India's Tea Culture
Tea culture is an integral part of India and you can experience it in all parts of the country. Indians begin their day with a cup of strong and aromatic tea and end the work day with a cup of evening chai. It is a norm among Indians to serve tea to guests. Sometimes, there is no need for a reason to drink tea. The tea culture is as diverse as India’s cultural diversity. Each geography has its own blend of tea and a way of savoring it that is unique to them. But what is consistent across this diversity is the love for this beverage. This BP Guide article discusses the 5 most popular tea brands in India and their products. Read on to know more.
How is Tea Consumed in India
Following are the 5 most popular ways of savouring tea in India.
Milk tea is the most popular way of savouring tea in India. The tea leaves are brewed with milk and sugar to make a decadent and delicious beverage that has a strong and sweet flavour. This type of tea is brewed in almost all Indian households. It makes the perfect morning cup to energize you for the day, and evening brew to savour during leisure after work.
Masala chai or spiced tea is the most popular tea beverage in North India. The tea leaves are brewed with aromatic herbs and spices like cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla, and honey. Sometimes a dash of rock salt is also added to give a kick to the brew. It is a type of flavored tea that is savored with a side of biscuits.
Butter tea is a beverage popular in the Himalayan regions of India. This type of brew originated sometime in the Tibetan region and spread across neighboring areas. The tea brew is made by mixing tea leaves, yak butter, water, and salt. This is the traditional recipe. A more modern recipe uses cow milk butter instead of yak butter as cow milk butter is cheaper and widely available. This tea brew is the perfect companion in the cold climate of the Himalayas.
Darjeeling tea is a black tea brew drunk in its original state. That is no sugar or milk is added to the brew. Though, some people prefer a dash of sugar in it. The name of this brew is such because the tea leaves used are sourced from the tea gardens of Darjeeling, a tourist hill station and tea hub in the eastern part of India. Darjeeling tea is known for its strong taste and aroma.
Noon chai is a traditional tea beverage originating in the Kashmir valley of India. The tea is made with green tea leaves rolled into tiny balls, salt, milk, and a pinch of baking soda. The tea is usually brewed in a samovar. The baking soda gives a pinkish hue to the brew and hence, sometimes this tea is called pink tea.
Top Tea Brands in India
These are the 5 most popular tea brands in India.
Tata Tea is synonymous with India’s tea culture. You will find tea blends of this brand in as many as 1 in 3 Indian households. It is undisputedly the most popular brand in India. Tata Tea started its journey 35 years back and has established itself firmly on the shelves and hearts of tea lovers in India. They have a wide variety of blends ranging from regular morning tea to exotic teas of unique flavors. Tata Tea has always been a sign of quality, affordability, and trust. The company and its products are intimately entwined with Indian ethos and culture.
Brooke Bond is the second most popular tea brand in India. The company was started in 1869 when the founder, Arthur Brooke, opened his first tea shop in Manchester. The unique name of the company can be attributed to the founder. He reasoned that his tea creates the bond between him and his customers and so the most appropriate name for his company is Brooke Bond. Brooke Bond was launched in India in 1903 under the name Red Label when the country was under British occupation. Currently, the company functions exclusively in the tea hubs of India manufacturing and retailing popular Indian blends under the banners of Brooke Bond Red Label and Brooke Bond Taj Mahal. The company’s blends are known for their aroma, quality, strength, colour, flavour and authenticity.
Wagh Bakri is a well known tea brand in India, especially North and West India. The brand is a sign of quality as will be attested by its customers. They entered the tea business way back in 1892 and have consistently delivered premium products ever since. Their tea blends are crafted from very high quality tea leaves sourced from certified tea gardens. Only the best quality tea leaves are selected for the blend. The fact that they use the best quality tea leaves becomes clear when you take the first sip of their brew.
Think iced tea, think Lipton. India’s favourite iced tea comes from this brand which had its roots in a humble Scottish grocery store owned by the Lipton family. One of the children of the Lipton family, Thomas Lipton, used his entrepreneurial and marketing skills to convert this humble family business into a world renowned tea brand. Among their products, Lipton’s ice tea became hugely popular in India. One of the reasons for the popularity are the hot summers of most parts of India and the local population’s love for tea. People did not take much time to associate iced tea with a cold beverage.
The Tetley company was founded in 1837 by two brothers, Edward and Joseph Tetley, in Yorkshire. The company did not find itself in Indian shores until 2000 when Tata Global Beverages acquired it as a wholly owned subsidiary. Tetley launched its classic black tea bags in 2001 and the company hasn’t looked back since then. The huge success of the black tea bags encouraged them to diversify and in 2003, elaichi, ginger and masala flavoured tea bags were launched which became quite popular. Indian tea drinkers usually associate the name Tetley with tea bags. They were the first in India to launch tea in that form and the association has stuck ever since. Currently, Indians look for a Tetley pack if they wish to have tea in convenient tea bags.
