Updated: Feb 1
Tea from the Assam region in India is renowned for its strong malty flavour and dark thick liquor. Its unique flavour comes from the fact that it is a completely different variant of the tea plant. This different Camellia Senensis plant, has actually been growing in Assam for a long time. In 1823 Scotsman Robert Bruce (not 'the' Bruce) encountered a local tribe called the Singphos and noticed they were brewing up the leaves from local trees. He got permission to take samples as well as seeds but unfortunately died before he could classify them. His brother then took over the task and sent the samples to the botanical gardens in Calcutta for a formal examination. The plant was identified as as variety of the Camellia Sinensis called Assamica. The new plant had bigger leaves which produces a darker stronger tea. Unlike it's smaller leafed Chinese cousin the Senensis, the Assamica grew at low elevations in very hot humid conditions. The British Empires opium wars with China, saw problems with the supply of tea. In 1834 the East India Company saw an opportunity to grow tea in the Assam region since it was a British Colony. By the late 1830's tea began to arrive into London with positive results. From then on the Assam tea industry was born, feeding the British Empires taste for strong Breakfast Tea.
Assam tea is grown in the Brahmaputra river valley, where the floodplain provides the rich nutrients needed to grow great tea plants. Added to this is the cool winters, humid summers and plentiful rainfall the region receives. Assam tea is generally harvested twice through the year, the first flush is usually picked in late March and second later in the year. The 2nd flush is generally considered to be superior and contains the golden tips which are highly prized around the world.
Our very own Awesome Assam isn't just any Assam, it is actually a golden tippy 2nd flush tea from the Bokel Tea Estate which is in the Dibrugarh district, in Upper Assam, known for its superior quality.