Assam vs Ceylon Tea: What’s the Difference?

After water, tea is the second most popular beverage in the world. It’s production now equates to over 6.1 million metric tons a year, with regions such as China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya being the major producers.

Traditionally, tea was used as a folk remedy but it has grown to such popularity that it is now drank as an ordinary beverage all throughout the world.

Assam and Ceylon are two very famous and somewhat similar types of tea which many people are familiar with, but there are some key differences between the two.

We’ll delve into that topic in the context below.

Assam Tea

Assam tea is a style of black tea which originates from the Assam region of India.

Assam is a very fertile region of India. Many people believe that the soil is so nutrient-dense due to it being located near the Bramaputra River.

Whatever the reason, Assam has been very successful in producing quality Indian teas in bulk quantities.

Assam tea is picked all year round, but many people believe that the best Assam tea is picked between the months of May and June.

Flavor & Aroma

Assam tea however has a bold taste and a round texture. The taste is mildly sweet and there is a reason why this style of tea is so popular. It’s warming in the belly, although I think most people would agree that it doesn’t have the most complex flavor profile. If it’s good quality tea, than you may get some notes of dried dark fruit.

If you are somebody who adds milk to their tea, then it’s worth knowing that the assertive nature of Assam tea holds up very well to a hefty addition of milk or sugar.

assam black tea
Assam Tea: Image by farmerdir of PixaBay

Ceylon Tea

Ceylon tea is a style of black tea which originates from Sri Lanka and is a major part of their economy and culture, accounting for approximately 2% of the country’s GDP.

There are currently seven primary tea growing regions in Sri Lanka, including the Ruhuna, Sabaragamuwa, Kandy, Dimbula, Uva, Uda Pussellawa y Nuwara Eliya areas, with each region’s tea having slightly different characteristics.

Flavor & Aroma

Ceylon tea is known for having an attractive aroma and a smooth, clearing flavor. It’s a bit more delicate than an Assam tea, but has a certain astringency that clears the palette. If it’s good quality tea then you may get some interesting floral or citrus notes.

If you are somebody who adds milk to their tea, then it’s worth knowing that the lighter characteristics of Ceylon tea means that it doesn’t usually require as much milk to round out the flavor as, for example, an Assam tea might.

ceylon black tea
Ceylon Tea: Image by farmerdir of PixaBay

Final Thoughts

Assam and Ceylon teas are both very approachable black teas and it’s hard to go wrong with either one.

It’s most important that you enjoy the tea you are drinking, rather then get caught up in whatever tea gossip is going on in the world at the time.

So, regardless of which type of tea you decide to drink, make sure it’s the tea that you personally want to drink.

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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