30 Best Teas To Try from the Top 5 Tea Brands in India
In this list, BP Guide has compiled the 6 best products from each of these 5 popular tea brands.
1. Tata Tea Gold- Aromatic Assam Tea
This tea is the result of a blend of 15% long leaf tea and 85% Assam CTC tea. Thus, it amalgamates the best produce of the valley and the best produce of the mountains. It is characterised by irresistible aroma and delicious flavour. This tea is meant for daily consumption and a cup of this brew is sure to enliven your mornings and evenings. The net weight of a packet is 1 kg and you can buy it from Amazon for Rs. 625. The packet has a ziplock feature to prolong freshness after opening.
2. Tata Tea Premium- Desh Ki Chai
This blend of tea is the perfect candidate for India’s infamous chai culture. The various types of tea in this blend have been sourced indigenously and the blend can produce the perfect cuppa however you brew it. A packet contains 1.5 kg of this premium blend and you can buy it from Amazon for Rs. 705. The packet comes with a ziplock feature to preserve freshness after opening.
3. Tata Tea Agni- Extra Strong Tea
A strong cup of tea is all you need to shed off your morning blues and lethargy. This blend has been prepared keeping that in mind and hence it contains tea leaves that are 10% stronger than what tea leaves usually are. You can brew a strong cup of delicious and aromatic tea with this blend that is sure to make you awake and fresh in the morning and gloomy days. A packet contains 1 kg of this blend and is available on amazon.in for Rs. 200.
4.1868- Kolkata Street Chai
The city of Kolkata is famous for many things, one of them being cha (tea). Tea stalls are ubiquitous in the city and you will find at least one tea and snacks stall on any given street. This blend brings that same flavor and aroma to your home brew. It is made from Assam tea mixed with spices such as cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg. The rich taste of Assam tea and the flavour of the spices and their aroma will provide you with your daily dose of serotonin in a cup. The tea is packed in a tin container, the net weight of which is 100 grams. You can buy it from tatatea1868.com for Rs. 550.
5. 1868- Caramel Green Chilli
This unique blend is a mixture of caramel and green chili, not something you expect in a cup of tea. All the more reason to try it out. It has a malty and sweet taste with high notes of chili. The caramel flavor comes as an aftertaste. This blend brews the perfect cup for an indulgent evening by the fireside with friends. A tin container has 100 grams of this unique blend and you can get your hands on it for Rs. 500. It is available on tatatea1868.com.
6. 1868- Mango Mint Flavour Black Tea
This is another unique tea blend infusing the sweet taste of mango, orthodox Assam tea, and a hint of mint. This blend is for those who have adventurous palates and want to try a completely different brew of tea. This blend has a sweet, fruity, and rich taste that is light and tingling at the same time. This tea blend is packed in a tin jar with a net weight of 50 grams. The price of this quantity is Rs. 600 and you can buy it from tatatea1868.com
7. Brooke Bond Red Label- Regular Tea
This tea blend is a fusion of carefully selected tea leaves. The cup of tea that this blend produces will be characterized by an irresistible aroma, rich colour, and refreshing taste. It is perfect for your regular cup of tea. This tea comes in a box with a net weight of 500 grams. It is available on Flipkart for Rs. 285.
8. Brooke Bond Red Label Natural Care- Immunity Enhancing Blend
This tea blend is infused with 5 ayurvedic ingredients namely, tulsi, ashwagandha, mulethi, ginger, and cardamom. It has been clinically proven that together they enhance the immunity of the body. Tulsi promotes body resistance, ashwagandha helps us cope with stress, mulethi soothes the throat, ginger protects us from cough and cold, and cardamom stimulates digestion. Besides, the brew that this blend produces has a rich flavour and irresistible aroma. An immunity booster never tasted this good before. A 1kg pouch with a ziplock feature is priced at Rs. 590 on Flipkart. A delivery charge is levied on some PIN codes.
9. Brooke Bond Three Roses- Perfect Taste, Colour and Strength
This dust tea is the perfect companion for your morning and evening leisure. The blend has the three main features any good tea should have. They are the perfect colour, perfect taste, and perfect strength. Enjoy a cup of strong, aromatic, and flavourful tea with this blend. You can buy 100 grams of it on Amazon for Rs 85. Some PIN codes will have a delivery charge.
10. Brooke Bond Taj Mahal- Regular Tea
This regular tea blend has been produced from premium quality tea leaves selected after testing and grading over 1000 types of tea leaves. The combination has the right amount of strength, flavour and aroma that will sort your mornings and evenings perfectly. One sip is enough to get lost in its flavour and aroma. A 100 grams packet costs Rs. 45 on Amazon. Some PIN codes carry a delivery charge.
