Tea is an aromatic magical drink that has delighted the taste buds of millions around the world and holds a fascinating history rooted in the ancient lands of Assam, India. Renowned for its robust flavour and distinct climatic conditions that add to its earthy taste, Assam tea has become a household name among tea enthusiasts in India. But have you ever wondered who discovered tea in Assam? Join us on a journey through a time machine where we take you back to the days as we uncover the history of tea in Assam, focusing on the establishment of the first tea company in the region, and exploring the unique qualities of Assam tea.
History of Tea in Assam
The story of tea in Assam dates back centuries, intertwining legends, exploration, and the desire for economic prosperity. It is believed that tea cultivation in the region began around the early 19th century. However, it was the discovery made by a Scottish adventurer that truly set the stage for Assam’s tea legacy.
In 1823, Robert Bruce, a Scottish explorer, came across a wild tea plant growing in the forests of Assam. Bruce recognized the potential of this discovery and collected samples of the plant. Unfortunately, his findings were not initially recognized as significant, and it wasn’t until his brother, Charles Alexander Bruce, took over the exploration that tea’s potential in Assam was fully realized.
Under the guidance of Charles Bruce, the indigenous tea plant was identified as Camellia sinensis var. assamica. This particular variety, with its broad leaves and unique flavour profile, became the foundation of the thriving tea industry that would soon emerge in Assam. So in this sense, you can say that Charles Bruce was the one who discovered tea in Assam.
Assam’s unique geographical location, nestled amidst the mighty Brahmaputra River and the rolling hills of the Himalayas, contributes to the distinct characteristics of Assam tea. The region’s rich alluvial soil, high humidity, and abundant rainfall provide an ideal environment for tea cultivation, resulting in a bold, full-bodied flavour that is cherished worldwide.
What sets Assam tea apart from other varieties is its unmistakable malty taste, which makes it an excellent choice for breakfast teas and blends. The leaves of Assam tea are larger compared to those of other tea types, offering a bright, coppery liquor that is invigorating to the senses. The tea’s robust flavour profile, combined with its natural strength and deep amber colour, has made it a popular choice for both tea connoisseurs and tea companies alike.
First Tea Company in Assam
Following the groundbreaking discovery, the first tea company in Assam was established in 1839. The Assam Tea Company, later renamed the Assam Company Limited, was founded by a group of entrepreneurs from Britain. With their vision, resources, and expertise, they aimed to cultivate and commercialize tea on a large scale in the region.
The initial years were challenging, with various setbacks and obstacles, including unfavourable weather conditions, insect attacks, and limited knowledge of tea cultivation techniques. However, the determination of the pioneers and their relentless pursuit of perfection laid the groundwork for the success that would soon follow.
Tea, the captivating beverage that has become an integral part of cultures across the globe, finds its roots in the scenic landscapes of Assam. The discovery of tea by Robert Bruce and the establishment of the first tea company in the region paved the way for Assam’s rise as a tea-producing powerhouse. Today, Assam tea continues to enchant tea lovers with its bold flavours, distinctive characteristics, and rich history.
As we sip a steaming cup of Assam tea from The Tea Shop, which brings to you the best of tea essentials from the terrains of Assam. Let us raise our cups in tribute to those who ventured into the unknown, unravelling the secrets of this remarkable leaf. The discovery of tea in Assam ends here on a happy cheerful note.