Nepal's best known tea growing region, Ilam is adjacent to Darjeeling, with identical growing conditions and a history of tea growth that is nearly as long.
Tea growth is year round in these tropical south Indian mountains. Although the first tea was planted in the 1830s, it wasn’t until after World War II that the local industry began to take off. The finest teas are grown in the winter months, when the cold results in more polyphenols in the leaf.
The world’s most productive tea region, Assam is a low-elevation tropical region on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra River. Assam’s teas are among the most familiar in the Western world, courtesy of the British’s love of its strong, malty body – English Breakfast, Early Grey, and Masala Chai are all traditionally made using Assam teas.
The most recognized of Indian regions, Darjeeling teas are known as the “Champagne of Teas.” The region was annexed by the British in 1850 from the Kingdom of Sikkim and was soon after put under tea cultivation.
When the East India Company was first experimenting with tea cultivation in India,, some of the first experimental plots were setup in Kumaon. While the plant thrived, the region’s isolation made tea production unviable. Since then, the region has been connected to the ports. In the last 20 years, the area has seen a revival of old glory.