(A quick overview.More under each individual heading.)
In India, there are three distinctly different tea growing regions. These regions are geographically separated, thereby producing three entirely different teas both in style and in taste/flavor. The three regions are: Darjeeling (North-Eastern India), Assam (far North-East India) and Nilgiri (South India).
Nestling in the foothills of the snow-covered Himalayan range, Darjeeling grows this exclusive tea at altitudes ranging from 600 to 2,000 meters. The cool and moist climate, the soil, the rainfall and the sloping terrain all combine to give Darjeeling its unique "Muscatel" flavor and exquisite bouquet. The combination of natural factors that gives Darjeeling tea its unique distinction is not found anywhere else in the world, hence this finest and most delicately flavored of all teas has over the years acquired the reputation of being the "Champagne of Teas."
Assam. The land of the Tiger and the one-horned Rhino. The land through which the mighty river, the Brahmaputra, winds its majestic course. Assam - rich in nature's bounty and a rainfall ranging from 100 to 150 inches per year - a bounty that ensures a very special place for the teas grown here. These teas are referred to simply as "Assam" and offer rich, full-bodied, bright tea liquor. For those who favor a bright, strong cup of tea, Assam is "your cup of tea."
The Blue Mountains or the Nilgiris are situated in South India. They are a picturesque range of undulating hilly landscapes where tea is grown at elevations ranging from 1,000 meters to 2,500 meters. Rainfall varies from 60 inches to 90 inches annually. These conditions favor the fine, elegant flavor and brisk liquor of Nilgiri teas. The combination of fragrance and briskness makes Nilgiri a truly unique tea, the like of which can be found nowhere else in the world. If you like a fragrant tea with good body and superlative flavor, Nilgiri should be the one for you.
India currently has approximately one million acres under tea cultivation which supports approximately 14,000 tea estates, with a total work force of about one million people.