Assam tea is a black tea named after the region of its production, Assam, in India.
This tea, most of which is grown at or near sea level, is known for its body, briskness, malty flavour, and strong, bright colour. Assam teas, or blends containing Assam, are often sold as "breakfast" teas. For instance, Irish breakfast tea, a maltier and stronger breakfast tea, consists of small-sized Assam tea leaves.
The state of Assam is the world's largest tea-growing region, lying on either side of the Brahmaputra River, and bordering Bangladesh and Burma (Myanmar). This part of India experiences high precipitation; during the monsoon period, as much as 10 to 12 inches (250–300 mm) of rain per day. The daytime temperature rises to about 103F (40 °C), creating greenhouse-like conditions of extreme humidity and heat. This tropical climate contributes to Assam's unique malty taste, a feature for which this tea is well known.
Though Assam generally denotes the distinctive black teas from Assam, the region produces smaller quantities of green and white teas as well with their own distinctive characteristics.
Historically, Assam has been the second commercial tea production region after southern China. Southern China and Assam are the only two regions in the world with native tea plants.