Assam tea is a black tea named after the Indian state of Assam, where it is grown. The plant Camellia sinensis var. Assam is used to make Assam tea. “Assamica” is a word that means "assamese" in Assam tea is only grown in Assam. Attempts to establish Chinese types in Assam soil were unsuccessful at first. Assam tea is recognized for its body, briskness, malty flavor, and robust, bright color. It is currently largely grown at or near sea level. Assam teas especially blends with Assam, are frequently marketed as "breakfast" teas. Irish breakfast tea, for example, is made up of Assam tea leaves and is maltier and stronger than other breakfast teas.
The state of Assam, which lies on both sides of the Brahmaputra River and borders Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and China, is the world's largest tea-growing region by productivity. During the monsoon season, this portion of India receives a lot of rain, up to 250 to 300 mm (10 to 12 in) every day. The temperature increases to around 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day, generating greenhouse-like conditions of severe humidity and heat. This tropical climate lends to Assam's distinctive malty flavor, for which it is famous.
Though Assam is most commonly associated with the country's distinctive black teas, the region also produces smaller quantities of green and white teas, each with its own distinct characteristics. Assam has historically been the world's second-largest commercial tea producer, after southern China, and one of only two places in the world with native tea plants.
The Assam Branch of the Indian Tea Association (ABITA), India's oldest and most significant association of tea producers, represents the majority of the currently operating tea estates in Assam.
There are mainly two types of tea which come from this region. Both are black teas.
Assam Orthodox Tea
Orthodox Assams are often of higher quality, less bitter, and have more delicate and multi-layered flavors than CTC Assams. But it isn't the end of the narrative. For one thing, they're normally collected by hand to ensure that the leaves are intact and whole - little, immature tea leaves plucked from the tea bush's tips. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, Orthodox Assams are not totally prepared by hand. They go through many stages after being harvested, which can be done by hand or by machine.
The four different grades of Orthodox Assam black tea are:
1. Flowery Orange Pekoe (the small leaf next to the bud).
2. Orange Pekoe (the second leaf next to the bud).
3. Pekoe (the third leaf next to the bud). and
4. Souchong (the fourth leaf next to the bud)
TGFOP (Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe) is the highest quality of Orthodox Assam, handcrafted in small batches on the best estates. It has about a fourth of the tips. TGFOP is in high demand in the Arab world. It is consumed “pure,” that is, without the addition of milk. The Fannings and Dust are at the bottom of the barrel. This is the type of tea used in tea bags. Tea dust is also used to make Indian street chai, which is a whole separate beverage made with milk and spices.
There are a total of four steps in the processing of Orthodox Assam tea which are -
Assam CTC Tea
When tea consumption became popular in the United Kingdom around the turn of the century, British tea businesses began experimenting in Assam, and the CTC process was devised and utilized to boost tea volume. CTC is an abbreviation for Crush, Tear, and Curl. It describes the manufacturing process for making the tea, which is identical to traditional tea production except that instead of being rolled at the end, the leaves are crushed, torn, and curled into tiny little balls by a succession of cylindrical rollers with hundreds of small sharp "teeth."
For the same weight of tea, CTC tea yields twice as much cuppage as traditional tea. One kilogram of CTC tea, for example, generates roughly 500 cups compared to 250 cups of Orthodox tea. Orthodox, on the other hand, has a higher quality than CTC since the coarse leaf is eliminated throughout the manufacturing process by shifting.