Assam tea is the main ingredient in our black tea chai, and the traditional tea found in chai. Assam (Camellia sinensis var assamica
) is a black tea named after the Assam region in the north east corner of India. This tea grown at sea level is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour.
Assam remains one of India’s least-populated regions. The mountains are inhabited by tribes whose way of life has not changed for thousands of years and its river is revered by the Assamese people. Home of the tiger and the one-horned rhino, this valley is dominated by the Brahmaputra River – a large slowly meandering river which over millennia of spring and fall flooding has deposited a rich loam over the valley. The soil is deep and sandy and the region suffers a very hot and steamy monsoon season, but equally important, a relatively dry and cool winter; perfect conditions for the Assam tea bush. Despite being mostly jungle and mountain, it is the world’s single largest tea-growing region, producing more than 1,500,000 pounds of tea annually. In India, chai is made by boiling the leaves in a mixture of milk, water and sugar and spices. The Assam teas produce a rich red colour when boiled, thus adding a beautiful colour which comes through the white of the milk, yet does not produce a bitter taste.