What is Assam Tea?
Located in North East India, Assam is the largest tea growing region in India, spanning both side of the Brahmaputra river. The region receives high amount of rainfall and experiences high temperature creating a hot and humid environment that is responsible for the malty nature of the Assam Teas. The tea also has a rich body with vibrant color due to the high amount of tannins and polyphenols present in the leaves. The Assam teas found a great favor with the British taste when they first appeared in the mid-nineteenth century. The brisk finish and the strong base make this tea easy to blend and supports the addition of milk. The British used it for their English Breakfast Tea. There are two kinds of Assam Tea: CTC and Orthodox, both named after the manufacturing process used to create them. While most of the teas produced in Assam are CTCs, several plantations in the region offer teas made by the orthodox method. Among the orthodox varieties, Orange Pekoe (OP) and Golden Tips are the most sought after. Delicate and expensive to produce, Golden Tips is the highest grade and most costly among the Assam Teas. The CTC variety is also widely used as the base tea in "chai", thanks to its robust tasting notes. With sugar and milk, the chai is an affordable energy drink that many Indians enjoy in the morning and in the afternoon.