assam tea

Assam tea recipe

It is the single largest tea growing region on planet Earth. It produces mostly black tea – full bodied, malty and strong.

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Assam Orthodox is made in the conventional style of manufacturing which results in a bold yet balanced cup.

Assam Black Gold is bestowed with a poetic name as it has a very high percentage of golden buds.

Assam Golden Tips has fewer tips and a smaller leaf size.

Assam Crush-Tear- Curl (CTC) process was invented in India in the 1950s and it ensured that a lesser quantity of tea produced a thicker, harsher tea suitable for brewing with milk and sugar.

Assam Broken Pekoe and Broken Orange Pekoe are grades of Assam CTC tea, with the former yielding a stronger cup due it’s smaller particles while the latter has larger granules and is therefore less intense.

Assam Tea Dust contains fine particles of manufactured tea which ensure faster, fuller extraction.

Tea fannings are flaky looking, smaller than Broken Pekoe and Broken Orange Pekoe.

Earl Grey is blended black tea scented with the oil of Bergamot – a Turkish pear shaped fruit (Citrus Bergamia) which grows around the Mediterranean.

SAMOVAR TEA

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam Black Gold
1 tsp sweet lime or lemon jam 3 green pepper corns

Boil the water and pour over tea leaves.

Steep for 3 minutes. Strain into a cup. Gently stir in fruit jam. Float the pepper corns or crack them over the drink. Serve warm

Tea Master’s tip: A favourite Russian way to drink tea is to suck it through a lump of sugar. Jam is used as an alternative. The tea retains it’s essential flavour and colour, as the citrus jams are not overpowering. Mango jam can also be used as an alternative.

ASSAMICA GOLD

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam Golden Tips or Orthodox
1 tsp milk froth or 1⁄2 tsp condensed milk

Place tea leaves in a white ceramic pot. Heat water to boiling point and pour into the pot from a height of at least six inches.

Steep for 3 minutes. Strain into a cup. Top with milk froth or add condensed milk.

Tea Master’s tip: Golden tips is a fine Assam tea–strong and full bodied. It turns burgundy with the addition of milk froth – a mellow tea for a mature palette.

ALMOND MILK TEA

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam Golden Tips
1 tsp Almond milk (cold or at room temperature, not to be warmed)

Heat water to boiling point. Switch off heat and add tea leaves. Steep for 3 minutes. Strain. Gently fold in almond milk. Serve warm.

Tea Master’s tip: The almond milk blends beautifully with Assam tea, making it ideal for the lactose intolerant.
Almond milk has easily digestible proteins, vitamins and minerals – a synergy that is good for the brain, heart and bones.

TAMAL PANELA

Bay leaf in Sanskrit

1 cup water
1 tsp Assam Orthodox
1 bay leaf (cut into pieces)

1 small piece of jaggery
2 curry leaves (fresh or dried)

Place the bay leaf and water in a pan. Heat to boiling point. Pour over tea leaves.

Steep for 3 minutes. Strain into a cup with the jaggery placed in it. Garnish with curry leaves. Serve warm.

Tea Master’s tip: Bay leaf has a pungent sharpness which is balanced by the jaggery. Though both sugar and jaggery made from sugarcane juice yet only jaggery contains iron, magnesium and calcium. The bitter sweet curry leaf can be chewed after the last sip – it is a natural breath freshener.

CINNAMORA

Named after a tea estate in Jorhat, Assam.

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam Orthodox
1 cinnamon quill (10cms long) 1⁄2 tsp crystal sugar

Heat water and before it boils, add tea leaves. Switch off heat.

Steep for 1 minute. Strain and pour into a cup over the crystal sugar. Stir and serve with cinnamon quill.

Tea Master’s tip: Cinnamon gives a spicy, floral sweetness to the tea. It’s main compounds-cinnamaldehyde and linalool strengthen the heart and harmonize blood circulation. It is also an antidote to the common cold and insomnia.

BRAWNY SILK ROUTE

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam Golden Tips
1 green cardamom (pounded) 5 rose petals (dried)
1 clove for garnish

Place the tea leaves, rose and cardamom in a glass pot. Heat water to boiling point and pour into the pot. For a light tea steep for 3 minutes, for a stronger one- 4 minutes. Strain. Garnish with clove which imparts a spicy sharpness.

Tea Master’s tip: A popular tea in the Chaikhana’s of West Asia. The natural sweetness of cardamom and rose renders sugar redundant.

CHENIJAN

Named after a tea estate in Jorhat, Assam.
A masala chai popular in the western states of India.

3⁄4 cup water
1 tsp Assam CTC Broken Pekoe
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄2 pod black cardamom seeds (pounded), 1 clove, pinch of fennel, 2 black pepper corns (crushed), pinch of ginger (crushed)

Put water and spices in a pan. Heat for 1⁄2 a minute. Put in tea leaves and bring to a boil. Add milk.

Simmer for 1 minute. Strain into a cup and serve hot.

Tea Master’s tip: Spices can be powdered and kept handy. Freshly grated ginger gives pungency and clears the throat. Pepper is analgesic and anti inflammatory. Clove is carminative, stimulates digestion and relieves nausea. Fennel is a diuretic and a known fat buster. Black cardamom adds a smoky flavour.

CHA NAI

Nai is milk in Chinese

1⁄2 cup water
1 tsp Assam CTC Broken Pekoe 1⁄2 cup milk (full cream)
1⁄2 tsp sugar (optional)

Heat water to boiling point. Add tea leaves. Lower heat and pour in milk. Simmer for 1 minute. Switch off heat.

Steep for 1 minute. Strain into a cup. Add sugar (optional). Serve hot.

Tea Master’s tip: The sugar in the full cream milk enhances the sweetness of the brew- it can be taken sugarless or scaling down the sugar to half.

LAUREL LUSTRE

Maniram Dutta Barua first brought the native tea plant to the notice of the Bruce brothers. This tea, favoured in eastern India is dedicated to him.

1 cup water
3⁄4 tsp Assam CTC Broken Orange Pekoe or Broken Pekoe 4 rose petals
1 bay leaf
2 lemongrass stalks
1 tsp milk (optional)

Heat water to boiling point. Put in tea leaves and boil for 1⁄2 a minute. Switch off heat. Add rose, bay leaf and lemongrass.

Steep for 4 minutes. Strain. Add milk (optional). Serve hot.

Tea Master’s tip: Bay leaf brings in a spicy, pungent note from the compound eucalyptol. Rose bestows a floral aroma to the brew. Another strong, no sugar tea.

LINALOOL

3⁄4 cup water
1 tsp Assam CTC Broken Pekoe 1⁄2 green cardamom (pounded) 1⁄4 cup milk (full cream)
Pinch of ginger (fresh-crushed) Pinch of fennel
3 rose petals
1 cinnamon quill (1 cm)

Heat water. Before it boils, add tea leaves. Put in all the herbs and spices. Simmer for 1 minute. Add milk.

Simmer again for 1 minute. Strain. Serve hot.

Tea Master’s tip: Green cardamom has warm, piquant yet floral notes and contains fragrant compounds like linalool which are stress reducing.

LIMONI

1 cup water
1⁄2 tsp Assam CTC Broken Orange Pekoe or Broken Pekoe 3 drops lemon juice
1 lemon slice (finely cut and skinned)

Heat water to 600-700C. Pour over tea leaves.

Steep for 5 minutes. Strain. Add lemon juice. Garnish with lemon slice. Serve warm.

Tea Master’s tip: The correct temperature of water is crucial for the citrusy lemon flavour to emerge, as hot water destroys it. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, aids digestion and has detoxifying properties.

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