Did you know that Assam tea is the base for English Breakfast blend tea and masala chai? Tea connoisseurs love savoring this tea without anything added since it has a rich, full-bodied flavor with a malty note. Besides, this tea packs a punch of caffeine. So on days that you don't feel like coffee, try Assam tea!
We searched the internet to find the best Assam teas available. Our number one pick is VAHDAM's Assam Second Flush Black Tea. This aromatic loose leaf tea is crafted with the finest tea leaves and doesn't contain any fillers. There are many other products in our list of favorites, so give them a look! And if you want to know more information about Assam tea's flavors and health benefits, check out our buying guide at the end.
I am a Certified Tea Sommelier and blogger at teacachai.com with a business and fashion background. Besides drinking tea, I enjoy creating tea-infused recipes, cocktails/mocktails, teaching workshops and sharing all about tea. I got into tea at a young age and have always been super passionate about it!
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Table of Contents
Assam tea is a black tea made from the Camellia Sinensis plant native to the Assam region in India. Compared to other kinds of tea, such as green and white tea, Assam tea is highly oxidized. It boasts a full-bodied, intense flavor with a malty finish and a rich amber color.
Not only does it taste fantastic by itself, but Assam tea is also wonderful with milk and sugar. In fact, its strong and earthy flavor makes this tea a great base for Masala chai (spiced tea), one of the most enjoyed beverages in India.
Assam tea also has a high caffeine content, so it can help you stay focused and feel energized. This tea brings a lot of health benefits as well. Some of them include strengthening your immune system, promoting weight management, lowering blood sugar, and preventing neurodegenerative diseases.
Assam is an Indian state in the northeastern part of India that produces not only black tea but also green and white tea (on a much lower scale). It is the single largest black tea-producing region in the world, and it is commonly recognized as malty with a distinctive aroma.
Regarding caffeine, black tea typically has the most caffeine of all the tea types, but bear in mind that it has considerably less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
With some options in mind, let's proceed to the selection process! There are plenty of factors that you might want to take into consideration before purchasing, such as the tea grade and type. For more details, read on.
While looking at Assam tea products, you might find acronyms like TGFOP or FTGFOP. Basically, these are grades assigned to whole leaf black tea to help identify the size and style of dried tea leaves. Some of the common grades you'll frequently see are:
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the grade, the more aromatic the tea tastes, and the higher the price is. Besides whole leaf tea, there are also broken tea leaves and low-quality dust and fanning. They produce a strong cup, but they are definitely less complex and aromatic than higher grades.
Assam tea can be manufactured using the conventional way or the CTC (crush, tear, and curl) method. Traditionally, Assam teas are made through four steps: withering, rolling, oxidizing, and drying.
In the conventional method, hand-plucked tea leaves are spread out and exposed to the air to wither. Then they're rolled to release the chemicals that will form the tea's color and pungency. The rolled leaves are spread out again and exposed to oxygen for several hours.
When the leaves change from green to copper, they are dried over a heat source to stop oxidation. If you're into a subtle, aromatic flavor, then this whole leaf tea is the way to go.
CTC Assam tea is processed similarly. But instead of being rolled out at the large stage before packaging, they pass through multiple cylindrical rollers and are crushed, torn, and curled into small balls. Compared to traditional Assam tea, CTC tea tends to be stronger and brisker.
There are two distinct production styles in Assam: the whole leaf "Orthodox" style and the CTC style (Crush-Tear-Curl). Tea factories in Assam mostly produce CTC tea for the wholesale commodity market.
My suggestion when trying to decide what style and grade to choose is to think about what you enjoy. For an aromatic and complex cup, go for a higher grade loose leaf. To enjoy a strong cup or if you like to add milk, try a CTC.
There are remains like fannings and dust from the production of both styles. These are often found in mass-market tea bags and are chosen because they are cheaper and they infuse quickly to make a strong, robust cup.
Tea can be categorized into two kinds: loose leaf and tea bags. While loose leaf tea delivers a stronger and richer flavor, tea bags are quick to use and convenient to take on the go.
Tea bags are the best choice if you're looking for something convenient. They make it fast and easy to brew a cup of tea. All you need is a tea bag, a cup, some hot water, and a teeny bit of time. Moreover, tea bags are very affordable!
But when purchasing tea bags, consider the material of the bags. Even though most tea bags are safe, some are crafted from plastic and might release microplastic particles into your tea.
Paper tea bags might be bleached with chlorine to achieve a clean, off-white look. This bleaching process often involves health-damaging chemicals like dioxin, which has been shown to cause infertility and hormonal problems.
Some products are made with epichlorohydrin as well, a type of plastic component that prevents the bags from breaking. But, it might break down in your tea and cause stomach issues.
To be on the safe side, go for tea bags made with plant-based materials like cornsilk and hemp. They are not only great for you, but they are also better for the environment due to their biodegradability.
If you choose tea bags, make sure your tea bags have at least some whole leaves. If it also contains dust and fannings, it can sometimes produce an even more full-bodied cup than loose leaf tea. Some may tell you otherwise, but we heard it here first from a tea sommelier!
