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Tea growing regions of India

Updated: Aug 27, 2019

After China, India is the largest producer and consumer of tea; the diverse climate of India

makes it just right to grow a wide variety of tea plants. Tea is being produced and consumed

in India for centuries, but there still remain some interesting facts concealed behind its

small leaves. So pick your steaming cup of tea and have a look at six of the regions in India,

tea comes from.

1. Darjeeling

Darjeeling, cradled in the Himalayan foothills, is a tea region par excellence, producing the world’s most exclusive teas. There are around 113 tea gardens in Darjeeling. Registered as a Geographical Indication in India, Darjeeling tea has a golden colour and has a delicate, flowery taste. It has been discovered that, when planted anywhere else in the world, its distinct taste cannot be recreated. There is something in the hills, sunshine and soil of Darjeeling that clicks to orchestrate a masterpiece. Today, Darjeeling produces almost 10 million kg of tea a year (around twenty five per cent of India’s total tea output), with a total under tea equal to 17,820 ha. #darjeelingtea

2. Nilgiris

Nilgiri Tea, one of India’s most distinguished teas, is grown on the picturesque range of Nilgiri hills in Southern India. The tea has an aromatic nature and an elegant, brisk flavor- the likes of which is hard to find anywhere else. In 1969, Glenmorgan became the first estate in the Nilgiris to produce Green tea. Today, these hills have a total area of 66,175 ha under tea, accounting for about 92 million kg per year (10% of the total tea output of India). Nilgiri Orthodox tea has recently been registered as a Geographical Indication in India.

3. Kangra

In Himachal Pradesh, tea is grown in the Kangra district over an area of 2.348 hectares. Located in the foothills of the Dhauladhar Mountains, it is renowned for its distinctly flavored tea with a flowery fragrance and a subtle, refreshing flavor. Due to the favorable natural climate of the area, tea is grown organically in the Kangra valley. The region is famous for its green and black teas with their intense flavors. Kangra Tea is a Geographical Indication with an annual production of 0.8 million kg.

4. Assam

Assam, in North Eastern India is the largest tea-growing region in the world. The low altitude, rich loamy soil, abundant rainfall and unique climate help produce one of the choicest teas in the world, with the state’s total area under tea being 312,210ha. Assam Orthodox teas, registered as a Geographical Indication in India, have a rich, deep-amber color and strong and malty taste, making it the ideal tea to wake up to. India’s largest tea research centre managed by the Tea Research Association is located here. The highest-grade Assam teas are harvested in May-June, with the total annual production of tea being 507 million kg.

5. Munnar

Munnar in Kerala, the commercial centre of some of the highest tea estates in the world, is dotted with stunningly beautiful tea plantations. Today the Kannan Devan Hills Produce Co Pvt Ltd Company manages 16 estates here, spread over about 8,600 hectares. India’s first Tea Museum is located here, at the Nallathanni Estate. The golden-yellow colored Munnar Tea is mildly fragrant, with a startlingly sweet after-taste. This region produces around 27 million kg tea each year.

6. Doors and Terai

Nestling in the Himalayan foothills, Dooars and Terai are major contributors to the North Bengal tea industry. James White set up the first tea plantation in Terai, called Champta in 1862, followed by Gazeldubi in Dooars. Today, the Dooars Tea Planter’s Association boasts of 48 member tea estates, with an area of 97,280 ha under tea. The Assamese tea bush was found to be ideal for this region; the Terai tea has well-processed leaves and a spicy and slightly sweet taste, while the Dooars tea is clear, black and heavy. This region has an annual production of 226 million kg (around 25% of India’s total tea output), with September being the main harvesting season. New Chumta Tea Estate is one of the oldest tea garden in the Terai region.

As you can see, the world of tea is completely captivating. Each of the above regions

produces a unique variety of tea to suit different tastes and preferences. Choose from our

wide variety of teas and, pick a favourite!

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