Here's Why Assam Teas Make for a Great Breakfast Cup!
With the constant hustle of life, stress has become a part of every adult's life. Although the levels of stress and its ramifications in our lives may vary, but we all need a little help with managing it better! What better than something as divine and healthy as a strong, uplifting cup of black tea?
Tea, nature’s pure miracle, has been gaining increasing popularity for being a healthier alternative than those morning cups of espresso, with significantly less amounts of caffeine. For the one who need a robust cup to start their day, Assam black tea is the perfect choice!
Courtesy of the Indian state of Assam, in the North-Eastern part of India, tea lovers can enjoy a strong yet flavorsome cup to start their day! Blessed with misty green plains and with a good rainfall, Assam tea gardens has a rich history of catering to various audiences with its varying forms.
What makes these black teas stand apart from the rest is a unique 'malty' character and a strong flavor which can tasted when it is had with milk as well. The relatively higher quantity of caffeine in Assam black tea makes it an ideal strong cup for breakfast. With a distinct malty taste and delightfully robust tannic flavors, Assam teas have garnered a niche reputation for itself in the world of teas.
While tea, as we know it, was first cultivated in China. Fortunately, a variant of the same Chinese tea bushes had been growing in the wild in the state of Assam for as long as one can remember. The local nomadic tribes claim to have been eating the tea leaves from the bushes for thousands of years.
Spread across both sides of the mighty Brahmaputra river, the loamy soil bed of Assam is flushed with rich nutrients from the river, every year through flash floods. This event, in addition to several other parameters, is what lends the exquisite malty flavor to Assam black tea. In fact, it is the river Brahmaputra that defines the difference between the Chinese and Assamese variants of tea.
The consistent rains in the region coupled with the rich peninsular soul brings about the bright coppery color in the tea leaves which is visible after the leaves have been steeped.
Another significant difference between the Chinese teas and Assam teas is the elevation at which they grow. While the tea plantations of China are at a higher elevation, the bespoke Assam teas are grown in the lower lying regions — the plains. This makes the two teas, both grown on the Southern Himalayan slopes, so distinctly different.
Assam Tea is loved across the world and there are a few terms that one hears quite regularly in reference to this world-renowned black tea.
The three main flavor characteristics of Premium Assam Black teas are the following :-
Malty : This is the most distinct flavor of teas from Assam. A unique sweet caramel characteristic taste, the malty nature of these black teas carry similar notes as as a fine whisky. This rich and robust flavor is what has made Assam black teas so popular.
Tippy : A term used for unopened tea leaf buds that are often picked with second flush tea and lend a distinct texture to the Assam teas of the season. These are considered the premium picks.
Robust : The overall experience of Assam Tea is a standalone one. It is a bold and outstanding flavor which is best referred to as a robust cup.
Owing to the robust and malty flavors of the tea, there are two kinds of Assam tea. An orthodox or traditional type of loose-leaf tea which goes through the traditional processing of tea. The other unorthodox type is called the CTC Tea. The CTC Assam tea is when the loose tea leaves are passed through a CTC (Cut, Tear, Curl) processing machine.
CTC: The unorthodox or more versatile version is the CTC Assam tea. The Crush-Tear-Curl (CTC) process is where the tea leaves are passed through big rollers with big teeth which cut, tear, and curl the tea leaves in small, hard tea granules or pellets.
Interesting fact, the tea gardens of Assam have a different time zone! Yes, the time in Assam tea gardens is an hour ahead of the Indian Standard Time (IST), known as ‘Bagan time'. The Bengali word 'Bagan' here means 'garden'.
Why do we add milk to Assam Tea?
The roasted black tea from Assam is rich in tannins which lend a very pungent and overwhelming characteristic to the tea. By adding milk to the cup, not only does it mask the excessively strong flavor but also becomes sweeter to the palate. And hence, delicious! Unlike Darjeeling Tea which is astringent in nature, Assam Tea works very well with a dash of milk.
The CTC Assam black tea has given birth to another popular type of tea, known as "Chai Teas". A traditional cup popular across Indian households, for this blend, premium quality CTC black tea is blended with spices and is simmered on heat with sugar and a dash of milk. Incredibly soothing and delicious, Chai Teas have gained their fair share of audience around the world.
The delightfully distinct taste of Assam teas makes it perfect to be cured or paired with spices, herbs, and other botanicals resulting in some exceptional blends!
Smoky Souchong Assam Tea is one such exceptional blend of Assam tea which is exclusively grown for Vahdam Teas. Harvested from high-altitude tea estates in Assam, the hand-rolled tea leaves are smoked with oakwood smoke. Also, a unique blend of traditional Assam chinary and the Chinese tea leaves.
One of the contributing factors to the power-packed Assam taste, are the passionate farmers who nurture and harvest these priceless teas. The tea bushes in Assam are required to be pruned regularly to keep them at waist level. This facilitates the tea pickers to easily reach the best tea buds. Across tea gardens in India, women are preferred for picking tea as their hands are better suited to pluck the leaves without damaging the entire branch of the bush. Similarly in Assam, one finds more women tea pickers as opposed to men.
The rich cultural fabric of Assam integrates the bountiful gifts of nature and the endless toil of thousands of farmers, bringing tea lovers like us a bolder and better experience.
We urge you to try out a great cup of Assam tea and take on the day on a bolder note!
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