It is hard for me to recommend tea bags because, the majority of times, the tea used to fill them is of low quality. There are, of course, exceptions where whole leaf tea is used to fill pyramid-style tea bags or others.
But even having the quality issue covered, it makes no sense to me to generate unnecessary waste from tea bags considering how easy it is to make loose leaf tea.
Loose leaf teas usually contain a mixture of whole leaves and leaf buds to deliver a full-bodied, rich flavor that satisfies your taste buds. They are often loaded with oils, vitamins, and minerals that naturally exist in the leaves.
But, it takes time to brew loose leaf tea. You'll also need a teapot or infuser, so it might not be a convenient option if you want to brew some tea quickly. The price can be quite high as well, depending on the grade of your tea leaves.
Nonetheless, if you're a tea addict, loose leaf tea will bring you the flavorful experience you're looking for!
I will always recommend loose leaf tea because, almost all the time, the quality will be much superior to tea bags. You only need a reusable infuser to steep your leaves, and you can resteep them several times, too.
The aromatics and complexity of flavor and notes you'll get from properly brewing loose leaf tea are incomparable! Always be mindful of steeping times and temperatures.
A product that is made entirely from Assam tea leaves will deliver the most robust and natural flavor. So, you'll know the flavor profile of the tea leaves right away. However, if you want to change things up a little, go for a blended tea instead.
Some products are infused with warming spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom that can tantalize your taste buds. Others boast a combination of Assam tea with other kinds of tea, like Darjeeling, to give you a more complicated flavor.
Assam CTC is the perfect choice for a Masala Chai base, and it has been used that way traditionally for ages. This is because it provides an intense flavor and a full body that won't get lost or diluted when milk is added. This, paired with strong spices like ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorn, and such works like a charm!
Tea can bring various health benefits, but there might be harmful chemicals in your tea. Tea leaves are often treated with pesticides, such as neonicotinoids, and pesticide residue might end up in your tea.
To give yourself some peace of mind, consider certified organic products by accredited certifying agencies such as the USDA. They are grown without any fertilizers and pesticides and also proven to contain no artificial fillers.
Most tea farms are linked to poor working conditions and child labor. To support the rights of tea workers, many brands are committed to fair-trade practices to ensure that workers are paid a fair salary and not exploited. Therefore, by buying a fair-trade certified tea, you are helping to improve the lives of workers.
Many brands are also dedicated to eco-conscious practices and actually launch their own green initiatives. In fact, there are products packed in reusable and washable pouches. You'll also find tea bags made with plant-based materials that are completely biodegradable.
So if you're concerned about the environment, those environmentally-friendly products are definitely a great choice!
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Assam Second Flush Black Tea
High-Quality Tea With a Slightly Sweet, Well-Balanced Flavor
Barooti Assam Tea
Golden Broken Tea Leaves for an Aromatic Flavor
Organic Assam Banaspaty
Loose-Leaf Tea With a Full-Bodied Flavor
Taylors of Harrogate
Pure Assam Leaf Tea
Strong Assam Tea Grown in the Brahmaputra Valley
Unitea Darjeeling and Assam Black Tea
A Scrumptious Blend of Darjeeling and Assam Black Tea
Two Leaves Tea Company
Assam Breakfast Organic Black Tea
Whole Tea Leaves Packed in Plant-Based, Biodegradable Sachets
Ghograjan Tea Estate
Hand-Crafted Assam Tea With Warming Spices
Assam Strong & Malty
Strong Tea With Environmentally-Friendly Packaging
CTC Assam Black Tea
CTC Tea Perfect for Making Chai
Organic Positively Tea Company
Assam Organic Black Tea
Slightly Sweet Tea With a High Caffeine Content
Vahdam is an Indian tea brand that grows and packs its tea directly in India to ensure that you'll receive the finest and freshest tea leaves. And this Assam offers a vegetal, well-balanced flavor that will keep lingering on your palate.
Vahdam is a certified climate and plastic-neutral brand that is committed to environmental sustainability. It also donates around 1% of their revenue to support the education of tea workers' children. A few people were not that crazy about this tea, though, saying it was a little bit light for their taste.
If you prefer strong tea, we suggest using more leaves. Regardless, many buyers, including tea addicts, vouched for this tea's quality and taste. They were absolutely hooked on the fresh, slightly sweet flavor with a note of astringency. While the tea was fantastic on its own, reviewers also enjoyed it with a bit of milk and sugar.
This product is crafted from golden broken tea leaves cultivated in the Brahmaputra valley in Northern India. These leaves produce a high-quality tea with a distinctive aromatic flavor that will help you feel relaxed.
Furthermore, the manufacturer engages in the Ethical Trade Partnership, which aims to shift the tea industry towards a sustainable path and create better conditions for workers.
Many buyers couldn't get enough of this tea, saying it has a rich, smooth flavor with a high caffeine level. And since the flavor was quite strong, this tea worked well with milk and sweeteners.
Sourced directly from the Darjeeling and Assam regions in India, this Assam tea boasts a bold, full-bodied flavor with a malty finish. The tea is also carefully packed in a paper pouch with aluminum foil lining to preserve the freshness.
