Tea is that drink we always drink. In good times, bad times, to calm ourselves, or when we are happy, or the first thing in the morning or when guests come to our home we offer tea. The humble tea is synonymous with so many sentiments and each state of India has created its own version of tea. Our tea is so famous that it’s exported and enjoyed throughout the world.
Tea is so popular even the movie Miss India starring Keerthi Reddy was based on it. Tea is something very humble but very powerful at the same time. Using tea many people have started successful enterprises and created industries out of it. India’s tea industry is the largest in the world and is exported heavily. This industry generates employment and adds to the revenue of the country.
Seeing all this don’t you wonder how did it all start? In this post, I talk about tea and also discuss the various tea brands in India that help us get out of bed.
History of tea
The history of tea dates back to Ancient China during 2732 BC almost 5000 years ago. On a fine morning the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was drinking boiled water from a bowl when the leaves of a wild tree blew into his cup. Upon contact with the hot water, the leaves gave an aromatic scent and color to the water.
The resulting brew immediately helped him feel better and he called it ‘Cha’ meaning to check or investigate in Chinese. This word soon took the form of Chai which we all know and love.
This simple discovery led to many kinds of varieties of tea. People started experimenting with boiling leaves in hot water and trying different methods. This has led to the creation of many varieties of teas. I have compiled them into a list that will help you understand tea better.
Variety of teas
There are different varieties of teas but they are differentiated mainly based on the methodology used in making them. I have discussed the broad classification of tea and how it is different from the various flavored tea you see in the market.
01. Black Tea:
The most common type that is fully oxidized, has a darker appearance, stronger flavor, and high caffeine content though it is still half the level of coffee.
02. Green Tea
This is unoxidized tea and has a high level of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Best to consume without milk to get all its potential benefits.
03. Oolong Tea
Partially oxidized. The oxidization affects the flavor and appearance of the tea. It has a very delicate flavor and it resembles neither black nor green tea.
04. White Tea
This tea is least processed and only the unopened buds and young leaves are dried and used. This tea produces a light color infusion and has very little caffeine content even lower than green tea.
05. Pu-erh tea
This tea comes from Yunnan China and it is plucked from wild tea trees and not cultivated tea bushes. The tea leaves are pressed together which aids in microbial fermentation and then are stored till maturity. This tea can be black or green depending on the level of oxidation it has undergone.
Some of the most common types of flavoured teas
Earl Grey: This tea is prepared by adding bergamot a citrus fruit to tea. This was created to mask cheap tea flavor and sell it as an expensive tea.
Jasmine Tea: Jasmine blossoms are infused with green tea resulting in a scented tea. The tea is stored at night with the flowers in a special room with controlled humidity. The process is repeated over several nights to get the scented tea.
Masala Chai: Black tea mixed with traditional Indian spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger.
Now, that you know that the different types of tea are based on the process that goes into cultivating them I have listed some of the top tea brands in India which you can buy to make that delicious cup of tea.
Tea brands in India
Here, is the list of Tea brands in India
01. Brew Cafe
Brew Cafe is a brand owned by Inteliqo Research and Services, In India that is quite popular. They source the best tea from Ceylon, Darjeeling, and Assam, and with their unique formulation, deliver the best health benefits through tea.
02. Tata Tea
Tata Tea Premium is the number 1 brand in India owned by the Tata Group. It has a refreshing taste and is of premium quality.
03. Taj Mahal
TajMahal Tea is a popular brand in India and has always been endorsed by celebrities. It has a rich taste and an uplifting aroma and the tea is dark crimson.
04. Red label
This is a popular brand and is rich in antioxidants. The tea is made from tea leaves of Assam, Darjeeling, Coochbehar, and some parts of Meghalaya.
It is another famous brand that was started in the year 1892 and is promoted by Gujarat Tea Processors & Packers Ltd.
Tenley is an international brand that was acquired by the Tata Group in 2000. This brand operates in 40 countries and is known for its beautiful packaging of tea leaves and premium quality.
07. Taaza Tea
It has a strong and rich taste making it an excellent choice for strong tea. It is owned by Unilever and is one of the sought-after tea brands.
08. Organic India
This is a tea brand that commits to the health of its consumers. They deliver genuine organic products. It was the first brand to popularise tulsi-infused tea and elaborate on its health benefits. You can find this brand in stores, or on Amazon or Flipkart.
I have listed the top tea brands that are sold in India and you can buy them to make a cup of tea. In case you are new to brewing tea I have shared a simple tea recipe that you can make whenever you want and enjoy a healthy dose of vitamins and antioxidants!
A Simple Tea Recipe
Tea is very easy to make and I have shared a simple recipe that you can make while on the go despite your hectic schedules.
- First, take some milk in a vessel and heat it on a stove.
- Then add little water to this mixturebut don’t dilute the milk.
- To this add tea leaves that you have at home. You can also add a little cardamom powder (optional).
- To this mixture add sugar as per your state and bring this mixture to a boil.
- If you want a strong brew then keep on boiling until you see a dark concoction, but if you want a light brew then boil until the leaves add colour to the mixture.
- Drain the tea into a cup after you pass it over a sieve so that all the tea dregs are caught in the sieve.
- Your tea is ready!
Tea is a common drink that is enjoyed globally and is consumed on a regular basis. If you miss drinking tea on a single day you will feel as if you have missed something important for the rest of the day. That is the kind of emotion the humble tea sparks in us. As a tea lover myself no day is complete without tea.
Tea is a beverage that calms you when you are down, invigorates you when you have just gotten up and adds that extra zing to your day. It also has some amazing health benefits that help you maintain good health. So, here is to a cup of tea that brings out the best in you!