Nilgiri tea is produced in the Nilgiris District of southern India. It has smooth, balanced, strong-flavored taste profile and often serves as a base for flavored teas.
Quite a bargain
Even the best of Nilgiri teas do not share the global stardom of other Indian teas like Darjeeling and Assam. But they’re well known for being reasonably priced and suitable for crafting a wide variety of tea blends. Nilgiri teas don’t usually have any characterizing aromas or flavors, but that’s actually why tea makers love them. Medium bodied, naturally sweet, smooth and mellow, they lend themselves to any kind of brew – hot or cold. The secret to their subtle, beautifully balanced taste lies in the unique climate of the Nilgiris. This region has two monsoons, quite like Sri Lanka, which impacts growing and production cycles and leads to a smooth, well-rounded flavor in the tea leaves.
Tasting notes in tea reviews
The Nilgiri region produces “solid everyday black teas” that make for a “fragrant cup and smooth taste”. Their flavor and strength “last through a second steep”, though some tea drinkers detect a hint of bitterness the second time around. The tea “tastes great with milk and sugar”, or in an iced form. In fact, Niligiri black teas tend to be “brighter and more refreshing than standard iced teas”, with a taste that is “really smooth and not overwhelming”. Niligiri green teas are also known for being “balanced, with some astringency and some sweetness”. Many open with a “pleasant malty flavor” and develop “a hint of sweetness on the 2nd and 3rd steepings”.
Nilgiri produces a rare type of tea, known as a “frost tea” harvested in the winter. The quick chill creates a concentrated sweet, very similar to what you would find in an “ice wine.”