Depending on the weather and the ultimate harvest of the crop year, India and China alternate wearing the crown reserved for the world’s largest tea producer.
India produces an astonishing amount of tea from diverse regions such as the lush and tropical Assam Valley, the high Himalaya regions of Darjeeling and Sikkim, and the Nilgiri Blue Mountains region of Tamil Nadu in southern India. The modern commercial tea industry in India is relatively new – it was started in the mid-1800’s by the English, who ruled India as a colony at that time and who began to plant tea in an attempt to break free from their dependence on China’s tea.
Despite the fact that India gained independence from the English in 1947, the style of tea manufacture begun during colonial times still influences tea production today. While India produces a small amount of green and white tea, it is black tea that India is famous for.
Some Indian teas, due to their exquisite flavors, are self-drinking teas (teas of singular character that can be drunk straight, without being blended, such as Darjeeling or the leafy, malty Assam). Other Indian teas are standard teas, produced in great quantity and used for providing strength and backbone to everyday milk-tea blends.
Unlike the Han Chinese who never use milk or sugar in their tea, tea is drunk in India with milk and sugar by locals and visitors alike. In some states of India, chai (tea steeped with spices) is the favored pick-me-up tea.
View our Selection of Teas from India: