Buy Assam Tea Online, Explore the Many Tea Eastes
The state of Assam in India produces some of the most popular black teas, as well as several other teas, in the world. Its renown is unquestionable, and its Industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. When it comes to Assam black tea, in particular, one would be hard-pressed to find a better brew. While tasting notes differ from estate to estate, most describe this beverage as matly flavoured, smooth and refreshing.
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The discovery of tea in China dates back to, allegedly, 2737 BCE. Tea in India, meanwhile, dates back to only 1823, which compared to the whole of the tea’s history, is relatively recent! A Scottish adventurer and merchant named Robert Bruce discovered a then-unknown plant growing in this region, and out of fascination, sent specimens of the plant to his brother, C. A. Bruce, in Calcutta for identification.
There, C.A. Bruce confirmed that the unknown plant was an Indian variety of the tea plant, later named Camellia Sinensis Var Assamica, and a new industry was born. Many regard the Assam region as the original home of Indian tea. Here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, we agree.
200 years after the discovery of Assam tea it remains one of the best-selling teas globally. The state accounts for 55% of India’s total tea output, producing predominantly black tea; however, other produced teas include green tea, white tea, oolong tea and matcha tea. We stock many varieties.
What is Assam Tea?
Assam tea is derived from the Camellia Sinensis var. Assamica plant, the Indian counterpart to the Chinese variety, Camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis, which grows in abundance across the entire state of Assam.
Although this spectacular region has, in recent years, been branching out in the production of green and white teas, it is most famously known for the long, twisted dark brown shoots that create its iconic Assam Black Tea.
This beverage is known for its bold, malty flavour and rich dark colour in cup, as well as the irresistible aroma that is unmistakably Assamese. Stronger than the teas grown in the neighbouring state of Darjeeling, Assam tea predominantly consists of two main ‘flushes’ which are produced on a yearly basis, as follows:
- Assam First Flush: Occasionally referred to as the ‘Spring Flush’, this harvest takes place in March, and will often continue into mid-May. The tea leaves are notably small, with its flavour considered to be especially delicate and floral. This flush is also quite rare on the market.
- Assam Second Flush: Harvesting the ‘Summer Flush’ usually takes place from Mid-May to June, and produces what is, arguably, a far more superior tea. It is known for its fine quality, full-bodied, and ‘tippy’ flavour, which is generally a far sweeter beverage to its Springtime counterpart. This flush is, without a doubt, the most popular.
The production of Assam tea is diligently monitored throughout the many stages of processing. This ensures that only the finest quality Assam Tea Leaves from the factory, time and time again.
The general processing method for both flushes of Assam tea is, as follows:
- Withering: After the tea leaves have been delicately plucked from the gardens, they are immediately sent to the factory to be withered. This early stage in the processing sees the tea leaves thinly spread upon Hessian cloth, before being placed on wire mesh racks in what is known as the ‘withering shed’. They will remain safely stored away in these sheds until most of the leaves’ moisture content has become flaccid; accounting for approximately 96% of the tea’s original moisture.
- Rolling: Once the leaves have been collected from the withering sheds, they are placed into either Sirocco machines or CTC machines to be rolled. The CTC machines in particular, have the ability to simultaneously crush, tear, and curl the leaf with steadfast efficiency.
- Fermenting: This stage in the process will see the now-rolled tea leaves placed into trays to ferment and, in turn, oxidize under strict supervision. On average, this should take between one to two hours, with the overseers ultimately making the decision on the optimum time for its completion.
- Drying: Finally, the trays of tea will be placed under machines used to dry the leaves with hot air. This ensures that any remaining moisture is extracted before it is sorted into the different leaf grades and shipped from the factory. It will then journey to the farthest stretches of the world to be enjoyed as the delicious Assam tea we all know and love today.
Health Benefits of Assam Tea
It is no secret that the well-documented benefits of Assam tea are as varied as the many brews it is used in. Packed full of incredible antioxidants, all blends of Assam tea have the ability to combat free radicals found within the body.
As well as this, also known for containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals which can provide the consumer with an additional boost. However, if that is not enough for you let’s explore how the frequent consumption of this wonder brew could help you with your day-to-day life.
- Improved Mental Alertness: Like most other Black teas, Assam tea contains relatively high quantities of caffeine. This stimulant can help you remain at peak capacity throughout your daily routine, whilst also improving your overall concentration levels. Meanwhile, Assam Tea also contains an amino acid known as theanine, which can help to relax your mind in times of stress. Combined, these two elements maintain balance within your beverage; the same way you maintain balance within your day!
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: The flavonoids found in Assam Tea have the ability to prevent the buildup of plaque inside arteries, thus reducing the risk of Cardiovascular disease. As well as this, the antioxidants in this beverage may help to strengthen blood vessels and, ultimately, lower blood pressure! However, if you have a pre-existing heart condition, it is urged that you consult a doctor before consumption.
- Improved Oral Health: Rich in fluoride, Tea can prevent bacteria and viruses that could harm your teeth and gums, provided it is consumed as an unsweetened beverage. Merely drinking a cup of Assam tea after you eat could help to rinse away any food particles that have stuck in your teeth, as well as potentially strengthening the bone structure! Further to this, the frequent consumption of Assam tea can help fight bad breath, so be sure to have a hot brew before you go on that date!
- Weight Loss: When consumed as part of a healthy and active lifestyle, Assam Tea could help you lose those extra pounds before summer! This is because Assam Tea can accelerate your metabolic rate, thus burning fat far more rapidly. With a faster digestive system, your body will be able to absorb less fat or sugars from foods, ultimately leading to an enhanced ability to lose weight while eating healthily and exercising frequently.
- Fights Infection: Feeling a little under the weather? The best thing you could do for yourself is to brew up a hot cup of Assam tea. This is because Assam Tea may help to boost your Immune System and build up your defences.
The effective antioxidant properties found within this brew particularly Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) – will also help you to combat those nasty symptoms associated with colds and the flu. Further to this, the addition of honey, especially with children who have a sweet tooth can enhance the effects with the health benefits of both components, combined!