11. Brooke Bond Taaza- Energizes Your Morning
This tea is a result of blending high-quality, fresh tea leaves. A sip is enough to clear your mind and refresh you in the morning. You will shed your morning lethargy in the aroma and flavour of this blend. The net weight of a pouch is 1 kg and you can buy it from amazon.in for Rs. 230. Some PIN codes will have a delivery charge.
12. Brooke Bond 3 Roses Natural Care- Tea with Ayurvedic Herbs
This tea blend is enriched with 5 ayurvedic ingredients: ashwagandha, adhimadhuram, tulsi, ginger and cardamom. Cardamom helps with digestion, ginger protects from cough and cold, and ashwagandha relieves stress. So, sips of this brew will not only envelope you with a rich aroma and taste but also give you many health benefits. The net weight of a pack is 100 grams and it is available on Amazon for Rs. 95.
13. Wagh Bakri Spiced Tea- Premium Tea with Assorted Spices
This tea blend is all you need to brew some amazing masala chai to spice up your mornings and evenings, and conversations with friends. The aromatic, strong and flavourful blend contains 7 refreshing spices namely, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, piper longum, cardamom, clove and nutmeg. These spices not only enhance the flavour and aroma of the tea but also have many health benefits. A 500-gram box is priced at Rs. 450 on Flipkart.
14. Wagh Bakri Premium Leaf Tea- Strong and Refreshing Tea
This premium-leaf tea is your ultimate daily refreshment. The blend is strong and the flavour is rich giving you a refreshing cuppa with each brew. Enjoy some strong, aromatic tea with friends or while enjoying your own company. The net weight of a pouch is 1 kg and it is available on flipkart.com for Rs. 600. A delivery charge will be levied on some PIN codes.
15. Wagh Bakri Strong Dust Tea- Great Taste and Aroma
This strong dust tea produces a cup of tea that will uplift your mood and make you feel refreshed and energetic. The leaves have been picked from select gardens thus creating a blend of high quality. The strong flavour and aroma will remove the blues and give you the push to take on the world. A kg of this blend is available on Amazon for Rs. 470.
16. Wagh Bakri Green Tea- Shudh Kahwa
This green tea blend contains a mix of various spices. It is rich in flavonoid antioxidants and provides many health benefits. Consuming this tea is a delicious way of achieving and maintaining good health. The tea blend is packed in tea bags. A pack contains 25 tea bags and 5 extra tea bags at no extra cost. You can buy it for Rs. 300 from Amazon.
17 Wagh Bakri Navchetan- Strong Blend of Tea Leaves
This is a unique blend of tea. It is in leaf form and the blend is aromatic and delicious. It creates the ideal brew that can give the perfect start to your morning or help you wash down your favourite evening snack. The blend is strong and helps you rejuvenate and refresh your senses. A kg of this blend is available on amazon.in for Rs. 240.
18. Wagh Bakri Premium Assam Tea- Flavourful Assam Tea in Tea Bags
This pack contains a blend of premium Assam tea. It is characterized by rich aroma, flavour, colour and strength. It makes the perfect cup of morning tea in just a few dips. The blend is packed in tea bags and one tetra pack contains 100 such bags. It is available on Flipkart for Rs. 350. A delivery charge will be levied on some PIN codes.
19. Lipton Iced Tea Mix- Natural Lemon Flavoured
Iced tea is a favourite during hot and sultry summers. This iced tea mix allows you to make the perfect cold drink in a jiffy. Just add spoonfuls of this lemon-flavoured tea powder in cold water and you have the beverage to beat the heat. The mix is sweetened so you do not have to add sugar separately. The iced tea mix is packed in a tin jar with a net weight of 670 grams. It is available on Flipkart for Rs. 1,399.
20. Lipton Royal Ceylon Tea- 100% Pure Ceylon Tea
This tea allows you to savour the rich taste of Ceylon black tea. This premium quality tea has been sourced from the tea gardens of Dimbula, Sri Lanka. The tea is packed in 100 biodegradable tea bags. Each tea bag blends smoothly in hot water or hot milk to give you a brew of perfect strength, flavour, aroma and colour. The total net weight of the pack is 200 grams (each tea bag contains about 2 grams of tea). You can buy it from flipkart.com for Rs. 349. Some PIN codes will have a delivery charge.
21. Lipton Green Tea-Honey Lemon Flavour
Green tea has become uber popular in our everyday lives. Most of us have become health conscious and have replaced decadent milk tea with green tea because omitting tea from our diet is out of the option. This green tea is honey lemon flavoured and helps you stay fit without compromising good taste. It comes in tea bags and takes just a few dips and 2 minutes to make the perfect cup. There are 25 tea bags in this pack you can buy on Flipkart for Rs. 199. Delivery charge applicable in some PIN codes.
