2017 was a fantastic year for tea. The world consumed more cups of tea than it did last year, 1.3 million tons more to be precise, and India produced a record volume of it with Assam as its leading producer. And as excited as we are to have contributed to the effort, we are more excited about the first bit of statistic here.
In the world of tea, if there’s one thing that makes a producer happy it’s the sight of happy tea drinking customers. As more and more people choose tea, seek out new types of teas, and indulge in unique tea experiences, we, as producers feel encouraged to be doing our part in advancing the culture and tradition of tea making and tea drinking.
As we get ready to change our calendars and ring in a new year, we are paying homage to ten of our most memorable teas of the year.
1. Halmari GTGFOP1 Black Tea
A winner at the Global Tea Championship for 5 consecutive years and easily the best tea of the year, too. Made during peak summers, the GTGFPO1 is a fragrant tea with a rich mouthfeel and generous flavours that can be enjoyed by experts and novices alike. It’s a favourite of ours and our patrons everywhere.
2. The English Breakfast
Year after year, we find that if there’s one type of tea that is made for mornings it’s the English Breakfast. Known for its richness, strength and robust cup characteristics, you can reliably turn to an English Breakfast when you want to perk up your mornings. Plus, it’s one that takes the addition of milk better than any other!
3. Assam Golden Tips
Golden Tips is a connoisseur-grade blend, comprising of the plump, pubescent golden buds. Tipped with layers of delicate floral-fruity notes, the tea is light but flavourful, mellow but incredibly generous and ample in the mouth. Just the type of tea you can bring out on special occasions and celebrations.
4. The Chamomile Tea
Meant for detox days and Sunday sipping, a chamomile tea is forever on our list of must-haves. It’s just the right amount of sweet and completely caffeine-free. Consumed hot or cold or blended with a tea, chamomile is deliciously refreshing on sunny days and even the ones without it.
5. The Assam Green Tea
When it comes to green tea, teas from the Orient are an easy pick. But if there’s one type of green tea that’s a must-try this year it’s the one from Assam. Assam green teas are more robust than their oriental counterparts. They are full of rich green flavours, bold and unrestrained in the cup. If you have a palate for strong teas, a green tea from Assam should be on your list of must-try.
6. The Assam Oolong Tea
India is typically not known for its oolongs, even though producers further up north and in the south have been experimenting with this type of tea for a while. But following the production and cultivation of high-quality clonal plants, it’s become possible for us in the low lands to experiment with semi-oxidized tea as well. Halmari is one the few to have produced oolong this year in Assam and we are particularly proud of the style our tea masters have created. Unlike other oolongs, Assam oolongs are creamier and have malty-floral attributes. Perfect for those who like sweetish oolongs and light black teas.
7. The Earl Grey
If there’s one tea we had to pick as the most refreshing of the lot, it will have to be the Earl Grey. Spiked with oil of bergamot, Earl Grey, when made with a robust black tea, cajoles the senses with its fresh, spicy fragrance and demands to be consumed. It has no shortage of intensity or concentration of flavours, but it strikes the senses with grace. It’s our pick for the perfect afternoon tea.
8. Assam CTC
Anyone who has ever wanted to make a cup chai has turned to an Assam CTC black tea. Unlike CTC from other parts of the tea growing world, Assam’s tends to impart a creamy texture. The liquor is uninhibitedly robust, tannic and marked by notes of fermented fruit, nuts and, of course, malt. It takes to milk better than any other tea and does not dull down the cup like other CTCs.
9. The white tea
White tea is for every palate and predilection. And because it is made with only the finest, hand-plucked buds, this type of tea is rich in antioxidants and tipped with sweet, perfumy flavours; intense but weightless and extraordinarily elegant.
10. Masala Chai
If you have a palate for spicy things, a masala chai is bound to become your favourite type of tea. Typically featuring cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger and fennel, a masala chai is more nourishing than any kind of tea, good for the soul and the senses.