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The Splendid Teas of India
China, Japan, and India have been the world’s top producing tea regions for hundreds of years. It wasn’t until about 1835 that India began to export its tea leaves to European countries.
The thing that is so unique about India’s tea production is that is comes from both the camellia sinensis (the tea bush) and the camellia assamica (tea tree). A lot of times, the camellia assamica is able to thrive where the camellia sinensis cannot, and therefore has its own region, leaves, and distinct flavor.
There are three types of tea leaves that are specific to India: Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. The camellia assamica produces the Assam leaf, which is a larger tea leaf and normally a red colored brew with a strong, bold flavor. The humid and rainy Assam region of India is 120 miles east of the Darjeeling region in the Brahmaputra Valley, which borders China, Burma, and Bangladesh.
In the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, about 6,000 feet above sea level, where the climate is elevated, cool, and rainy, the Darjeeling tea region thrives. The plants are a variety of Chinese camellia sinensis grown from seeds or hybrids and hybrid Assam bushes. The Darjeeling tea leaf is often called the “champagne” of teas because of its light, delicate flavor, color, and aroma. These plants are more resistant to the cold and are often planted and cultivated by hand along the sloped sides of mountains.
Do You Tea is lucky enough to have direct access to a generations-old, family owned and operated tea plantation in the Darjeeling region of the Indian Himalayas. It is what gives our teas their superior quality.
Our Darjeeling Chai uses Glenburn tea’s First Flush Darjeeling, which is picked in May/June of each year and blended with traditional Indian spices such as cardamom, clove, and black peppercorn.
Source: The Tea Companion: A Connoisseur’s Guide. Jane Pettigrew. 2004, Quintet Publishing Limited First, Running Press Book Publishers.
Kelley Scruby is the owner of Do You Tea? in Hoboken, New Jersey. As the owner of a small, loose leaf tea business, Kelley is passionate about educating her customers on the benefits that come from drinking loose leaf tea. With a background at a major tea company, she was able to become an expert on the versatility of the beverage and is inspired in her own creations by the changing of the seasons and also desserts. Kelley created Do You Tea? with the confidence that she can help find a tea blend that works for any of her customers’ lifestyle and palate. As Do You Tea? continues to grow, Kelley hosts events and tastings that add a more interactive approach to the expansive world of loose leaf teas. Do You Tea? hopes to have a truck out on the streets of the NYC metro area soon! You are able to purchase her seasonal blends and gift sets online at www.doyoutea.com and follow her on instagram and twitter @doyoutea for updates on tastings and new blends. Please email requests and questions to [email protected].
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.