22. Lipton Darjeeling- Authentic Long Leaf Darjeeling Black Tea
This is authentic black, long leaf Darjeeling tea sourced from certified tea gardens situated in the mountainous district. The blend is crafted to deliver an aromatic brew with a rare flavour. It is best savoured in an original brew without milk and sugar but it tastes as good with them in it. The net weight of a pack is 250 grams and you can buy it on Amazon for Rs. 595. Delivery charges applicable in some PIN codes.
23. Lipton SipNDigest- A Post-Meal Necessity
Sometimes we eat heavy meals and feel uncomfortable as a result. We feel heavy and lethargic and wish there was something that could alleviate this discomfort. This tea blend might just be the thing that could do that. The blend is made of green tea, tulsi, rock salt and ginger. Tulsi, rock salt and ginger have been traditionally used to relieve stomach discomfort, and stomach acidity, and aid in digestion. Green tea is a hydrating and refreshing beverage that contains zero calories (no added sugar and milk). Together they soothe the stomach and reduce post-meal bloating and heaviness. You will get the best results if you consume this brew an hour after taking your meal. The tea comes in the form of tea bags and a pack contains 50 of them. You can buy it on Amazon for Rs. 380.
24. Lipton Green Tea- Lemon Ginseng Flavour
This is an exotic blend, ideal for those tea drinkers that are looking for something unusual in their cuppa. The blend is crafted from natural green tea, lemon and ginseng. The tangy taste of lemon and the refreshing flavour of green tea create a unique brew. Besides, ginseng has many health benefits which means you will be ingesting good health with every sip. The blend is rich in flavonoid antioxidants. This tea blend is available in tea bag form and one pack contains 20 of these bags. You can buy this from Amazon for Rs. 999.
25. Tetley Green Tea- Original Long Leaf
This tea blend has been made from the finest of long leaves that have a natural green tea flavour. The blend has been crafted to give a smooth and soft taste. This green tea has 5 times more antioxidants than there are in an apple. Hence, your tea breaks will not only be delicious and refreshing but also healthy. A pack contains 250 grams of tea and you can buy it on blinkit.com for Rs. 350.
26. Tetley Green Tea- Lemon and Honey Flavour with Added Vitamin C
This green tea blend has been infused with the power of vitamin C. Besides, it is rich in antioxidants. It comes in a delicious lemon and honey flavour. Liven up your tea breaks with a delicious brew of this healthy blend. The tea comes in tea bags. A pack contains 25 such bags. Get it on blinkit.com for Rs. 165.
27. Tetley Earl Grey- Premium Black Tea
This pack of tea bags contains pure earl grey black tea. You can brew the perfect cup of milk tea with just a few dips. It has a rich taste, great aroma and perfect colour. This tea provides the best start to your day and is the perfect companion during your evening leisure. This pack contains 50 tea bags and you can buy it on Flipkart for Rs. 299.
28. Tetley Masala Chai- Black Tea with Spices
This tea blend will produce a riot of flavours in your mouth. The first sip will delightfully overwhelm you with the spices infused in this special mix of masala chai. The second sip will envelop you with the aroma and rich taste that come from the unique blend of quality Assam tea and spices. Before you know it, you will be lost in the world of lip-smacking flavour and great aroma. This pack contains 50 tea bags and you can buy it on Amazon for Rs. 299.
29. Tetley Elaichi- Cardamom Flavoured Tea in Tea Bags
This tea is a unique blend of robust Assam tea and cardamom. A brew made from this blend is to awaken your senses in the morning and makes you look forward to the day. The facilitating aroma of strong Assam tea together with that of cardamom, and the rich taste and colour of the blend will envelop you with a sense of warmth and good feelings. This tea comes in the form of tea bags. One pack contains 50 bags and you can get it on Amazon for Rs. 299.
30. Tetley Original- Classic Assam Black Tea
This is a black tea blend crafted from quality Assam tea leaves. A brew of this blend has an invigorating freshness. A single sip will compel you to shed the morning lethargy and face the day with energy and a smile. The tea has a rich hue, irresistible aroma and delicious flavour. This tea comes in the form of tea bags. A pack contains 100 bags and is available on Amazon for Rs. 250.
A Cuppa for Good Health!
In summary, numerous studies have shown that a daily cup of tea boosts the immune system, refreshes the mind, and fights inflammation. Of course remember to consume in moderation so you don't end up suffering from heartburn, or other such issues. If you're looking for a tea that can improve your mood and health, this article will help you make the right decision. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.