As you probably know by now , I’m an avid tea drinker. Tea is not just a drink for me – it’s a ritual which has become so deeply entrenched in my routine I’d be lost without it.
Tea is the first thing I crave in the morning and the last thing I sip at night. Whether I’ve had a stressful day at work, or just need a pick me up on a cold winter’s day, I just boil the kettle and fill up my tea cup and soon all my ills are forgotten. I usually start the morning with a green tea and a little squeeze of lemon and finish the evening with a calming chamomile and a touch of honey.
India is one of my favourite regions for a good quality cuppa. The cultivation and consumption of of tea in India has a strong history, differing from region to region. Once thought to be a drink of the royals, tea has evolved at such a pace in India, the nation now leads the pack in tea consumption.
Commercial tea production began in India with the arrival of the British East India Company, which commenced large-scale mass production in the mid 1800’s to break the Chinese tea monopoly. Now India is one of the largest tea producers in the world.
Just in time for Diwali, the “festival of lights”, I did a bit of celebrating of my own and sampled three of JING Tea’s renowned black tea regions and varieties -Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri.
The Darjeeling hills are located on the Mahabharat range in West Bengal. Tea was first cultivated commercially there in 1856 and is now one the world’s most famous and sought after teas.The JING Darjeeling 2nd Flush has a delicate flavour and a distinctive floral perfume which is rich but not overpowering.
Tea was first cultivated in Assam, in the far northeast of India in 1839. It is one of the largest producers of tea in the world due to its rich soil and tropical climate of the region. Assam teas are famous for their rich flavours and JING’s Assam Breakfast is no exception. When poured, it has a distinctive amber colour and its full-bodied malty character is perfect for an afternoon pick me up.
The Nilgiris are beautiful hills in southern India, named after a flowering shrub which covers the hills in a sea of purple-blue flowers. JING’s Nilgiri Frost has a well-rounded body with slightly sweet and floral notes. It has quite a strong aroma but feels quite clean on the palate.
For optimum taste – measure one tablespoon of tea to each cup (250ml) of near boiling water. Infuse for three minutes to bring out the flavours and aroma.
What are your favourite teas? Do you have any tea rituals?