Walk into any grocery store or café and all they sell is ‘Black Tea.’ One name. One flavor. Boring. In the world of specialty loose leaf tea, the world of black tea goes much deeper. Thanks to TERROIR (or ‘Taste of Place’), there are many different kinds of Black Tea with their own depth of flavors.
Below is a brief overview of how climate, soil, altitude, etc. of different regions impart different flavors of tea. Try them all and taste the difference for yourself!
More than 3.7 million acres of land in China are devoted to tea plantations. The best estates are concentrated in the southeastern part of China, particularly Fujian, Zhejiang, and An-hui provinces. Further south is Yunnan Province, an area many consider to be the origin of the tea tree.
The remarkable variety of the weather and geological conditions of each of these regions gives each Chinese tea a unique flavor profile. We love Chinese black teas for their floral flavor notes. Many high quality Chinese black teas have little to no bitterness or astringency, making them the perfect black teas to enjoy without milk or sugar.
India – Assam and Darjeeling
Flavor: Malty, Bitter, Robust
Tea growing in India began in the Northeast of the country and spread along the Brahmaputra River to the Himalayas. Darjeeling and Assam are the most famous production regions. The Assam state is also considered an origin for tea. The highly fertile tropical region of Assam is home to tea varietals with large leaves that brew into a full-bodied, dark liquid with a lot of character.
Many black teas we drink in the US come from India. Assam teas can be drunk as they are, but their natural spicy, astringent, and malty flavor makes them an excellent base for the preparation of chai.
With a favorable climate that allows growers to produce several harvests per year, Sri Lanka is the fourth-largest tea grower in the world. Most of the tea plantations are in the south of the island, on the eastern and western slopes of the high plateaus. Tea grades fall into thee groups according to altitude: low-grown, medium-grown, and high-grown.
Ceylon is well known for it woody and fruity flavor profile with accents of molasses. The tea’s full mouth feel and pleasant astringent finish make Celyon a perfect choice for iced tea.
Flavor: Woody, Light
With several mountain ranges with peaks soaring to over 6,550 feet, a temperature that rarely drops below 55F, and a mean rainfall of more than 79 inches a year; the climatic and geological conditions of Taiwan are perfectly suited to the cultivation of tea.
While Taiwan is most known for its Oolong teas, black Taiwanese teas are some of our all time favorite teas. The best of Taiwanese Black teas are their woody, citrus flavor profiles and light, crisp bodies.
Tandem Tea Company is New Orleans’ finest Tea Purveyor.
Our mission is to spread the love of tea by sourcing high quality, single origin, loose leaf teas and organic herbal blends from around the world to create the perfect tea menu. Whether you’re steeping loose leaf tea for the first time or looking for premium grade leaves, we are here for you with a variety of teas and information curated to meet your needs.
Check out our videos on our YouTube Channel.
Subscribe to our Teas of the Month Club today!