Assam is two things: Assam, an Indian
district- and Assam tea, one of the most popular speciality teas. Low-lying in the north-east of India, Assam is uneven; In fact, its name in one dialect literally
means "uneven". It's quite a low-lying, wet area, with 2000 mmto 2700mm of rainfall
each year. Assam is grown anywhere from ground level to 4,000 feet (on mountains); The temperatures
seldom rise above 32ºC or drop below 8ºC. Assam is populated by about 25,000,000 people. The Brahmaputra river also runs through, and on both the northern and southern banks Assam is farmed.
Most Indian tea is from the Assam area, and the Assam tea is a well liked and common tea. Assam teas are (normally) black teas that have a very pungent, strong-flavored, full-bodied brew. Some note the reddish tinge, which is quite prominent. Assam teas are particularly popular as breakfast tea.
In 1823 Major Robert Bruce had discovered that the native of India's Assam drank tea. His brother, Charles Bruce, sent specimens to the company's botanical gardens at Calcutta, but they were mistaken for Camellia. However, when in 1830, Charles sent them tea seeds, plants, and processed leaves from Assam. The find was declared "the most important and valuable" agricultural or commercial resources of the British Empire ever, finding a new, cheap source of tea. (The first tea in Britain was in 1610, but was expensive to get from China; Finding it in India was great news!)
Assam is traditionally drunk with a dash of milk, but having it without milk is not uncommon. The milk helps bring out the malty flavour and hides more of the bitter, liqour-flavour. Sugar is normally added, but like above, it is the guests choice. It can have a bitter aftertaste when stewed, even for under a minute, but some actually enjoy this taste.
It can even be cold brewed or drunk straight up, but neither are recommended.
Found both in tea-bags and tea-leaves, Assam is a delicious and versatile tea, suitable for just about anyone.