Assam: This enlivening black tea from India's tropics is ideal for a robust morning brew.
Assam is the world’s most productive tea region. Deep in the tropical jungle, this low elevation tea bush has larger leaves than the mountain variety. These leaves produce a rich, malty, robust liquor that takes well to milk and sugar, and is the base of Indian chai.
Taste: Assam teas, almost always black, are characterized by their thick and strong body. The strength of the brew allows the tea to hold additional flavors such as bergamot, which produces Earl Grey, or milk, sugar and spices that make traditional Indian chai. Assam teas dominate the western market in the form of English Breakfast and Irish Breakfast.
Production: Assam’s large leafed plants, temperate and tropical climate, rich mineral deposits (left by the Brahmaputra River), and 9-month growing season make it the most productive tea growing region in the world. Unlike the mountainous regions, the flat jungle landscape makes mechanized harvesting possible and many pluckers use tea cutting shears in order to speed up harvesting and get more material from the plants.
Region: Since its inception, Assam focused on optimizing efficiency in production. Within 40 years of establishing the first plantations, India overtook China as the largest tea producer in the world.
Most Assam teas end up in tea bags. The leaves go through a multistage processing technique known as CTC (cut-tear-curl). Breaking the leaves into the smallest bits, the abundance of surface area makes the leaf particles release all their flavor notes in a single steep.
Whole leaf Assam teas such as our Satrupa Estate Assam introduce a new flavor profile to this otherwise monochrome market, releasing complex flavor notes over the course of several infusions. This makes for a smoother, more complex cup which still retains the robust body characteristic of Assam teas.
Growers: Our Assam comes from an organic tea garden in this tropical region.