Nilgiri Tea – A Healthy Gift From The Blue Mountains!

A cup of fresh, well-brewed tea in the morning is the key to make anything possible through the day. Thanks to this new-age life, we begin our day with a to-do list. The list has the many meetings to be attended at work, or the presentations to be made, the excel sheets we need to send out for business and not to forget the grocery shopping for home. Of course, the list is never-ending.

Now while you’re ticking off things on this list, you need a companion who makes the doing it, fun for you. We do have a recommendation here to help you find a friend that will help you refresh every now and then and keep you enthused. It is one cup of strong Nilgiri tea. Want to know why? Read on to know.

Benefits of Nilgiri Tea :-

Why do we have Nilgiri Tea?

Having Nilgiri tea yields many benefits. If you tend to have a difficult digestion, finding yourself bloated or with acid reflux frequently, then drinking a cup of Nilgiri tea after each meal might just help having a relieved stomach. Nilgiri is rich in flavonoids, which helps improve blood flow, strengthen your heart and circulatory system. Another benefit of tea is that is contains the amino acid L-theanine. A component that relaxes and soothes the mind. So you  are alert, relaxed and focused on your work.

A good cup of Nilgiri tea has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial powers. It helps you heal faster and boosts 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 Nilgiri tea, are rich in antioxidants which are being studied for their ability to protect cells from degenerating through exposure to pollution or daily strain. This means that in the long run, regular consumption of tea slows down the aging process. This tea also helps in preventing the growth of tumor cells that could lead to cancer.

Where do we get Nilgiri Tea from?

Nilgiri tea as the name suggests is grown in the Nilgiri mountains (also known as Blue Mountains) located in Tamil Nadu. The mountains belong to the southern portion of the Western Ghats in South India. This is a beautiful region with varying altitudes, warmth and humidity that allows the tea to grow throughout the year. Nilgiri tea owes its flavour to the weather of the region. It is dark, strong flavoured and intensely aromatic. It is the result of the winter harvest, when the cold weather concentrates the flavour with sweet and rosy notes.

How is the Tea planted?

Nilgiri tea plantations are represented by the Nilgiri Planters’ Association, an organizational member of the United Planters Association of South India (UPASI). UPASI is the peak body representing plantation owners in South India. However, plantations only account for around 30% of tea production in Nilgiri District. The vast majority of production is undertaken by small growers, who typically own less than one hectare each. The majority of Nilgiri tea small growers are the Badagas, a local community of agriculturists. The best harvests occur from January to March, a season when other teas are rarely ready for picking.

Once picked, Nilgiri frost tea leaves go through an intense withering process that removes the majority of moisture drying the leaf borders. The dried 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.=

When was Nilgiri Tea discovered?

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. Its production takes place in two methods.

The CTC (crush, tear and curl) Production Method has been used by majority of small farmers in producing Nilgiri tea for a long time. This mechanized method however, results in lower quality tea, so most of it is unfit to be sold as loose leaf tea. More than half of all tea production is destined for exportation to be used in tea bags or blends.

Due to growing competition from other countries forcing low prices for CTC tea, Nilgiri tea growers have also been investing in organic tea production or Orthodox Production Methods to stand out in the global tea market. Black tea grades such as Orange Pekoe are now being produced using traditional processing. These tea grades use whole high quality leaves from the top of the tea bush. If you search for these rarer teas, you will get to taste quite unique  flavors. They may be a bit more expensive, but a good tea is worth the investment.

The Extra Benefits

In November 2006,  Nilgiri Tea achieved “Top Honours” and fetched a world record price of $600 per kg. This was at the first ever tea auction held in Las Vegas. Even though the Indian tea industry is constantly under flak for its labor issues, in Nilgiri one can actually see togetherness and growth amongst the locals as well as migrant labour.

The migrant workers come from various parts of the country like from Orissa, Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand. Our neighbor country Nepal also contributes a lot to the workforce here.

The whole experience of procuring teas is not merely transactional .if you get to visit Nilgiri, One would get to know the people who are making these teas, understand their story, the local culture as well.

How to prepare a special cup of Nilgiri Tea for yourself :-

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. Pre-heat 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 boiling 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. Pour into your tea cups and enjoy it sweetened or unsweetened as per your preference. Adding a slice of lemon will bring a tangy flavour to your tea. You could also add milk to it if you like milk tea. To get the most authentic flavour of Nilgiri tea, at least try this tea once without sugar, milk or lemon. Oh by the way, Nilgiri tea also makes a wonderful iced tea as it does not cloud when iced! So now your summer coolers can be health beneficial too! Isn’t Nilgiri tea a delicious beverage to be enjoyed all year-round? On that note, did you check out our range of Nilgiri teas?

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