Assam tea - facts you didn't know about
Assam black tea is an Indian large-leaved variety. The bright and most intense. North American people drink it with sugar, lemon, milk, and sweets. If Chinese Pu-Erh is an option for advanced tea-lovers, black Assam will understand and love everyone.
Assam tea - features
There are several regions in India where tea is grown. Each is famous for its brand. In the state of Assam, in the north-east of the country, Assam tea is grown. Compared to another Indian hit, Darjeeling, black Assam is darker and denser in taste.
Assam is a variety that is not making from the Chinese subspecies of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis) but the Indian Assamica (Masters). Its leaves are upwards and different in taste.
Assam - tea with a complicated history
By 1830, the demand for tea in Britain had grown and trade with China was fraught with difficulties. When it became clear that there is a wild tea plant in India, the long-awaited moment came - the British Empire took up the production of its tea.
In 1839, the Assam Tea Company was formed and actively encouraged business people to invest in the industry. So they began to develop hard-to-reach areas suitable for tea plantations.
A grueling journey awaited budding producers. For about a month they sailed on a steamship on the Brahmaputra River. Then made their way through the jungle on elephants. They settled in humble bamboo huts, cleared trees, took tea plants, and waited for the first harvest for almost a year, defending themselves against wild animals and suffering from malaria, yellow fever, and cholera.
The British were to challenge China:
- They first tried to grow Chinese tea plants in India. It turned out that in the local climate they almost did not take root and gave a weak harvest. Then the "Chinese" gardens were replaced by Assamese varieties - and things went better.
- Even more, difficulties arose with the processing of raw materials. Chinese masters kept the secrets of making tea, so some of the processes had to be reinventing. But the British did not give up and learned to make Indian Assam tea commercially using mechanized methods.
It took dozens of years to equip wild regions. But Assam big leaf black tea became a favorite of the British and became famous throughout the world as a breakfast tea. By 1881, Assam already had extensive plantations and a railroad through which goods were sent.
How do you know that Assam black tea is of high quality?
Take a close look at the leaves. They should be coarsely twisted, whole, and without impurities. Compared to Darjeeling, which is usually light, Assam is a dark, almost amber variety.
Assam tea is making from two raw materials, even three if good harvest. Summer harvest is considered the most expensive. It is bright, tasty, and smooth. Spring harvest is not so fragrant, but it has a pleasant sweetish aftertaste. Winter tea is inferior in quality.
The British people have always appreciated Assam tea and made sure that the raw materials did not go to waste. The whole leaves were used to making a premium tea. The crumbs were processing into granulated and tea bags. The tradition has survived to this day.
Aromatic, with fragrant floral, spicy, and honey notes - this is how you can describe Assam, a tea that goes well with lemon, sugar, and milk. It has a smooth aftertaste like a good wine. But to experience this magic, it is better to drink tea without additives.
Indian masters also produce flavored Assam. Tea is a pleasure for some and commerce for others. We are against artificial ingredients and only offer natural varieties.