“Nilgiris” or the “blue mountains” lie at the southwestern tip of India. Covered with tropical forests and hills abundant with tea, this place resembles a scene straight out of Bollywood. It is at the base of these Blue Mountains in southwestern India that tea estates grow this strong and fruity black tea - the Nilgiri tea.
If we talk about numbers, tea production began in Nilgiri in 1840 and today there are more than 60,000 acres under cultivation. Nilgiri produces close to 200,000 metric tons* of tea, which accounts for 25 percent of India's total tea production. Today it is one of the finest Indian black tea to carve its niche amidst some of the best tea blends around the world.
Geographically, the area is one of the few regions that receive two monsoons each year. Hence, because of the low latitude and warm, moist conditions, the tea plantations happen round the year. Nilgiri tea has the best harvests during January to March and that is the time when other teas are rarely ready for picking.
The Nilgiri tea has distinct dark, regular, twisted chestnut brown shoots. It is often termed as the ‘fragrant one’. They are essentially strong, well-balanced, with a smooth and rounded flavour. They are often used as the base for tea blends. Nilgiri tea is exported to United Kingdom, Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Nilgiri black tea is also perfect for a wonderful iced tea because of its soothing flavours. It is one of the few teas that do not cloud when iced. The tea maintains its clear pale colour, making it a beautiful aromatic experience.
*As per 2011 data from The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking GuideBy Mary Lou Heiss, Robert J. Heiss