"The beauty of tea lies in its hidden notes"
India is the second-largest producer of tea in the world and this beverage is an essential part of life across the country.
With so many varieties available, which are the best Indian tea brands?
Indian tea is known for its health benefits but there are so many other things that you may not know. From household names to herbal teas, there are also many new gourmet brands.
Many of the country’s homegrown brands focus on farmer involvement and being sustainable. There are black teas, flavoured teas and infused brews that are available to choose from.
Tea is more than a beverage and although important to the daily routine, it is so much more. It is always a part of family and social gatherings, weddings and festivals.
People always suggest a cup of tea when there is a problem to discuss or something is going wrong. Tea will make it better so let’s see which brands are worth drinking.
Tata Tea Premium
Tata Tea is the highest-selling brand of tea in India and is owned by the Tata Group. Started in 1985, Tata Tea was relaunched as Tata Tea Premium in 2003.
One of the varieties ‘Tata Tea Gold Care’ consists of natural ingredients, including tulsi (Ayurvedic herb) which is good for the immune system.
1868 is another variety and has black and green teas in a range of flavours. Tata Tea is also known for its sustainability and all tea comes in recycled packaging.
The brand is also involved in raising awareness for national issues.
In August 2021, the brand released a range of kulhads (clay cups), all hand-painted with region-specific artforms such as Phulkari patterns from Punjab.
Partnering with Rare Planet, a startup that celebrates the work of local Indian artists, the collaboration wanted to support creatives who have faced ferocious setbacks due to Covid-19.
Tata is more than tea, it is the ‘Desh ki Chai’.
Pataka Tea was launched as part of the Pataka Group in 2000 and was created for two main purposes. They want to raise India’s reputation as a producer of tea even higher than it is.
Most importantly, they want to help make the conditions of those who work in the tea gardens better. They take full social responsibility when it comes to these purposes.
The brand started with simple leaf and dust varieties and in 2006 brought out ‘Pataka Mukta’. This had a more full-bodied aroma, which remains very popular in India.
As the brand spreads its qualities across the nation, the transparency of the company means the profits dedicate themselves to the welfare of the tea workers.
With a 250-gram bag retailing for Rs. 71 (69p), Indians love this affordable and sumptuous brand.
Marvel Tea was created in 1994 and has since gone on to become a global brand. It is one of the largest tea brands in India, with Kareena Kapoor Khan being their brand ambassador.
Their tea comes in many varieties including ‘Marvel Yellow Tea’ which is good for providing energy.
In addition, their ‘Marvel Red Tea’ contains antioxidants that prevent illness and also reduces inflammation.
The brand’s website interestingly reinforces the quality that Marvel Tea brings to the industry:
“At Marvel, a stringent quality check is followed round the clock and across the process…the leaves aren’t touched by any hands at all in their journey from a tea garden to tea pack.”
Achieving such a pristine and distinct flavour from the Indian gardens is highly impressive.
With over 3000 distributors across India, it’s not difficult to see why Marvel Tea is so adored by tea-lovers.
Marvel Tea is also very socially responsible and holds free eye camps every month. Here, they provide free eye checkups and also spread awareness of eye health care in the community.
Tulsi Tea has been around since 1981 and is available in nine different varieties. These include ‘Tulvita Green’ and ‘Tulvita Lemon’, which are both full of antioxidants and provide a healthy start to the day.
Tulsi Tea is especially famous in Gujarat, India, and is also looking to take over in Rajasthan, India.
With a variety of products under the flagship name, Tulsi Tea pride itself on achieving specific flavours to suit different needs.
They also believe in fair dealings with customers, employees and suppliers, priding themselves on excellence.
The citrus, herby, rich and powerful aromas it achieves makes the tea brand elite within the industry.
Wagh Bakri Tea
Wagh Bakri is the third-largest producer of tea in India and was created in 1915. The most interesting point to note is that this tea was actually inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.
The tea wanted to create equality in society and they did this through their logo. A Wagh (tiger) and Bakri (lamb) symbolised the higher and lower class and are shown drinking from the same cup.
