Assam tea or Assamese tea is a specific kind of black tea grown in Assam, a North Eastern state in India, known to be the second largest tea producing area in the world after Southern China. The tea is produced from plants that are native to the region, a revolutionary fact in itself.
The tropical climate of the region gives the Assamese tea its distinct taste which has been described as slightly malty. The tea is also know for its dark color and body. The range of breakfast teas sold under the names of English, Scottish and Irish Breakfast teas are basically blends of different kinds of tea from Assam. Although the area is well known for its black tea, a small amount of green and white tea is also produced in the area.
Origin of Assamese Tea
The tea plant was found by a Scottish man, Robert Bruce in 1823 while he was touring Assam. He noticed the local tribals brewing tea from the leaves of the plant and sent the samples to the Calcutta Botanical garden for classification. The plant was named as ‘Camellia sinensis var. Assamica’ and was found to be different from the tea plants of China.
Assam Tea Recipe: Commonly Used Ingredients and Preparation
The best way to proceed while trying to brew Assam tea is to use boiling water. There is no ideal method for preparing this kind of tea although the BBC specifies the mixing of full cream milk and water and infusing the tea leaves within it. Adding sugar is normally preferred while drinking the Assam teas in order to minimize their strong bitter taste. However, it is advisable to top the tea with a combination of brown and white sugar for health reasons.
Serving Suggestions for Maximizing Assam Tea Benefits
The tea is usually served during breakfast across the United Kingdom. In India and its neighboring countries, Assam tea is simply brewed by mixing all the ingredients together and strained into tea cups. However, it is advisable to warm the tea cups with scalding hot water just prior to pouring out the tea. Full cream milk and white sugar is generally preferred with the thick, black brew although it can be served with a slice of lemon or cream during formal occasions.
Common Assam Tea Benefits
Termed as the most widely consumed black tea in the world, Assam tea is considered to be beneficial for health. Some of the most important ones are:-
- Contains polyphenols which can reduce the risk of cancer.
- Promotes weight loss.
- Does not contain any heavy metals or fluoride which has been associated with bone porosity.
- Decreases the secretion of cortisol, a hormone known for increasing stress.
- Believed to increase memory power.
- Significantly decreases the risk of cardio vascular diseases.
Assamese Black Tea: Side Effects
The tea is safe for consumption if taken in moderation. Excess amounts may lead to insomnia, anxiety and restlessness due to the presence of caffeine. Pregnant women and lactating mothers are advised not to drink more than two cups of Assam Tea per day.
Heating of water in a micro wave is not recommended for preparing Assam Tea as it might affect the taste.