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What Is Assam Black Tea?

If you’re a tea drinker and start branching out into more nuanced types of tea, you’ll eventually run into Assam black tea. This tea is processed in multiple ways and is a popular addition to many tea blends grown in other parts of the world. 

Assam black tea (Camellia sinensis var. assamica)  is a type of black tea that comes from Assam, India. Assam tea is used in beverages, baking products, cosmetic products, dyes, and other applications. Assam black tea is commonly served for breakfast in the United Kingdom. 

Assam black tea has a unique flavor and history compared to other varieties of black tea. Read on to learn more about Assam black tea and how to prepare it properly.  

What Is Assam Tea and Where Is It From? 

While tea farmers in Assam initially tried to grow Chinese varieties of black tea in this region of India, the high humidity and large amounts of rain prevented it from thriving. This led to the tea farmers developing a more hardy tea cultivar that could survive and thrive in India’s lowland microclimate. 

Where Is Assam Black Tea From?

Assam black tea is from a northeastern state of India called Assam. The climate in this region of India is known for high levels of rain, high levels of humidity, and moderate temperatures. These weather conditions create a kind of outdoor greenhouse that is effective for growing this type of black tea plant. 

What Does Assam Black Tea Taste Like?

The main outcome of tea being grown in Assam’s microclimate is that the tea takes on a particularly rich, malty flavor compared to black teas from more western and northern parts of the Asian continent. These flavor notes make Assam black tea a common addition to rich breakfast teas, most notably Irish Breakfast Tea

where is black Assam tea from

Health Benefits of Assam Black Tea

Along with its flavor advantages as a robust breakfast tea, Assam tea has many of the same nutrients provided by black teas from other parts of the world. Here are some of the health benefits you can expect to gain from drinking black tea like Assam on a regular basis: 

  • Antioxidants: The antioxidants found in Assam black tea are associated with lowered risks of several serious systemic illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, and heart attack. These antioxidants are the product of polyphenols, a series of botanical chemicals that can both protect cells and promote cellular regeneration. (Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  • Theaflavins: Theaflavins are a specific type of polyphenol that is associated with weight loss, stable blood sugar, and lower levels of inflammation in the body that can lead to systemic disease. (Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in the world. This chemical is associated with heightened levels of mental acuity and focus. Caffeine in tea is also associated with increased levels of creativity and improved mood. (Source: Healthline

Black tea can be a healthy daily drink as long as you don’t load it down with a bunch of white processed sugar and cream. However, even if you splurge on dairy and sweeteners for this strongly-flavored tea, the health benefits of black tea will at least help off-set the indulgence. 

how to prepare Assam black tea

How to Prepare Assam Black Tea

The process for brewing Assam black tea is pretty simple. Follow this procedure for the perfect pot of tea

  • Heat the water. Water for Assam black tea should be heated to around 195F degrees. Use a thermometer if you’re unsure about the temperature, as heating the water too much will damage the tea leaves, while not heating it enough will prevent the tea from infusing correctly.
  • Move the heated tea kettle off the heat. Stir around three and a half ounces (100 grams) of Assam black tea into the pot, then cover.
  • Let the tea steep. The tea leaves should sit in the hot water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the tea. Use a tea strainer to strain the tea leaves out of the tea. If you want to cool the tea to drinking temperature more quickly, you can add an ice cube to the pot.
  • Serve the tea. Assam tea is best served without adding too much sweetener, but you can dress it with sugar and milk to your preference. 

If you want to add additional flavor to your Assam black tea, this tea type makes an excellent base for a cup of masala chai. The robust flavor of the Assam tea is able to hold up to the strong aromatic spices used in this pungent Indian drink. 

Assam Black Tea Is Perfect for Breakfast

Assam black tea tastes very different from Earl Grey, Ceylon, and other varieties of black tea you might come across on the market. But it’s well worth the trouble to try out this malty tea. Who knows? Assam black tea might be your new breakfast favorite! 

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