This unity is exemplified in the different varieties, including ‘Organic Darjeeling Tea’, ‘Masala Tea’, ‘Ginger Tea’ and ‘Lemon Tea’. They also have leaf and dust teas and even lemon ice tea is available.
The brand also corresponds to the health uprising in India, with their organic options. They impressively state how the tea is:
“Grown and cultivated by eco-friendly methods without the use of chemical pesticides, fertilizers or growth promoters.”
Going on to boast how:
“A golden allure, muscatel flavour and superlative taste are definitive characters of this prized tea.”
Amaara Herbs was created in 2018 and they focus on herbal teas by infusing natural herbs in tea. A relatively new manufacturer, they want the morning cup of tea to be a healthy one.
Their website features a range of interesting varieties such as the ‘She-B Well Tea’. This wellness tea is created specifically for women to promote a healthy menstrual cycle and boost immunity.
They also have a range of herb lattes including one with a chamomile flower herb mix.
Containing ashwagandha, coconut milk and nutmeg, it fortifies physical and mental health with its mix of nutrients.
The brand’s vision is clear as their website emphasises:
“We understand the significance of herbs for your health and thus guide how these herbs can be beneficial if adopted in daily regime.”
The attention to health, wellness and strength add to the momentum and success that Amaara Herbs is experiencing.
No. 3 Clive Road
Radhika Chopra founded No. 3 Clive Road because she felt there was a gap in the market. India may be the second-largest producer of tea worldwide, but where was the premium, luxury brand?
The brand is named after the house where Radhika’s father was born and all the teas are hand-blended. Many black tea blends are available on the website such as the ‘Jaipur Blend’.
Besides black tea, it contains dark chocolate, dried orange and rose petals for antioxidants and hydration.
On the website, details include tasting notes and what to pair with the tea as serving suggestions. Pairing taste and seasons, Radhika illustrated the diversity of blends:
“In the winter months, when my immunity is low, I may have the Ayurvedic Blend, very lightly brewed.”
“In the summer months, I enjoy a cold brew Nilgiri tea infused with the fruit of the season.”
No. 3 Clive Road even tells you the CO2 emissions generated from your cup of tea. Finished with the most exquisite packaging, it really is a truly luxurious tea brand.
The Good Life Company
The Good Life Company was started in 2016 and prides itself on exotic, artisanal tea. The ingredients are sourced from all over the world including India but also China and Sri Lanka.
By sourcing the best teas in the world and mixing them with a range of flavours, they create what they call a high-quality brew.
Interestingly, the company has industry experts in tea and botany that oversee the blending process, ensuring the highest possible quality control.
The brand also has a new range of wellness teas including one called Slim Line.
It contains ingredients with anti-obesity properties and has notes of peppermint and liquorice.
In 2019, the company won a bronze medal for their ‘Temple of Heaven Gunpowder’ tea at the Global Tea Spring Hot Loose Tea Championship.
This triumph has seen The Good Life catapult within the tea industry, introducing some competition against other established brands.
The Hillcart Tales
The Hillcart Tales is a gourmet range of teas created by a family with over five generations in the tea-making industry.
Originating in Hillcart Road, Darjeeling, they pride themselves on their rare blends.
Their exotic variations include ‘Apple Strudel’, ‘Blood Orange’ and ‘Caramel Dream’. Koffie-Cha Lush provides a coffee-tea infusion of green coffee beans and blackberry leaves.
The brands aim of fusing expertly sourced ingredients and health-preserving blends provides a truly unique product.
Everything comes in sustainable packaging and is much too pretty to be thrown away. Who needs dessert when you can have a cup of ‘Lemon Cake’ tea?
Chado Tea India
Chado Tea India is translated as ‘the way of tea’ and their range has more than 300 varieties of loose leaf tea.
Although originating in Los Angeles, USA, the brand was brought to India in 2008.
Their range includes white and black teas, herbal, oolong and green teas. Their ‘Green Lemonade Tea’ has lots of zesty, lemon flavour and is a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
They also boast a herbal section that focuses on zero caffeine, offering a beverage to boost overall wellness.
One of Chado Tea motto’s encapsulates their aims within the industry:
“Tea is more than just flavours and emotions. It is a perspective.”
