Tea is a beverage that has entered the lifestyle of people. India has become the leading producer of this beverage, specializing in diverse kinds of leaves and blends – oolong tea, black, brew, green tea and Masala Chai.
Now, teas get their names according to the place they are produced. Darjeeling and Assam are two very popular tea growing regions that cultivate various types of blends. Teas of each region have their own distinct aroma and flavor. Though the two regions are geographically adjacent to one another, yet there are certain subtle differences between the beverages of these regions owing to the variations in cultivation process, climate and altitudes.
Differentiating the Two Finest Quality Blends – Assam & Darjeeling Tea
- Geographical Location
In Assam, tea is produced in lowlands while, in Darjeeling, it is grown in the foothills. The altitude of Darjeeling plays a significant role in the flavor and structure of its blends. Again, rich clayey soil together with climate of Assam provides the ideal condition for tea cultivation. That is why; Assam produces teas in huge quantity.
Darjeeling blends are a little bit spicier than Assam brews. Darjeeling brew tastes best without milk and sugar. Delicate muscatel flavor of Darjeeling tea makes it the “Champagne of Teas”. On the contrary, Assam blends taste best with milk and sugar because of their robust and full-bodied flavor.
Darjeeling tea is slightly greenish in color and, sometimes, light golden while, Assam tea is dark brown. Consumers prefer blends according to their color.
Leaves of Darjeeling are small as compared to Assam. There is fine hair in Darjeeling tea on underside. No such hairs are present in Assam blends.
- Harvesting Season & Time
Assam blends are harvested twice a year and hence, they have first and second flush teas. First flush has a flowery fragrance and second flush Assam tea is of best quality. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea is harvested in four seasons – first flush, second flush, monsoon and autumn flush. Blends of every flush are very different in taste and aroma from the other. First flush Darjeeling is used for preparing organic blends.
Asides all these, Assam tea is available round the year since its production is easier than Darjeeling. Due to difficulty in production, Darjeeling tea is produced in small quantity and is also highly priced. Assam blends are not as pricey as Darjeeling. So, next time when you want to buy either of the two varieties, it will be easy for you.