Comparison of India's Teas

Assam black teas are more malty and full-bodied than teas from Darjeeling, which tend to be complex yet more delicately flavored, as they are grown in the unique climate of the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Teas from the highlands of the Nilgiri or Blue Mountains have a fragrant, fruity character. Darjeeling teas are grown from the China varietal 'Camellia sinensis', whereas the Assam varietal is 'Camellia sinensisassamica', as is the Nilgiri. Assam teas are characterized by their large, glossy leaves which create a fine loose leaf tea.

When experiments in tea cultivation undertaken in Darjeeling and Assam succeeded, they encouraged similar endeavors in other parts of India that had similar natural conditions. These efforts have led to a thriving tea industry in parts of the Northeast and South India. At least ten distinct tea producing regions can be identified.

A sojourn across chai land (Tea Board of India Video clip)