India is among the highest-producing tea regions in the world today. It is known as the origin or birthplace of Assam and other fine black teas. Historically, evidence of the consumption of tea dates to 750 BC in India where it began as the beverage of choice for Buddhist monks. Teas from the lush and tropical Assam Valley and the high Himalaya regions of Darjeeling and Sikkim are probably the best- known tea regions in India. However, these are certainly not the only tea growing regions. The next well- known region for tea production in India is the Nilgiri Blue Mountains region in southern India.
Even the best of Nilgiri teas do not share the global stardom of other Indian black teas like Assam and Darjeeling. The secret to their subtle, beautifully balanced taste lies in the unique climate of the Nilgiris. The Nilgiris benefit from a lush and fertile terroir, that mix of geography and geology that gives tea its uniqueness. Rising at a height of 2000m. in a tropical region, the Nilgiris have fewer extreme seasons, moderate summers with the temperature just briefly hitting freezing for a few key days in January and February each year. The temperate climate means that tea can be plucked all year round.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that my preference in teas are black teas from China and India. A variety of black teas from these two countries are the ones I enjoy daily. I have so many I could go months and not drink the same black tea. But I often come back to one of my most favorite black teas and that is Nilgiri Korakundah Estate FOP, FBOP. The estate was founded in the early 1900’s and is 8,000 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest tea gardens in the world. This factor greatly enhances the teas flavor. It is a mix of flowery orange pekoe and flowery broken orange pekoe leaves. It brews to a golden amber cup with a smooth, sweet slightly floral taste. The body is light with a very low astringency. If I was to rate this tea using the rating scale here on the blog – it would be 5 plus 5 equaling a 10! You must try it.
Next… Nan Jing Yu in my cup.