“A perspective to live a life as serenely and as ecstatically as a cup of freshly brewed tea.”
As well as white and matcha teas, the brand prides itself on flavourful beverages that provide communities with comfort and warmth.
Tea Trunk was founded by tea sommelier Snigdha Manchanda in 2013 and she calls it a tribute to how much she loves tea. She has crafted all the gourmet tea blends that are available.
All teas are crafted with natural ingredients and the most popular varieties include ‘Marigold Green Tea’ and ‘Lavender White Tea’.
With no artificial colours or additives, Tea Trunk is heavily invested in celebrating just pure tea.
Some iconic flavours within their teas range from marigold flower petals to saffron to lemongrass.
In addition, each tea flavour comes with different health benefits and beautiful elephant-decorated packaging.
Snigdha spoke about her awe-inspiring journey as well as the importance of tea and the benefits it brings to our health and the economy.
With such a dedicated founder, Tea Trunk is definitely on the path to deliver more robust teas to the world.
Anandini Himalaya Tea
Anandini Himalaya Tea was created in 2013 by Anamika Singh, who comes from a second-generation tea-making family. Blends are sourced from the family’s Manjhee Valley Tea Estate, India.
As well as herbal teas and muslin tea bags, there is a range of ‘Feel Better’ teas available. They all relate to certain attributes such as boosting metabolism or reducing stress.
Their ‘Emerald Spiced’ tea blends cloves, cardamoms, ginger and cinnamon to enhance immunity and soothes the mind. It also has a splash of orange marigold flowers.
The innovative combination of flavours stays true to Anandini’s mission, enticing all the senses when drinking tea.
Exploring the natural taste and smell of their ingredients means the brand offers luxurious tasting beverages, which offer nutrition and complete relaxation.
Organic India doesn’t just make tea, it commits itself to healthy, conscious living. They deliver genuine, organic products and support the livelihood of farmers across rural India.
They work with farmers to cultivate thousands of acres of sustainable organic farmland. Organic India is known for their tulsi teas, basil-infused teas, known to have healing powers.
As the first company to introduce tulsi as a delicious tea, Organic India prides itself on their range of teas that include the ‘queen of herbs’.
With a vast amount of antioxidants, the teas can relieve stress and boost energy and immune levels.
From ginger turmeric to pomegranate, the company have a vast range of vibrant flavours to choose from.
Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House
Taj Mahal was India’s first luxury tea brand, founded in 1966 in Kolkata. Their handcrafted teas include the ‘Darjeeling Second Flush Tea’, perfect for those who love the strength of black tea.
The brand also specialises in experimental flavours for those who wish to expand their palette. Their ‘Bold Spices Tea’ has notes of Kashmiri chillies and black pepper.
They also have the ‘Royal Saffron Tea,’ which contains Kashmir saffron, promising a royal and elegant taste.
The Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House itself is located in a small lane in Bandra, Mumbai. Hosting a tea ceremony on selected mornings, the host Sandeep Mathur asserts:
“The beauty of tea lies in its hidden notes, delicate aromas, and rare flavours.”
The aura of this sentiment is what the Taj Mahal craves in delivering to customers.
Goodwyn Tea is one of the largest producers of tea in India and features more than 50 unique blends. The tea is sourced from their 6000+ acre tea estate in Assam, India, which is over a century old.
Their ‘Ayurvedic Kadha Tea’ contains seven herbs that will help to prevent coughs and colds and curb diseases.
Meanwhile, their ‘Kashmiri Kahwa Green Tea’ will help relieve stress and provide headache relief.
Honouring the time and effort put into the tea-making process, Goodwyn boast of their processing and distribution.
Stating their tea is seven times fresher due to their farming, the brand highlights that the fresher the tea, the healthier it is.
Packaged in hygienic conditions, Goodwyn produces an abundance of teas that preserve the high level of natural antioxidants found in each flavour.
Satori Tea is a luxury tea brand that aims to promote Indian produce, sourcing from family-run estates across the country.
They believe that tea creates inner enlightenment more than just an everyday ritual. The makers want people to take a moment from their busy lives and reconnect with themselves over a cup of tea.
