As a tea lover have you ever considered how Assam tea and Nilgiri tea differ? This sure has crossed my mind and my blog will highlight the differences through 23 detrimental points. 

I am a self-proclaimed Tea-lover, a passionate tea- blogger & I also run a small tea cafe in Kolkata city. Tea leaves are what an ideal cup of tea and thus, I thought of writing a blog about two prolific tea varieties of India. 


Assam Tea Versus Nilgiri Tea: 23 Determining Factors

Assam tea and Nilgiri tea both have their own fan base. However, have you considered the ways in which they differ? Read my blog wherein I have enlisted 23 prime points that make it easier for you to tell them apart. Also, to get an idea about what we would be covering I have drawn a table. 

Assam Tea

Discovered in the year 1839

Nilgiri Tea

Discovered in the year 1835

Assam Tea

Brahmaputra Valley of Assam

Nilgiri Tea

Blue mountain region of western ghats

Assam Tea

Enjoyed with or without milk

Sweetness can be customized

Can be enjoyed as a fruity tea too

Nilgiri Tea

Makes best-iced tea

Never curdles

Isn’t bitter

Has a sweet note

Assam Tea

Malty with a rich & sweet aroma

Nilgiri Tea

Bold yet fruity with an amber hue

Assam Tea

Blended with fruit teas

Without milk or sugar

Cold-brewed tea

Nilgiri Tea

Iced tea

With milk and sugar

Honey any liquid sweeteners

Assam Tea



Frequent urination

Nilgiri Tea

Moderate Nausea

Assam Tea

Strong or robust flavor

Gives a rich color and strength to tea

Nilgiri Tea

Light texture

Sweet and fruity aroma

Assam Tea


Tata Gold


Nilgiri Tea

Chai & Mighty


Nilgiri Select Black Tea

Assam Tea



Tata Agni

Nilgiri Tea


Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea


Assam Tea


Golden Tippy

Assam Breakfast

Nilgiri Tea

Glendale Estate

Davidson’s Dunsandle

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea


Assam  Tea

3-5 minutes

Nilgiri Tea

2-4 minutes

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea


Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea

Slow though gaining momentum

Assam Tea

Breakfast Tea

Assam Black Tea

Nilgiri Tea

Blue Mountain Tea

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea

Yes though rare

Assam Tea

Low altitude

Hot and humid season

Nilgiri Tea

Hilly region

High altitude

Cold air & temperate sun

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea

January and March

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea


Assam Tea

80 mg per 8 oz. cup

Nilgiri Tea

40 mg per 8 oz. cup

Assam Tea


Nilgiri Tea


Assam Tea

12 months from the manufactured date

Nilgiri Tea

Not Known

As a tea-cafe owner, I am constantly experimenting with the quality of teas available as I want to serve what’s best. This led me to write a comparison blog on Assam Tea versus Nilgiri Tea so like me tea lovers can choose their blend. Let us now take one parameter at a time for better understanding.

1. Considering The Fascinating History Of The Two Teas

Assam tea was discovered by a Scottish adventurer Robert Bruce in the year 1823. Also, it might intrigue you to know that The First Tea factory was The Assam Tea Factory which was established in the year 1839.

Nilgiri tea was used as experimental plantings by The British who were then using Coonoor(where the history of Nilgiri tea started). Another fascinating theory has it that the tea was discovered in the year 1603 by an Italian Jesult Glacomo Finicio who had sent a letter to his superiors describing the area. 

In my opinion, nothing is more interesting to know than tea. Don’t you find tea interesting? 

2. Assam Tea & Nilgiri Tea Both Have Different Places of Origin

Let us evaluate the place of origin for both the teas.

Assam tea is harvested in the rich Brahmaputra valley of Assam(Northeastern India) at an elevation of 45-60 meters above sea level. By the way, did you know that Assam is called “The Tea Garden Of India?”. This place has been chosen as the climate is ideal for Assam tea cultivation(I will be talking about this later in the blog). 

Nilgiri tea is grown at an elevation of 8000 meters above sea level in a part of the Western Ghats area popularly called The Blue Mountain Region and like Assam tea, the reason why the area has been chosen will be discussed later in the blog. 

3. Considering The Fascinating History Of The Two Teas

Assam tea and Nilgiri teas are both unique in their own ways and this section will tell you all about their uniqueness.

Assam tea as tea lovers will tell you is a tea type that is best without any milk or creamer. Now, if you desire some sweetness, I suggest opting for cane sugar. Oh by the way did you know that this variety of tea is used to make fruit teas too? Assam tea has a robust or a strong flavor profile so, it can blend with any tea and the taste is only enhanced. 

Nilgiri tea is one of the undiscovered gems of the tea world that is yet to see the limelight like Assam tea or any other tea. Now, talking about its uniqueness and which is quite amazing to know is that never curdles, nor does it turn bitter. The tea has a sweet note and if you want to make fruit teas or iced tea this should be on your list. 

