As the second largest producer of tea in the world, India is a haven unlike any other for tea lovers and also the homeland to the finest varieties of tea in the world. Morning, Afternoon or Evening and at times even Nights – having a cup of tea with a fun filled conversation, this is a scene almost every Indian is familiar with. There is something almost magical about the simple dark colored drink that seems to capture the taste buds of us Indians. We have rounded up a list of seven regional tea preparations that any tea lover in the country ought to try at some point.
Masala Tea :
Add some Indian spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and herbs to your everyday tea and what do you get? Masala Chai! This aromatic and flavorful beverage originated in India but is now popular in snack houses across the world.
Health Benefits - Prevents body inflammation. Helps beat fatigue
Butter Tea :
Butter tea also known as Gur Gur Chai, is popular in several Himalayan regions, including the Indian areas of Ladakh and Sikkim. It is traditionally made from tea leaves, Yak milk butter, water, and salt. Himalayan nomads are known to drink almost 40 cups a day! Also available with cow butter, this tea comes in tiny cups that are refilled faster than you can blink—but it’s delicious, so no one is complaining!
Health Benefits - Since it contains a lot of butter this tea has a high amount of calories, which is suitable for high altitudes. It also helps prevent chapped lips.
Assam Tea :
Assam tea, as its name suggests, is a black tea native to Assam. The tea is known for its body, briskness and strong malty flavour. It is not only popular in India but is also sold as a breakfast tea in many other parts of the world.
Health Benefits - Increases mental alertness. Can also help in preventing certain cancers, such as ovarian and lung cancer.
Darjeeling Tea :
Also known as the ‘Champagne of Teas’, Darjeeling tea is from the northernmost district of the state of West Bengal. Primarily sold as black tea, Darjeeling tea is also available as green, white and oolong teas. Mostly thin bodied and with a distinct floral taste, Darjeeling teas are immensely popular in India and around the world.
Health Benefits - Helps prevent obesity. Has the additional benefit of preventing gastric ulcers.
Nilgiri Tea :
This dark, strong and intensely aromatic tea comes from plantations on the southern part of the Western Ghats mountain range, which spreads across the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Often used in blends, owing to its rich flavour, Nilgiri tea is among India’s most popular caffeinated exports. Just like the Darjeeling and Assam teas, the Nilgiri variety is also very popular around the globe. It makes great iced tea too.
Health Benefits - It helps reduce weight and fight diabetes. It also helps improve oral health, which means fewer trips to the dentist.
Kashmiri Kahwa :
Kahwa, a traditional preparation of spiced green tea, is the drink to have if you’re in India’s northernmost state of Jammu and Kashmir. Immensely popular in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well, this tea is prepared by boiling green tea leaves with a range of spices, including saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Health Benefits – A perfect remedy for cold, it also improves digestion, build immunity and burn belly fat.
Noon Tea :
Another popular Kashmiri tea preparation, Noon Chai, or Sheer Chai, is mostly known for being distinctly pink in color. Made by brewing tea leaves along with cardamom and baking soda until a bright pink color is achieved, this tea is usually accompanied by milk and salt. You can also add almonds, pistachio, and cinnamon.
Health Benefits - Other than keeping your body warm, this is also good for your skin and boosts your energy as well.
Green Tea :
Green tea is the most popular type of tea and is the favourite choice amongst Asians. Some loose green teas are scented with flowers or mixed with fruits to create scented or flavoured teas. Straight green tea has a clean and delicious taste. Known as the healthiest beverage on the planet, Green Tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
Health Benefits - Improves brain function, excess fat loss, lowers the risk of having cancer and many other impressive benefits.
INTERESTING TRIVIA ABOUT TEA
- Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, water being the first.
- Tea tasting is very much like wine tasting.
- There is an estimated 1,500 different types of tea
- Britain is the second-largest nation of tea drinkers per capita. Ireland is the first.
- It takes around four to 12 years for a tea plant to produce seed. It takes about three years before a new plant is ready to harvest.
- There are 6 basic categories of tea: 1) white, 2) yellow, 3) green, 4) oolong, 5) black, 6) and post-fermented.