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Nilgiri means “Blue Mountain.” Part of the Western Ghats mountain range in southern India, the Nilgiris are also the most scenic tea region in India — which is saying a lot, considering Darjeeling’s stunning mountain scenery and the enchanting tea plantations of Assam that cover three-fifths of the land like a carpet. Found in Tamil Nadu, bordering Kerala, the Nilgiris combine beautiful mountains with an abundance of blooming flowers.
The British established the first tea plantation here in 1845. After encountering the heat of the plains, the attraction of the cooler highlands where the tea is grown is understandable. The region grew to become a major producer with several hundred tea estates. After India’s independence, the Nilgiris became a volume producer of CTC (cut-tear-curl) teas rather than a source of quality, Orthodox teas. This trend predominates today; however, we do offer a number of Orthodox teas from the region. If you’re interested in trying teas from the Nilgiri tea region, we recommend you try ourChamraj Nilgiri FOP or theHavakai Frost Tea.
In the cold weather in the Nilgiris, teas grow more slowly, which concentrates the tea’s aromatic compounds. The cooler temperatures also allow the factories to wither and oxidize the teas more slowly as well, further developing the aromatic compounds to draw out their attractive fruit, floral and spice notes.
Watch the video below to take a tour of the Nilgiri tea region.
India is an exciting country full of history and tradition. Our buyers always enjoy exploring the unique teas the region has to offer. Read a few of our favorite posts below to continue learning about the exciting world of tea:
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Our October Teafluencer is Chantal Larocque, a paper flower artist, author and owner of Paper and Peony. Chantal’s work runs from mini paper flowers to jaw-dropping wall-sized blossoms. Read about Chantal, who turns to tea for her afternoon forget-me-not pick-me-up.