4. Considering The Texture Of The Two Teas 

Let us now take the texture of the two teas into account.

Assam tea is a robust or any strong tea that has a malty texture with a rich and sweet aroma. As a milk tea lover, I love my tea made from Assam tea as it gives me the desired result with little to no effort and by using fewer tea leaves too.

Nilgiri tea on the other hand has a bold and fruity texture with a hint of floral aroma that when brewed gives a bright amber hue. If a cold-brewed or iced tea is on your mind this tea type should be your go to option each time. 

5. Let us now Consider The Best Way To Drink Both Assam And Nilgiri Tea

We have discussed the flavor profile of the two teas and now we will discuss the best way to incorporate them as per their characteristics.

Assam tea tastes great as hot and cold tea. The tea shouldn’t be brewed for more than 3-5 minutes and the leaves when added to hot water needs only 10-15 seconds of steep time. Using this technique you can have 4-5 infusions. 

Nilgiri tea should not be steeped for more than 2-4 minutes. This technique will ensure you get three infusions at the max and which does the trick for me. 

6. Comparing the Two Teas For Known Side Effects

Assam tea has a strong yet sweet aroma and is high on caffeine. Now, if you use more than the required quantity then it is sure to have some negative impacts on your body like causing restlessness, frequent urination and a mild anxiety feeling. 

I use Assam tea at home too and depending on the amount of water I use the leaves quite sparingly. Also, using filtered water is advised for an enhanced taste. 

Nilgiri tea on the other hand is a mild tea that can cause nausea when used more than the recommended quantity(depending upon the water taken and serves you want to make) as the only known side effect.

Well, don’t let these scare you. As a blogger, I just wanted to make you aware of the consequences when the tea leaves are used more than the quantity. I suggest using not more than 2 teaspoons of tea leaves. 

7. Comparing The Two Teas Based on The Popularity Reasons

Let us compare the reasons that have made Assam & Nilgiri teas popular.

Assam tea leaves have a strong flavor that changes texture from light brown to dark brown within the blink of an eye when added to hot water. This makes it a classic combination of a strongly brewed tea with a sweet note and malty texture that gives the tea its divine taste.

Nilgiri tea is a light yet full-bodied tea(any tea that is a good combination of strength and at the same time adds its own unique color)with a floral aroma. 

8. Considering Some Known Names That Are Synonymous With Nilgiri and Assam Tea

Time to get familiar with a few companies that are known for selling the two teas respectively. 

Goodricke, Tata Gold, Vahdam, Twinings, Bohea Teas(Hand-rolled assam tea) are some brands that are a trusted name when we talk about Assam tea.

Talking about Nilgiri tea we have Chai & Mighty, Vahdam, Avanta, Nilgiri Select Black Tea as some brands that have become akin with the tea. 

9. Comparing Assam and Nilgiri Tea on the basis of Obtaining Them Locally

India is called “The Largest Tea Society of The World”. If the title has you wondering, I can say that you have to come to India to experience it. Here, every region has its own tea that is worth trying. In fact, I have written a blog on tea versus chai that will tell you all about the variety that you can expect on your visit. Let us though see how we can procure the teas locally.

Assam tea is the second largest selling tea(after Darjeeling tea) in India and companies like Tata Agni, Typhoo, Vahdam are some local brands that sell Assam tea.

Nilgiri teas have laid its trust on Girnar; the best local brand.

10. Assam Tea Versus Nilgiri Tea: Comparing them on Options to Serve with Milk & Sugar

Let us compare the two teas on the option to consume with milk and sugar.

Assam tea can be drunk with milk and sugar though tea experts will say otherwise. 

I love my milk tea as the milk cuts the bitterness from the tea leaves and I get a sweet taste. 

Nilgiri tea too can be had without milk and sugar. As mentioned previously, the tea is known for its sweet and floral taste and thus, adding a sweetener would ruin the taste.

11. Time To Compare Them On The Best Varieties That They Offer

Let us compare them based on the best varieties the two teas offer.

Gingia Premium by Vahdam Teas, Prithvi Small holder ‘Golden Tippy’ by What-Cha, Assam Breakfast by JIng, and Assam Manjushree sold under The Tea Makers Of London are some best bets. 

Nilgiri tea too has quite a few names to its credit. Glendale Estate and Davidson’s Dunsdale tea are some names that adds to the charm of the tea. 

12. Assam Tea versus Nilgiri Tea: Comparing Them On the availability of Loose Tea 

Let us now see if the two teas give us an option to buy loose tea leaves or we only have the option to buy them packed. 

Assam tea and Nilgiri tea both have the option of loose tea leaves along with the packed option. 

Just head to your local grocery store and take your pick. 

