Thriving along the ridgelines that branch out of the Himalayas in the north east and the undulating terrains of the Nilgiris in south are the tea growing regions of India. Home to more than 129,000 tea estates spread across over 520,000 hectares, India - the world’s second largest tea growing country - produces more than 950 million kilograms of tea annually, contributing close to 25% to the world tea production. Collectively, 90% of all tea produced in Indian tea gardens is of CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl) grade; loose-leaf orthodox tea comprising the remaining production output.
In every tea growing region, estates are typically engaged in the cultivation of Clonal, Chinary, and Assam-Hybrid tea plants, the latter more commonly cultivated at tea plantations located at near-sea level. However, some of the finer and more high-quality teas are produced at higher elevation where oxygen levels are low, air is cooler, and rainfall is plentiful. Such conditions force the tea plants to grow slowly, creating denser and vibrant flavors that are generally considered indispensable to a great cup.