Assam is the largest tea producing state in India. We all sip tea early in the morning with some biscuits. It’s a part of every Indian household to drink coffee or tea first thing in the morning after brushing our teeth. It’s not just a practice but a cultural inheritance in most parts of the country.
Ever wondered where all this tea is coming from. We have a lot of tea variants in the market to choose from. Variations in flavor, different types of brands, different compositions of tea, etc. confuse customers to buy the right brand of tea powder.
Again, in tea powder alone, there are different combinations like dust tea, tea powder with long leaves, short leaves, etc. Different flavors have nearly filled the market and some of the notable ones are ginger tea, masala tea, cardamom tea, black tea, organic tea, hibiscus tea, Tulsi tea, lemon tea, iced tea, Oregon tea, and the list just keeps growing.
Every other day new flavors are added to the list, and they don’t seem to end. Big brands and names associated with tea can be found in advertisements every other minute on television to lure customers for buying their respective tea powders. Thus, the tea industry is a very big industry and tea plantations can be found in different regions of the country.
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Facts & Figures
Assam is the first largest producer of tea in India. Right after Assam, Darjeeling in west Bengal occupies the second position in generating the largest tea produce for the country. Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and the north-eastern regions of India are also good tea producing states of the country.
Assam is the leader in this group and produces almost 52% of the tea produce in the country. That accounts to more than half the produce of tea in the country.
An important point to be noted here is that, tea is a favorite beverage in India. Almost a majority of the tea produce is consumed within the country itself. But a certain percentage is still left for exporting tea to other countries and India is a very popular exporter of tea, making it a big business in our country.
GI Advantages Of Assam Tea
Intellectual property rights for Assam tea has brought laurels for the state and the country together with the government deciding to recognize the geographical importance of the tea producing state.
A geographical indication mark on a specific product attaches the product with the place where it specifically originated or where it is specifically famous due to certain factors.
This kind of recognition provides the community associated with the production of the product to use the GI mark on the product for marketing purposes.
The community or the region that is involved with the production of the product, here it is the Assam tea enjoys the rights and privileges to use the GI mark on the product.
Tea produces from Nilgiri and Darjeeling respectively have also received this recognition from the government and it is a proud thing to be conferred with exclusive rights on a particular product.
It is a big recognition for the cultivators and farmers who are actually involved in working in the tea plantations.
Characteristics of Assam Tea
Assam tea is usually associated with black color, hence famously called the black tea. The tea has a taste of malt along with a bright color and strong flavor. These are some of the unique features of the tea grown in this region that differentiate from other tea varieties grown in certain other parts of the country.
Worldwide, Assam holds the recognition of being the second largest tea producing region in the world. The black tea of Assam first found its roots in the native region of Assam and hence the famous black tea from Assam is famous not only within the country, but is sought after worldwide.
Assam comes after the Southern region of China, which leads the world in the largest tea producing region of the world. Southern China also bears a unique variety of tea plants that actually originated in that area.
Hence, Assam along with the southern part of China is the two famous places in the world where unique tea plants characterized by the distinct features of the land where they originated are found.
Reasons for Large Produce
River Brahmaputra is the lifeline of the state of Assam and it is the rich basins that provide fertile lands for the cultivation of tea plantations on slopes. In addition to this, the state receives very good rainfall. During the rainy season, the state is reported to have received rainfall as high as 300 mm causing good fertile lands for the growth of tea plantations.
Not only this, in summers, the temperatures rise up to as high as 36 degrees Celsius. Thus, on one hand there is good rainfall backed by good humid environments. Together they produce heat on land and this is exactly what makes tea cultivation an ideal occupation in the state of Assam.
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It is noted that the specific taste the Assam tea is known for and distinctively recognized for, is derived from this combination of humid plus heat environment on land. The combination provides a very good taste for the tea produce coming from this region.
The region of Assam is made of clay soil and is found abundantly around the regions and valleys around the Brahmaputra River. Not just this, the way tea is grown in Assam is quite different from the cultivation practice followed in other regions of the country.
The basins around the river Brahmaputra where the soil is fertile and clay are chosen for tea plant cultivation. In other words, the land preferred for tea cultivation is mostly the highlands of the region, where cultivation happens in slopes.
Terrace farming is constituted to produce uniform yields of tea in different regions of the country. This is not true with the state of Assam and they have their plantations in the lowlands of Assam, often around the basins of Brahmaputra River and hence they produce the largest amount of tea in the world.