Blue Mountain Tea
grows in the southwestern region of India.
With dark, regular, twisted chestnut brown shoots this fine Indian black tea finds its way to tea blends around the world.
What makes this tea so special?
Called the “fragrant one”, this tea is full of flavor - strong, but smooth and well-balanced. It grows year-round and the best harvest occurs when many other great teas are dormant.
Rich and delicious, there are many reasons why a great tea like this one should not be underestimated when compared to other Indian teas.
So come and discover the world of Nilgiri tea!
What is Nilgiri Tea?
With a regular leaf, twisted and dark chestnut brown, and a full-bodied brew, this tea resembles Ceylon teas.
Nilgiri tea receives its name from the location where it is produced as the word Nilgiri actually means “Blue Mountain”.
It is at the base of the Blue Mountains in southwestern India that tea estates grow this strong and fruity black tea.
This is a beautiful region with varying altitudes, warmth and humidity that allow for this tea to grow throughout the whole year. The best harvests actually occur from January to March, a season when other teas rarely are ready for picking.
This rare type of tea is produced in the Nilgiri region. It is the result of the winter harvest, when the cold weather concentrates the flavor with sweet and rosy notes.
Sunny days followed by frosted nights of the winter months result in the concentration of flavor inside the tea leaf.
Once picked, Nilgiri frost tea leaves go through an intense withering process that removes the majority of moisture drying the leaf borders so much so that these flake as the leaves are rolled and twisted into their final shape.
The resulting tea liquor is intense, but at the same time it is both fresh and sweet.
Nilgiri Tea Production
It was only in the mid-19th century that Nilgiri tea first began being produced by the British using the camellia assamica
tea plant variety. Soon it became a well-known region in the tea industry after Darjeeling and Assam.
CTC Production Method
Today the majority of plantations in the Nilgiri district are owned by small farmers, the majority of which have been using the CTC (crush, tear and curl) method of producing Nilgiri tea for a long time.
Unfortunately, this mechanized method results in lower quality tea, so most of it is unfit to be sold as loose leaf tea so more than half of all tea production is destined for exportation to be used in tea bags or blends.
Orthodox Production Methods
Due to growing competition from other countries forcing low prices for CTC tea, Nilgiri tea growers have been investing in organic tea production and orthodox specialty teas to stand out in the global tea market.
Black tea grades such as Orange Pekoe are now being produced using traditional processing done by hand. These tea grades use whole high quality leaves from the top of the tea bush.
Search for these rarer teas and experience unique wonderful flavors. They may be a bit more expensive, but a good tea is worth the investment. Frost tea is an example of these exquisitely produced teas.
A good tea such as Nilgiri offers a variety of health benefits when taken on a daily basis. Let’s find out more.
Nilgiri Tea Benefits
Black teas are rich in vitamins, minerals and important antioxidants that may help improve your health. Let’s find out how a cup of Nilgiri tea may be beneficial.
Weight Loss Tea and Digestive Aid
Some people have a hard time losing weight because their digestive system doesn’t function properly. This may be causing stomach aches and indigestion as well.
If you tend to have a difficult digestion, finding yourself bloated or with acid reflux frequently then this may be your case. Try drinking a cup of Nilgiri tea after each meal.
This black tea is rich in caffeine that helps speed up your metabolism. This in turn will help you to process foods and get rid of unwanted wastes faster.
A good healthy diet will not only help speed the weight loss process, but also make your digestion smoother and hopefully painless.
Protect Your Heart
Today many people are concerned with their cholesterol. Unhealthy eating habits may have increased your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels beyond safe levels.
Unless you have a serious heart condition, then this tea may be for you. Nilgiri is rich in flavonoids, which helps improve blood flow, strengthen your heart and circulatory system.
A good cup of tea may help prevent plaque buildup and so lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure as well, reducing the risk of future heart disease and stroke.
So if you don’t have heart issues you may consider drinking this black tea as a coffee substitute. It is rich in caffeine a chemical that helps you to fight exhaustion and gets you up in the morning.
But why replace coffee? Because caffeine in tea works differently. Caffeine in coffee is released into your bloodstream in one single shot, whereas caffeine in tea is release throughout 6 to 8 hours, lasting longer.
Another benefit of tea is that is contains the amino acid L-theanine. A component that both relaxes and soothes the mind. So you are at the same time alert and relaxed, meaning that you are focused but not jittery.