Plus, this product is certified organic by the USDA, so you can rest assured that it contains no artificial preservatives or pesticide residue. It's also fair-trade certified, which means the manufacturer commits to better protection and fairer wage for farmers.
Some people were disappointed to see that the quality of the tea was inconsistent. They commented that some batches were great, but others tasted old and flavorless.
Nonetheless, most reviewers were smitten with the satisfying flavor of this tea, saying it tasted lovely either with a dash of milk or by itself. Many others were also content with the quality of the tea and mentioned that the leaves were large and obviously not tea dust.
Made with meticulously-picked tea leaves grown in the Brahmaputra valley's rich soil, this tea touts a robust flavor with a malty note that is great to drink any time of the day.
You'll also be delighted to know that Taylors of Harrogate, the manufacturer, is committed to building a sustainable future by enhancing tea workers' livelihoods and reducing their environmental footprint.
A few buyers were not really into this product, saying a few tea grounds went through their strainer. Nonetheless, this tea worked like a charm for many reviewers. They liked the beautiful caramel color and rich flavor that stood out, even when they added milk and sugar. There was also barely any bitterness.
For those who want to experience something different from just pure Assam tea, this product might be a great option for you! It features Assam and Darjeeling, which are both highly sought after by tea connoisseurs all around the world.
While Assam tea has a robust and malty flavor, Darjeeling delivers a delicate vegetal taste with a sweet note to delight your taste buds. And this product is created with a balanced ratio of both teas to bring you a flavorful experience.
This product was their all-time favorite for reviewers; they commented that the tea blend was quite strong without tasting bitter. Its earthy and full-bodied flavor also made it wonderful for kombucha, tea lattes, or cold brew. The tea leaves were also in good shape and didn't look crushed at all.
Crafted only from brown and golden tipped whole leaves, this Assam tea delivers a rich, malty flavor that tastes fantastic on its own or with some milk. On top of that, the roomy, triangular shape of the sachets allows the tea leaves to steep completely, which leads to a robust flavor.
You'll also love that the tea bags are made from plant-based material and can decompose. Therefore, they are both great for the environment and your health. These tea bags hit the spot for reviewers. The flavor was bold and shone through, even with milk and sweeteners.
Plus, each bag was packed with whole tea leaves (not crushed ones), so one bag was enough to make reviewers feel satisfied. Many also appreciated that the tea bags were individually wrapped and quite convenient to take on the go.
Want something a little bit different from conventional Assam black tea? This product from Ghograjan Tea Estate might fit the bill! It features a tasty blend of loose leaf black tea with warming spices such as cardamom, ginger, and clove. On a chilly day, sipping on a cup of this tea can be quite relaxing and comforting.
Another plus point of this product is the pouch design. You can wash the pouch and reuse it for other purposes! Plus, the tea is hand-crafted and produced in small batches to ensure the highest quality.
For many reviewers, this tea was satisfying and made their mornings so much better. Its caffeine gave them an energy boost for the day! Buyers also noted that the tea was quite strong, so a little went a long way. On top of that, the resealable pouch helped keep the tea leaves fresh.
From the reputable brand Twinings, this Assam tea has a strong and full-bodied flavor. Plus, the airtight, foil-lined bags help keep the tea fresh. Amazon also certifies this product as having a compact design that reduces the environmental impact of its packaging and shipping.
People seemed to be obsessed with this Assam tea. According to them, this tea was smooth, robust, and full of depth, making it fantastic both with and without milk. Some reviewers even replaced their morning coffee with this tea since it has a high caffeine level!
If you're a fan of masala chai, you'll want to keep this CTC Assam tea in your pantry. CTC stands for "crush, tear, and curl", and it refers to a widely-used black tea production technique. This technique will result in Assam tea with a uniform, mildly sour profile.
Thanks to its unique flavor, this kind of tea is often used to make chai. You just need to steep the tea with spices in water, add sweeteners, and then mix in your choice of milk or creamer.
A few reviewers noted that the tea grounds were too fine and went through their strainer. Nevertheless, most buyers were impressed with the quality of this product. They mentioned that it produced an intense, full-bodied, and slightly smoky tea that tasted wonderfully with or without milk.
Need something to wake you up from an afternoon slump? You can rely on this Assam black tea! It has enough caffeine to help you stay focused. Moreover, this product is made of golden tipped tea leaves that create a deep amber tea with a sweet flavor.
For some reviewers, this tea was too light. However, numerous buyers considered this tea as their go-to, saying that it had a smooth, well-balanced flavor that was great to drink without anything added. The tea leaves were also in great condition. In fact, there were only uniform, whole tea leaves without any dust or fanning.
If you're trying to expand your tea pantry, we have some suggestions for you! Check out the links below for some scrumptious teas that will give you a flavorful experience.
No. 1: Vahdam | Assam Second Flush Black Tea
No. 2: Ahmad Tea | Barooti Assam Tea
No. 3: Davidson's Organics | Organic Assam Banaspaty
No. 4: Taylors of Harrogate | Pure Assam Leaf Tea
No. 5: Vahdam | Unitea Darjeeling and Assam Black Tea
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