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India is the second-largest Tea producer in the world after China. It isn’t much of a surprise, really, as Indian Tea is, put simply, exquisite in all its many forms. Should you want to know more about it, please keep reading below. The other option is to buy and try now with The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. We take enormous pride in packing all of our products fresh to order.
Indian Loose Black Tea is a relative newcomer compared to 5,000-year-old Chinese Tea. While a variety of the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant grows naturally in the country, commercial production only started in the 19th century. This was when a Scotsman named Robert Bruce “discovered” it after observing the local Singpho tribe consuming the leaves. This would become what we today know as Assam Tea.
The infusion catered to the tastes of the ruling British Raj. However, it did little to quench the thirst of the locals, who decided to create an Indian Spiced Tea called Masala Chai. The blend included Black Tea alongside ingredients such as Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise and Ginger Root Tea. It would go on to serve as an integral part of the Indian Tea industry.
Assam and Indian Chai Tea are but two examples of Indian Black Tea types. There are several more worth noting, not least Darjeeling Tea from the West Bengal district of the same name. This floral, muscatel delight is a favourite among connoisseurs. Most sought-after is Darjeeling First Flush Tea. The term “First Flush” denotes the season in which the leaves were harvested.
Nilgiri Tea is less well-known but boasts huge potential. It comes from the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu State, an area that makes up part of the beautiful Western Ghats of South India. Its name derives from the Sanskrit language, translated to mean “blue hill.” This refers to the blueness of the hills when, once every seven to twelve years, Kurinji flowers blossom and carpet the landscape in vibrant colour.
There is something colourable about every Indian Tea, regardless of its type or origin. Each one has something unique, indeed extraordinary, to offer. Such is the nation’s ability to produce exceptional Tea that it accounts for 1,250,000 tonnes of leaves annually. Its journey begins at the many India Tea plantations scattered across numerous states and regions. What are their stories?
Estates are found predominantly in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Bihar and Orissa. No two are the same as climatic conditions, soils, and other factors will dramatically influence the Tea’s characteristics. Combined, however, they employ an estimated 3.5 million people.
Behora Tea Estate in Assam is one that has a close association with Our Heritage. The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company’s owner, Mr Richard Smith, had his grandfather working there and other plantations from 1928 until 1960. Elephants, leopards, earthquakes and war characterised the family’s time at Behora. Their legacy sowed the seeds for our establishment, founded in 1982.
Different varieties of Tea in India provide different levels of caffeine. Some might not have any of the stimulant at all. Take Cardamom Tea, a herbal infusion 100% void of caffeine - though, admittedly, not a “real” Tea in the conventional sense. Black Tea has the highest level at 45-mg per 8-oz cup. Then there is Oolong - the “In-between” Tea - with 35-37-mg. Green Tea is next with 30-mg.
Finally, the one with the least amount of caffeine is White Tea, which includes our Assam White Tea. You can expect no more than 15-mg per serving. What it lacks in energising effects, though, it makes up for in health-promoting antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals in the body, thus slowing oxidative stress and reducing the risk of developing a multitude of chronic conditions.
Beneficial chemical compounds exist in every Indian Tea. If you’re a health-conscious individual, in other words, you’ve chosen well no matter what. Indian Masala Tea is, perhaps, one of the most noteworthy examples as its many ingredients come with unique medicinal qualities. Peppercorns, for instance, can support the pancreas in secreting digestive enzymes, thereby improving digestion.
Turmeric Root Tea in Chai Tea, on the other hand, reduces inflammation, while Star Anise lowers blood pressure and promotes weight loss. Even Black Tea leaves, without additions, improve life in small yet significant ways. According to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they maintain the immune system by priming its defences.
All that’s left is to learn how to brew Indian Black Tea. You could choose one of our Tea Bag products to ensure ease and convenience. The alternative is Loose Leaf Tea, which will require either a Tea Filter or Infuser before getting started. Once you have one of these items to hand, you can follow our step-by step guide. We guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results:
1, Put the Leaves in a Tea Infuser.
2, One Teaspoon (around two grams) of it should do the trick.
3, Boil Fresh Water.
4, Put the kettle on with fresh water for better oxygen levels and, ultimately, better taste.
5, Let the Water Cool Briefly.
6, The ideal brewing temperature is 96°C.
7, Place Tea Infuser in the Cup, a porcelain cup has the least influence on flavour. Metal ones, in comparison, could create an unwelcome, if somewhat unsurprising, metallic undertone.
8, Pour in Freshly Boiled Water.
Fill your favourite cup or mug with hot water.
9, Allow it to Steep for a Few Minutes, leave it for three to five minutes. Any longer, and you might find it has over-brewed.
How to Serve: Consider having Milk or a Milk Alternative for Tea, sugar, honey or lemon.
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