Assam Tea vs. Darjeeling Tea

What's the Difference?

Assam Tea and Darjeeling Tea are both popular types of tea originating from different regions in India. Assam Tea is grown in the northeastern state of Assam and is known for its robust and malty flavor. It has a rich, dark color and is often used in breakfast blends. On the other hand, Darjeeling Tea is grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal and is renowned for its delicate and floral taste. It has a lighter color and is often referred to as the "champagne of teas." While both teas have their unique characteristics, Assam Tea is generally stronger and more full-bodied, while Darjeeling Tea is lighter and more aromatic. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and the desired flavor profile.


AttributeAssam TeaDarjeeling Tea
OriginAssam, IndiaDarjeeling, India
AltitudeSea level to 2000 meters1000 to 2000 meters
FlavorStrong, maltyLight, floral
ColorDark amberLight golden
Harvest SeasonYear-roundSpring, summer, autumn
Popular VarietiesAssam Orthodox, Assam CTCDarjeeling First Flush, Darjeeling Second Flush
Price RangeLowerHigher
Global RecognitionWidely recognizedHighly regarded

Further Detail


Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world, known for its refreshing taste and numerous health benefits. Two of the most renowned tea varieties in India are Assam tea and Darjeeling tea. While both are grown in the northeastern region of India, they possess distinct characteristics that set them apart. In this article, we will explore the attributes of Assam tea and Darjeeling tea, highlighting their differences and unique qualities.

Origin and Geography

Assam tea, as the name suggests, is primarily grown in the Assam region of India. This region, located in the northeastern part of the country, is known for its fertile plains and abundant rainfall, creating the perfect conditions for tea cultivation. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea is grown in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, which is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas. The high altitude, cool climate, and misty weather of Darjeeling contribute to the unique flavor and aroma of this tea.

Flavor and Aroma

Assam tea is renowned for its strong, robust flavor and malty notes. It has a rich, full-bodied taste that is often described as bold and invigorating. The liquor of Assam tea is deep amber in color, and it pairs well with milk and sugar, making it an excellent choice for a hearty breakfast tea. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea is known for its delicate and floral flavor profile. It has a light, muscatel taste with hints of sweetness and a unique astringency. The liquor of Darjeeling tea is pale golden, and it is often enjoyed without any additives to fully appreciate its nuanced flavors.

Leaf Appearance

Assam tea leaves are generally larger and broader compared to Darjeeling tea leaves. They have a dark, coppery appearance and are known for their robust texture. The leaves of Assam tea are often used in tea bags and blends due to their strength and ability to withstand longer brewing times. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea leaves are smaller and more delicate. They have a lighter green color and a slightly twisted shape. The leaves of Darjeeling tea are highly prized and often hand-picked, reflecting the care and precision involved in their cultivation.

Harvesting Season

The harvesting seasons of Assam tea and Darjeeling tea differ due to their geographical locations and climatic conditions. Assam tea is harvested throughout the year, as the region experiences a consistent and favorable climate for tea cultivation. This allows for a continuous supply of fresh Assam tea leaves. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea has a limited harvesting season. It is typically harvested in four distinct flushes - first flush, second flush, monsoon flush, and autumn flush. Each flush imparts a unique flavor and character to the tea, making Darjeeling tea highly sought after by tea connoisseurs.

Caffeine Content

Both Assam tea and Darjeeling tea contain caffeine, but the levels may vary. Assam tea is known for its higher caffeine content compared to Darjeeling tea. The robust and bold nature of Assam tea is attributed to its caffeine levels, which provide a stimulating effect. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea has a relatively lower caffeine content, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a milder tea experience. The lower caffeine levels in Darjeeling tea allow for a more relaxed and soothing effect, making it suitable for afternoon or evening consumption.

Global Recognition

Assam tea and Darjeeling tea have both gained global recognition for their unique qualities and flavors. Assam tea is often used as the base for many popular blends, including English Breakfast tea. Its strong and robust flavor has made it a favorite among tea enthusiasts worldwide. On the other hand, Darjeeling tea is often referred to as the "Champagne of Teas" due to its exquisite taste and limited availability. It has received the prestigious Geographical Indication (GI) status, ensuring that only tea grown in the Darjeeling region can be labeled as Darjeeling tea.


Assam tea and Darjeeling tea, despite both being grown in the northeastern region of India, possess distinct attributes that make them unique. Assam tea is known for its strong, robust flavor and malty notes, while Darjeeling tea offers a delicate and floral taste. The leaf appearance, harvesting seasons, and caffeine content also differ between the two teas. Both Assam tea and Darjeeling tea have gained global recognition and are cherished by tea lovers worldwide. Whether you prefer a bold cup of Assam tea to kickstart your day or a refined cup of Darjeeling tea to savor its nuanced flavors, both teas offer a delightful experience that showcases the diversity and richness of Indian tea culture.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.