Satori Tea features seven boutique teas that include the ‘Kiss of Rose’ and the ‘Golden Twirl’.
The ‘Kiss of Rose’ contains floral undertones, with an earthy finish and is blended with naturally dried rose petals. The ‘Golden Twirl’ is a black tea, with spicy notes and floral undertones.
The company focuses on comfort within the cup of tea, paying homage to the traditional Indian ritual of having tea with guests and family – a goal that is personified in their variations.
One example is the ‘Lavender Dream Tea,’ which exploits the silky texture of white tea buds that produces an intense, delicate and luxurious beverage.
Their website holds a credible amount of information about each flavour such as the process, flavour profile and even the location of the tea source.
Sancha Tea was created in 1981 by Sanjay Kapur who opened India’s first gourmet tea store in Old Delhi.
They have over 75 varieties of teas and count India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as a fan.
Those who need a perfect pick-me-up but dislike the intensity of coffee can try their ‘Marrakech Double Mint’ green tea.
Weaving the flavours of two different mint leaves, the drink rejuvenates the body, helping with fatigue and stress.
As well as black and white teas, they also offer caffeine-free herbal teas. Their ‘Sleeping Beauty Herbal Tea’ blends vanilla with calming flowers and is perfect as a bedtime beverage.
It contains lavender to reduce stress, whilst the vanilla relaxes the muscles. All teabags are environmentally friendly, biodegradable and they don’t use any plastic.
Tea Treasure is a relatively new brand that is trying to change the supply of tea. They procure their teas directly from the tea gardens so that everyone gets a good deal.
With no middle man involved, you know exactly where the tea is coming from and can savour a fresh, organic taste.
Varieties include the ‘CTC Assam Indian Chai,’ which is the perfect brew for early mornings.
Perfected with earthy notes and hints of honey, the tea provides a rejuvenating feel when consumed.
Also, the ‘Slim Life’ tea contains vital minerals and vitamins for the body.
A joy for those with an active lifestyle, this blend will increase your metabolism, whilst maintaining your energy levels for a productive day.
The company is a gracious yet formidable brand that hopes its exclusive flavours successfully tie the elements of taste, nutrition and quality.
Dharmsala Tea Company
Founded in 1882, The Dharmsala Tea Company originates in the Himalayas and six generations later, still belongs to the same family. They have a wide range of Ayurvedic teas, all with different benefits.
Dharmsala Tea Company also has caffeine-free teas and many varieties of blends including floral and fruit.
They even have a range of dessert teas with a ‘Cinnamon Chocolate Blend’ and a ‘Himalayan Hot Chocolate Blend’.
Paying respect to the foundations of the company, Dharmsala try and sustain a level of culture and wildlife in their teas.
This means embracing the nature around them so they can fully capture the vitality of different minerals and herbs. Join that with colourful spices and now a tasty product is ready to enjoy.
Featured in the likes of Vogue and The New York Times, Dharmsala is sending shockwaves through the industry.
JugMug Thela is a brand from New Delhi and is all about healthy drinks with no artificial flavours or chemicals. Committed to environmental sustainability, all of their packaging is biodegradable.
They carry a range of masala chais as well as a selection of fine teas. They even have a ‘Mummy Ki Chai’ tea set that donates meals to families affected by Covid-19.
Their distinct ‘Kinnow & Rose Earl Grey’ tea is prepared out of Kinnow oranges and rose petals for a refreshing and citrusy taste.
Whereas the ‘Yogi Tea’ contains therapeutic spices, perfect for lounging around without the guilt.
Their philosophy emphasises the warmth you get from drinking tea. The comfortability, social interaction, flavour and culture related to drinking tea is something that the brand celebrates.
India has come a long way away from producing a simple cup of tea.
Maybe you want a tea to lose weight or a tea to feel more energised. How about a tea that tastes like a dessert? Well, these brands have it all.
The best thing of all is you can drink them knowing you are a part of their environmentally sustainable promise.
With the emphasis now being on a conscious body and soul, these teas perfectly inherit your lifestyle and easily offer the maximum pleasure possible.
That’s what makes these Indian tea brands the best.