Fight Cold Symptoms
Nothing beats a nice cup of tea when you have a cold or the flu. But why do we crave tea when we are sick? Is it just because it is warm and comforting? No, there is more to it than that.
Tea is rich in vitamins and minerals and so a good cup of Nilgiri tea will have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial powers. This means that it may just help you heal faster and boost your defenses at the same time.
While tea is no miraculous fountain of youth, it does help protect your body from environmental damage and stress.
Black teas like this one are rich in antioxidants which are being studied for their ability to protect cells from degenerating through exposure to pollution or daily strain.
This may mean that in the long run, regular consumption of tea may slow down the aging process as well as helping to prevent the growth of tumor cells that could lead to cancer.
These and other benefits are common to all black teas. Check out more information about benefits of black tea here.
Nilgiri Tea Caffeine
Nilgiri tea contains a high level of caffeine. As this tea is produced using the CTC method, leaves are cut during processing. As the tissue is broken, the leaf reacts by releasing caffeine.
With unbroken teas, such as Orange Pekoes, the rule of thumb is that teas containing younger leaves and buds contain more caffeine than the rest, as this is where the tea bush stores this chemical to ward off insects.
So if you are sensitive to caffeine be aware of the following side effects:
Too much caffeine may express itself through irritability, anxiety and headaches. In more serious cases you may even begin to experience some loss of sleep and insomnia.
In extreme situations skin rashes or dizziness may occur, so stop drinking this tea straight away. You may be allergic to caffeine or need to see a doctor straight away.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should be careful and reduce your caffeine intake as it may cause abortions and birth defects. Talk to your doctor about this.
Sometimes all you need is to drink this black tea in moderation and avoid having a cup before going to bed.
Drinking Nilgiri Tea
This is a refreshing cup of tea that is quite easy to prepare. If you follow a few simple instructions, you will find that this is a quick and easy tea to make.
Let’s learn how to brew Nilgiri tea!
95ºC – 100ºC (203ºF – 212ºF)
sugar or honey
Best paired with:
vanilla milk desserts and pouched fruits
When brewing Nilgiri tea choose a large round teapot so the tea leaves may open up and have lots of space to swirl and brew properly.
Preheat your teapot and cup by filling them with hot water until they feel warm and then discard the water.
Place one teaspoon of loose leaf Nilgiri tea per cup of water (250ml) inside the teapot.
Heat water to boiling point or just about and pour into the teapot. Make sure to use good quality water as chemicals or impurities may ruin the flavor of your tea.
Set a timer for about 3 to 5 minutes to let the tea brew. The longer the tea brews the stronger it will taste, so adjust brewing time according to your taste.
If you wish to make a second pot of tea using the same tea leaves, then it is best to either to use an infuser so that you can remove the tea leaves quickly from the teapot or make sure to empty the teapot as you serve your tea.
Pour into your teacups and enjoy. Unsweetened or sweetened with honey or sugar, this is a great tasting tea.
Try adding a slice of lemon if you wish to bring out its fruity profile. Some people like to add a spot of milk to their tea. Add milk if you wish, but at least once try this tea plain: no sugar, no milk and no lemon.
A good Nilgiri tea usually brew a beautiful amber color and smells of woody and stewed plums. The color may be light, but it is strong in flavor, it is deliciously fruity and flowery.
Store your tea leaves in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. Humidity and light tend to ruin tea leaves or at least reduce their shelf life considerably.
Did you know that Nilgiri black tea makes a wonderful iced tea?
This is because it is one of the few teas that do not cloud when iced. It stays its clear pale color, making it a beautiful and delicious beverage to be enjoyed all year-round.
Buy Your Nilgiri Tea Today!
Click on the image or on the link below to purchase from Whittard of Chelsea
your Nilgiri black tea
Try this gorgeous Indian black tea. It has a delicate and refreshing flavor that is perfectly suited for an afternoon tea.
Click on the image or on the link below to purchase from Starwest Botanicals
your Nilgiri Organic Tea
This wonderful organic black tea from India is a Flowering Orange Pekoe grade tea. Make yourself a high quality cup of tea and enjoy.
This flavorful tea is used as a base for many blends. Try your hand at making chai tea using Nilgiri black and then adding milk and spices. Here is a recipe to get you started: Chai Tea Recipe.
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”In the Taste of a single cup of tea you will eventually discover the truth of all the ten thousand forms in the universe.”
- Attributed to Kyongbong Sunim, Ch'an (Zen) Master
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