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How does altitude and climatic conditions affect tea characteristics?

Altitude, soil, rainfall, and climate is collectively called as 'terroir' in tea production . It determines the flavor, appearance, and quality of the tea. For example, high grown tea like Nilgiri tea is grown in the hills of Tamil Nadu, almost 8000ft above sea level.  These teas have flavors that are said to be more subtle and refined due to colder temperatures and slow growth rate of the tea plant.

On the other hand, in Assam, tea is grown closer to sea level and is called low grown tea. Please note a low grown tea is not of inferior quality. This low altitude region has a tropical climate, abundant rainfall and rich, fertile soil, which gives the tea brisk and denser flavor.

Characteristics of High grown tea

Characteristics of Low grown tea

These differences make drinking tea from different altitudes a delightful experience. The perfect blend of texture, flavor, and aroma make both these teas truly unique. Those who prefer a bright and strong cup of tea should settle for low grown tea. If you prefer a fragrant tea with a subtle flavor than high grown tea is your cup of tea. So, next time when you drink your favorite cup of tea, take a minute to think where it is grown.