Ingredients that infuse into the Teas in the North East India

20th century is an exciting time to be alive. It’s all about quirk, about popular culture; it’s about inclusivity, about supporting young ideas and most of all about moving forward. Why are we talking about all these aspects of this century you ask? Well, this is because these are precisely qualities that define infusion teas which is the newest trend for tea lovers.

Why does everyone love a cup of Tea?

Tea is a universal beverage that is as I can tell the most common custom amongst most cultures in the world. A warm bright welcoming drink, tea is everything to do with bringing people together, one ness, sharing, caring, about relaxation, leisure, humility, welcoming, honour, solitude, peace of mind and breaking the ice. Anything said about the significance of the idea behind tea is less.

We had tea in the past centuries and centuries back… and we have tea even to this day…. it is the one very essential social binder that has travelled through time and will continue to do so into the future.

Tea in India

In India, we love our tea or as we like to call it, chai, chya, cha or chyayi. The most common form of this humble beverage in the nation comes in two types, with milk or without. Tea is added to milk along with a sweetener like sugar or honey and is boiled hard so as to give it a dark tea flavour and color and a strong chai is enough to get people relaxed and complete by the end of the day. In India we drink chai so much that even our prime minister was once a chaiwalah (someone who sold tea for a living). This is amazing!

Tea in the North East of India

The best tea both commercial and exclusive comes from the north eastern parts of India. For one, Darjeeling tea which is the reigning king of teas all across the world, come from the northern part of Bengal from a district called Darjeeling. Darjeeling is also a phenomenal tourist destination and is known as the Queen of hills. Then there is the state of Assam which is the top tea producing state of India and Arunachal Pradesh which is the 7th highest tea producing state in India. You can find the only organic tea garden (certified) in the state of Sikkim and manipur and other states of the north east are known for the infusions they have in their teas which is a truly large untapped market that is eventually gaining a lot of attention.

Exploring infusion ingredients for Tea

Today we are going to explore some amazing ingredients that we use in the North east as infusion ingredients in our teas (not milk teas though). They say that the best way to understand and appreciate the true flavour of a certain variety of tea is by simply brewing it in boiling water and not adding a sweetener but that is a ritual reserved for extravagant tea ceremonies. In India we drink tea in a way that is customized to every person’s individual feels and flavour palettes.

In the north east I think it is safe to say that most of the times we consume black tea because it is believed that drinking milk tea in times of cold and cough will further stimulates the production of phlegm. It is a cold region in the north east, so the chances of coming down with cold and cough are very high especially during the phase of seasons changing. So we have devised a way of using infusion in our teas to give it added nutrition and medicinal value.

There are a few highly used infusion ingredients that we add to our tea and they are the follows:

  1. Roselle:

Though Roselle or Hibiscus Sabdariffa is a plant that is cultivated for its fibrous bast to use in place of jute in some regions, the flower of the plant makes for an amazing tea infusion. The plant is originally native to Africa specifically the western region of Africa. It was only around the 16th to the 17th century that the plant slowly travelled and spread to Asia and West Indies. The plan is an annual herb that can grow to a length of 7-8 feet tall or 2-2.5 metres. In the north east we like to infuse it in our tea not just for the bright red attractive color that it gives to the tea, but because it is an effective medicine that works as a diuretic and is at the same time a mild laxative. Furthermore there have been many researches on this plant that show that the health benefits involved in drinking the brew of this bud helps to lower blood pressure, aiding weight loss and also helps fight internal bacterial growth. The taste of the bud once boiled gives you a light tarty flavour and a tanginess that is subtle yet similar to cranberries. The Roselle bud makes for an awesome ingredient to add to your tea.

  1. Garcinia:

Garcinia or Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical species of a shrub or a small tree that is originally native to South East Asia or South Asia. The fruit of this shrub looks similar to a pumpkin but smaller and pale yellow in colour. The fruit is also called Malabar Tamarind or the Brindle Berry. The fruit of Garcinia is used in its dried form as an agent to lower cholesterol, relieve intestinal issues, aiding weight loss, reducing of appetite and also improve one’s Rheumatism. The taste of the fruit is pungent, sour and works as an astringent. The infusion of the fruit in the tea helps with enhanced metabolism, better fluid circulation in the body, clearing the flavour palette while eating and do away with any kind of toxic build up in the mouth.

  1. Sumac Berry:

Sumac is a kind of berry that is known to grow in all the parts of the world and can be identified by a large cluster of tiny red berries. The Sumac berry grows as a shrub or a smaller tree that can grow up to 3.3-32.8 feet tall or 1-10 metres tall. We add sumac berries to our tea for a number of medicinal reasons apart from the wonderful flavour. The health benefits include a treatment for diarrhoea, sore throats, dysentery, asthma, cold sores and other infections. It is also used as herb to bring down fever or colds. This ingredient is not just used for tea infusions but in marinades for culinary purposes. The Sumac berry tastes pleasantly tangy and a subtle freshness from the citrus hint and does not have a very strong aroma to it but is mesmerising when infused into a tea. It makes the tea refreshing.

  1. Indian olive:

The Indian olive or the Elaeocarpus Serratus is a tropical plant that grows into trees that are pretty large. They are known to grow best in the regions of Assam, Bangladesh, and south eastern Asian countries. The Indian olive of long been used in the preparation of folk medicines for a few health issues. They are known to be one of the best infusion drinks for people looking to enhance or protect their nervous systems. That is the main use and heath benefit that comes out of the Indian olive; it helps protect the brain and strengthens the nervous system in order to keep ailments such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s at bay. Indian olive can be used as a regular infusion to tea to help fight flu and common cold. The Indian olive has a mellow, sour yet sweetish flavour that works extremely well with the flavour of tea.

  1. Nettle:

The newest inclusion and a trend to herbal tea drinkers, Nettle is a very beneficial plant to add to your tea. The stinging nettle or the Urtica Dioica plant us a stinging little bush that grows leaves that have spikes on them. These spikes really sting to the touch and are known to secrete some really strong serum into the body that aggravates the stinging sensation. Nettle is plucked dried and infused into tea because it has proven to maintain healthy sugar levels in one’s body which makes it a great tea drink for people with diabetes. It also helps with joint pains and improving the Urinary Tract health. The taste of the nettle tea is might I say pretty much similar to Green Tea. The body is mellow and the flavours are earthy, almost grass like.

So this was a list of the top herbs, fruits, plants that we infuse in our teas in the north east for different reasons. The benefits of drinking tea infused with these infusions are very practical and tangible even. If you are new to the world of infused teas, hurry and try these amazing infusions in your teas soon. Choose from a list of infusion teas that are made with organic and natural processes to make you feel rested when you try infusion teas for the very first time.

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