Map of India

India

Wikipedia: India | Official Government Website: india.gov.in 
Updated: Mar. 17, 2014 

Browse Teas From India (911) - Read Reviews (454)

Table of contents:
About India | Tea-Producing Regions of India | Styles of Tea Produced in India | Best (Top-Rated) Indian Teas

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About India

Clickable map of India; regions producing tea are highlighted in green. This map is derived from the India Districts Map on Wikimedia Commons by Superbenjamin, and is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
India is one of the most important tea-producing countries, and also the second-largest country by population. The tea plant is indigenous to eastern and northern India, and tea may have been produced and consumed in India for thousands of years in small quantities, probably for medicinal purposes, but the widespread cultivation of tea in India did not begin until the British introduced it from China.

Currently, India, together with China, is one of the two largest producers and consumers of tea. Most of the tea produced in India is consumed in India, although India does export substantial amounts of both mass-produced bulk tea and high-quality specialty or artisan tea.

Types of tea produced in India

Historically, India produced only black tea. In recent years, however, there has been a growth of green, white, and even oolong Indian teas, although the vast majority of tea and styles of tea produced in India are still black teas. The most famous tea-producing regions of India are Darjeeling and Assam, although Nilgiri and Sikkim also produce notable teas, and teas are grown in many other regions as well. Darjeeling has diversified into green, oolong, and white teas more than any other region of India.
Average annual rainfall across India, by Planemad, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Tea is only able to be grown in the wetter (darker blue) regions.

India's geography and climate and its influence on tea production

India has a diverse climate, ranging from tropical to subtropical. The South Asian monsoon produces a strong seasonality of precipitation, with dry winters and wet summers. Precipitation also varies regionally and by altitude.

The tea plant has high moisture requirements, and only the wetter parts of India are suitable for growing tea. These include the Western Ghats, which catch moisture coming off the Indian ocean, and Northeast India, which has across-the-board higher precipitation even in lowland areas. A small region in far north India, following the foothills of the Himalayas, also has higher rainfall and produces a small amount of tea.

Tea production in north and northeast India

Most of the best-known tea-growing regions of India are located in the northeastern corner of India, near the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, and near the borders with Bangladesh and Nepal. These regions include Darjeeling and Assam, as well as lesser-known regions including Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jalpaiguri, and Sikkim. Although a band of similar climate extends west and north along the length of the Himalayas, almost the whole way to the border with Pakistan, there are only small, isolated tea gardens in the far northern areas, such as Himachal Pradesh.
Tea gardens near Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India. Public domain photo by Chaitanya Lala.

Tea production in south India

South India has some important tea-growing regions as well, along the mountain range that runs north-south along the west coast of south India. The region in South India best-known for tea is Nilgiri, and Kerala also produces tea. As one travels east along the Deccan Plateau, rainfall quickly falls off, leaving only a narrow band along the western edge of the country where tea is grown.

Tea-Producing Regions of India

Styles of Tea Produced in India

This is a selection, not an exhaustive listing, of the styles of tea most commonly produced in India.

Best Indian Teas

The notion of the "best" Indian teas is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas produced in India, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

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Assam

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Assam
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
36
15 Ratings
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Mtn High Chai

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Chai / Spiced Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
33
10 Ratings
Picture of Original Tulsi Tea

Original Tulsi Tea

Brand:Organic India
Style:Tulsi / Holy Basil Tea
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Teabag
45
10 Ratings
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Aged Earl Grey™ - Bergamot Black

Brand:Numi Organic Tea
Style:Earl Grey Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
57
8 Ratings
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Darjeeling

Brand:Twinings
Style:Darjeeling Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
34
8 Ratings

Top-Rated Indian Teas

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Holy Basil Purple Leaf

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Tulsi / Holy Basil Tea
Caffeine:Caffeine Free
Leaf:Loose
100
5 Ratings
Picture of Avaata Supreme Nilgiri Green Tea First Flush (Organic)

Avaata Supreme Nilgiri Green Tea First Flush (Organic)

Brand:Golden Tips
Style:Green Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
94
4 Ratings
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Temi SFTGFOP1 First Flush Black Tea

Brand:Republic of Tea
Style:Black Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
71
4 Ratings
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Assam TGFOP Black Tea

Brand:Arbor Teas
Style:Assam
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
67
3 Ratings
Picture of Organic Masala Chai Black Tea

Organic Masala Chai Black Tea

Brand:Wegmans
Style:Chai / Spiced Tea
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
65
4 Ratings

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