Most people have heard of India’s most famous growing areas: Assam and Darjeeling. But there are many more like Nilgiri, Sikkim, Dooars, Terai, Himachal Pradesh and Singampatti. India’s tea gardens produce about 870 million kilos of tea each year and every area has its specialty.
The biggest connected growing area in the world is found on the moist and hot plateau in the north of India. Tea cultivation started in 1832 and it was off to a rough start, due to the density of jungle and swamp in the area. The tea plant though defied these unfavorable conditions and after only 50 years the area already counted over 580 growers.
The tea gardens of Darjeeling are world renowned and their teas so excellent, that they are known as the „Champagne of teas“. The area is located in the northeast of India, at the southern hillsides of the Himalaya. Prestigious gardens like Steinthal and Soom have been growing precious teas since 1850.
First Flush: first harvest of the year, depending on climatic conditions it starts after the colder season in the plateau at the end of march respectively beginning of april. Delicate, fresh, flowery, crisp flavor.
Inbetweens: The so called Inbetweens is the harvest between first and second flush. This crop is usually reserved for the domestic market.
Second Flush: The harvest of the second budding between the end of may until June – highly aromatic, nutty, intense.
Autumnal: In fall, after the rainy season, starts the last harvest of the year. Its tea is lovely, mild, fine, with a golden Cup.
Other growing areas in India
Nilgiri, the area in the „Blue Mountains“, the plateau in the south of India has been growing tea since 1840 and produces about a quarter of the Indian harvest, even though it has comparably small gardens. The gardens of Terai are located in the northern part of India, south of the Himalaya at 300 to 800 meters sea level. West of Assam you find Dooars, the third largest growing area in India. Sikkim is the area most northern, that only has one garden.