13. Comparing Assam Tea and Nilgiri Tea Based On the Brewing Time

Assam tea and Nilgiri tea both have different brewing time and we shall see how they fare. 

Assam tea should never be brewed longer than 3-5 minutes. Longer brew will give you a better taste that will make for an unpleasant drinking experience.

The ideal time to brew Nilgiri tea is 2-4 minutes for best results. 

14. Assam Tea Versus Nilgiri Tea: Differentiating The Two Based On Their Online Availability

Let us see how we can procure the two teas online.

Assam tea is the second largest selling tea and has a remarkable online appeal. We have already discussed the brands and which have a huge online market.

Nilgiri tea, though is best when sourced from the two tea estates mentioned, is not far behind when it comes to capturing the online market. Girnar tea is easily available on all leading e-commerce sites. 

15. Comparing How Assam And Nilgiri Tea Fare Based On Worldwide Availability

Let us now see how well the two teas have captured the world market.

A major part of the tea business flourishes on its export and Assam tea is amongst the leading giants in the tea world. Thus, it is no surprise that it has a huge market when it comes to being available outside India. Just head to your local grocery store and look for your brand.

Nilgiri tea is amongst the fast catching tea of the world and lately, tea manufacturers are majorly into making the tea available worldwide too. However, you might have to experiment with the options before you settle on your brand. 

16. The Two Teas Are Known By Different Names 

Assam tea and Nilgiri tea both are called by different names. Let us get acquainted with some common names by which they are called.

Breakfast tea, Assam Black Tea are amongst the many names the tea has been called lately.

Nilgiri Tea takes its name from the region where it is grown. It is grown in the Blue Mountain Region of the western ghats and thus, is called Blue Mountain Tea. 

17. Comparing Them On Tea Bags Usage

Let us weigh the two teas based on the tea bags usage.

Assam tea offers the convenience of tea bags at large and this has proven to be a boon for tea lovers like me. Teabags ensure that I am never far from my elixir.

Nilgiri tea on the other hand at times makes it a difficult choice when it comes to tea bags usage. 

18. Getting To How They Differ In Terms Of Favorable Conditions That Makes Cultivation Easy

Favorable condition is an important aspect to consider when it comes to tea cultivation and this makes it only fit that we weigh the two teas based on how they differ on the cultivation method.

Assam tea grows at a low altitude of 400-600 meters above sea level in the rich and fertile Brahmaputra valley. The area has a hot and humid climate, an ideal soil that has all the important aspects required for a healthy yield and the low altitude are all favorable conditions.

Nilgiri tea grows at an elevation of 8000 feet above sea level in the Blue Mountain Range(a part of Western Ghats). A cold climate and temperate sun makes for an ideal surrounding.

19. Comparing The Harvesting Time

Let us now compare the two teas based on the harvesting time.

Assam tea is harvested in the months of March-November though at times it is often harvested twice during the month of March(the first harvesting month).

Nilgiri tea is harvested in January and March typically during the early morning hours after the first frost or dew. 

20. Getting To Know The Tisane Feature Of The Two Teas

Let us now see if we can make the two teas into a herbal and a healthy option.

Assam tea is derived from Camellia Sinensis and is a pure tea like any tea sourced from the plant. Having said this, tea experts are constantly upgrading their game and in order to make your morning cup healthy go in for low-calorie milk and the decaffeinated  leaves. 

Nilgiri tea, like any tea in the market, is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant and thus, cannot be called Tisane. However, if you want to make it into a healthy cup opt-in for iced tea. 

21. Assam Tea Versus Nilgiri Tea: Knowing the Caffeine Level

Let us now analyze the two teas based on their caffeine level.

Assam tea comes close in second place when we talk about caffeine level. The tea has approximately 80 mg caffeine per 8 ounce cup.

Nilgiri tea on the other hand has 40 mg per 8 ounce cup which when compared with Assam tea is still less. 

22. Comparing Their Ability To Blend With Other Teas 

Let us get to know how the two teas fare in their ability to blend with other teas.

Assam tea has a strong flavor profile and thus, if you want to blend it with other teas make sure you select a flavor that has a strong robust flavor. However, it is suggested that you have it as a standalone flavor.

Nilgiri tea on the other has strong yet light notes and this attribute makes it a perfect option to blend with other teas. 

23. Comparing The Two Teas For Their Shelf Life

Let us now compare the two teas based on their shelf lives.

Assam tea when stored properly will last for 12 months from the date of manufacture.

The shelf life for Nilgiri tea is not known and the only workaround is to check the packaging for instructions. 

This concludes my blog on Assam tea versus Nilgiri tea and I hope I was able to help you clear all doubts(if any)regarding how they differ. Also, if you need to ask me any questions feel free to drop them in the comments section below and I will be happy to answer them. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the free newsletter directly from my site. Click on the About Me section and scroll to the bottom. 


Happy Sipping!