for the Firefly I delved deep into the world of Assam tea. I talked with old tea Assam tea planters, now living in far-flung corners of the world, many of whom you will meet on this blog. They shared with me their stories and their wisdom. I also talked with tea tasters and tea experts in the industry. Much of that kind information will be of interest to someone seeking to learn more Assam Tea. If you have further questions, please contact me. I may not know the answer but I may be able to connect you with someone who does.
People ask me what tea I drink and every body (without exception) I share a cup of tea with, wants some! My Assam Tea is shipped fresh from the tea gardens in India and I am terribly stingy about sharing my quota! People ask me where they can buy good quality Assam Tea. There is one brand I found that comes somewhat close to what I drink. This is a brand of San-Cha Strong Assam Tea and it comes in a small velvet bag.
Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with this company but I have tried this tea and it’s good. This company based in New Delhi ships to the US. Click HERE to go to the San-Cha website where you can place your order. Don’t forget to tell me what you think about it!
OTHER RELATED POSTSOld tea garden bungalows Tea trivia: Talking about the “Earl” in Grey and the “High” in tea. Tassology: the art of reading tea leaves Tea talk on Tea Buddy What is Assam Tea? Types of Assam tea: ORTHODOX & CTC Black tea grading What is the difference between Green Tea and Black Tea? Is global warming changing the flavor of Assam Tea? Comparing tea to wine How do Indians take their chai?
Shona Patel’s debut novel Teatime for the Firefly is a love story set in a tea plantation in Assam. You can read more about it HERE. She is represented by April Eberhardt Literary.
hey shona…gr8 to see this article…i am a tea planter in assam and im looking fwd to reading your novel…all the best…
Good to come across your blog and connect with someone who also believes in the love for tea. good work. hope to read your book some day.