Global Tea Regions - Assam
Around the world with Tea
The state of Assam is the world’s largest tea-growing region and lies on either side of the Brahmaputra River, which borders Bangladesh and Myanmar. This area experiences high precipitation during the monsoon period. The daytime temperature rises to about 96.8F (36 °C), creating greenhouse-like conditions of extreme humidity and heat. This tropical climate contributes to Assam’s unique malty taste, a very unique feature of the tea.
Assam generally denotes distinctive black teas from Assam, however, the region produces smaller quantities of green and white teas as well with their own distinctive characteristics. Historically, Assam has been the second commercial tea production region after southern China. Southern China and Assam are the only two regions in the world with native tea plants. The first harvest of the year starts in February after a prolonged harvest break.
This first flush harvest in Assam has a fragrant, fresh, flowery – and slightly spicier character and is a bright, golden yellow in the cup. The very best highest-grade, Assam teas are harvested in May-June, during the second flush harvest period. The leaves release a full, spicy, malty character. The color is now a rich coppery red to deep brown in the cup.
The plucking during the rainy season is more productive from July to October, when the powerful monsoon rains from the Indian Ocean fall on the fertile ground. The quality decreases sharply at this point; the leaves losing more and more of their spicy, malty flavor and strength. Almost all Assam teas can be enjoyed with white sugar, preferably a “Kluntje” (a white rock candy sugar lump). Assam Second Flush can be enhanced with a dash of fresh cream.