India is one of the largest tea producing areas in the world with teas coming mainly from the Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Kerala, Sikkim and Dooars regions. Tea production from each of these areas is quite distinct.
The largest tea producing district in India, as well as the world, is Assam which accounts for about 75 percent of all the tea that is produced in India. To give an idea of the size: If one were to stand at the seaport in New York City, and could see all the way to Chicago, they would be viewing the land that encompasses the Assam tea districts. In general, Assam teas range from a black to brown dry leaf and cup to a full-bodied, rich and malty taste. These teas are a particular favorite at Simpson & Vail.
Darjeeling teas are the most famous of Indian teas and are sometimes referred to as the "champagne of teas". Their tea gardens are located on the southern slopes of the Himalayan mountain range, at altitudes from 6,500 to 9,900 feet. The "First Flush" Darjeeling is plucked from March through April. "Second Flush" is plucked from May until mid July. In general, Darjeeling tea has a golden amber color, light flowery flavor and a sweetness of apricot and peaches.
These twisted, slightly tippy Assam black tea leaves from northern India are zestful and invigorating. They produce a deep copper colored cup, with a malty, mellow and full bodied flavor. Assam is truly the Bordeaux of tea! Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
The Belseri Tea Estate is actually made up of the Belseri and Chardwar Tea gardens, which have 1500 acres under cultivation. This tea estate is one of the largest organic tea producers in northern Assam. The tea has medium-black leaves that brew into a bright amber cup. The taste has a creamy, malty, well-balanced cup.
If you're looking for a very malty, well balanced tea with a rapid infusion, then look no further. This tea is a CTC style (cut, twisted, curled) and unlike leafed tea, it doesn't expand. The tea brews to a deep amber cup that stands up to the addition of milk. A real morning "wake-me-up" beverage!
The Dikom Estate is one of the oldest tea estates in Assam. The black, tippy leaves brew to a well-balanced amber cup, with a slight cocoa aroma, and a classic malty and slightly creamy taste. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
This Assam tea from the Doomni Estate has a headiness of aroma in the black, twisted and tippy leaves. The bright liquor yields a brisk, creamy brew with fruity overtones. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
Located in the Mikir Hills at an elevation of 1800 ft is the Kopili Tea Estate. It is the only garden in Assam that is located at this high altitude, other Assam gardens are at a maximum of 150-200 ft. The organic blackish tealeaves, with golden tips, brew to a bright copper liquor with a sweet musty smell and a bold malty taste. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
This tea from the Marangi Estate has uniform black and golden leaves and is graded as a FTGFOP (finest tippy golden flowery orange pekoe). It brews to a rich, amber colored cup with a slight cocoa aroma with floral and woodsy notes. The taste is malty with a balanced astringency and a smooth, slight cocoa finish.
The Satrupa Estate is located in the eastern most region of Assam, closest to the Burmese border. This tea has large, black, twisted, tippy leaves that yield a bright copper cup with a creamy cocoa-like aroma, an abundantly full flavor and a strong malty taste. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
A delicious Assam! This small estate is located in Northeast India near the Namdapha National Park, which is recognized as one of India's richest areas of biodiversity. The medium-black, slightly tippy leaves brew to a medium amber cup with a delightful, well-bodied malty taste.
Our standard Darjeeling Black Tea is a blend of teas from all around the Darjeeling area, which are blended to create a consistent taste profile. This full-bodied, medium sized, tippy leafed tea brews to a bright amber cup with a smooth medium body, pleasing citral tones and a delightful champagne after-taste. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
The Ambootia Estate has had a fine history of tea cultivation since 1861, with their teas being both organically and bio-dynamically produced. The Premium Darjeeling is a blend of their 2nd flush and Autumnal teas that produces a full-bodied, bright cup, with a delicate, slightly sweet, champagne after-taste. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.
While visiting from London in the 1930’s, Margaret, the daughter of the tea estate owner, saw the tea garden and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, Margaret fell ill and passed away on her Indian holiday. Her father re-named his estate after her to honor her memory. The Margaret’s Hope tea bushes are almost entirely Chinese jat which accounts for the green tippy leaf appearance and the superb fragrance. The leaves yield an amber cup with a true Muscat flavor found only in rare Darjeeling teas. Brew tea at 212º - steep for 3 minutes.