Posted in Kafevend Blog
Assam tea is a popular variety grown in the lowlands of the Assam province in India, and produces a strong, astringent and malty brew. Typically used to make black tea, it is also used to produce small amounts of green and white teas. Along with these single source teas, Assam tea plays a part in some blends- perhaps one of the most famous of these is the English breakfast tea, apparently popularised by Queen Victoria.
The original large scale production of Assam tea is attributed to the British East India Company. Originally, the EIC purchased large amounts of tea from China. However, as trade went on and ever increasing volumes of tea were purchased, the EIC found the strain of paying exorbitant taxes and having to pay in large amounts of silver, imposed by China, to be too much. Money for the purchase of tea was provided by the illegal trade of opium for a time, but they eventually sought to bring China's monopoly on tea down by creating their own, and so established many large plantations in the Assam region beginning in the 1820's.
The state of Assam is the largest tea growing region in the world. Located in north east India, the region lies along the banks of the Brahmaputra river, and endures a hot and humid environment which lends itself to the cultivation of tea., and is responsible for the malt-like taste found in Assam tea.