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Organic Nilgiri Black Tea

Purchase Options

$18.50 USD
125 servings, 15¢ per serving
$9.95 USD
44 servings, 23¢ per serving
$2.50 USD
8 servings
Shipping to USA and Canada
  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Steeping
  • Health
  • Traditions

This fine organic black tea is produced in the Nilgiris District of southern India. Sourced from the Fair Trade Certified, Korakundah Estate, this leaf is grown at an altitude of over 8,000 feet above sea level at the highest organic tea estate in India (if not the world)! This Nilgiri FBOP organic loose tea is composed of small open, slightly twisted broken leaves of uniform size and deep reddish brown color. As is typical of high-quality organic tea from India, the infusion offers a straightforward but delicate flavor, floral and brisk.

Tip: This tea is particularly suited to iced tea preparation as it resists clouding more than most.

Ever wonder what those initials "FBOP" stand for?  Check out our information on tea grading to find out!

Ingredients: organic Indian black tea


Serving Size: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water

Staff Perspectives


Aubrey Says: Back to our roots! This Nilgiri tea is grown on the beautiful  Korakundah Estate, which was our very first source (and one of our most preferred!) for Nilgiri tea.  


Jeremy Says: I love Nilgiris for iced tea - straightforward and doesn't cloud as much as others.

Write your own product review

  1. Prototypical black tea

    Posted by McKinley L. on 7th Feb 2017

    This is the first Nilgiri tea that I've tried. As an frequent drinker of green and oolong teas, this tea typifies what comes to mind when I think of black tea. Malty, rich, and robust without being too bitter. It is, as others have noted, very much like a more flavorful version of a standard, mainstream tea like or breakfast blend. And I bet it would be great with milk, cream, or sugar, if that's your bag.

    I found that short, hot steeps worked best for me. 35 - 45 seconds at 205 degrees for the first cup, and then 60 - 90 seconds for the second.

  2. Smooth and non-bitter

    Posted by Derek on 7th Jan 2017

    As someone else described, the title sums it up. I could drink a lot of this tea; good thirst quencher.

  3. I get the lipton thing

    Posted by Nancy on 30th Nov 2016

    I just want to say that I first bought this tea to try it for iced since it was touted as being good for that. BUT I tried it hot with milk the way I like my tea and I was blasted back to childhood where Lipton or Red Rose was a staple in our house. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING!!! I love the taste of this tea - really really love it, and, while it totally reminds me of lipton, it's not bitter at all. It's all the good memories without the woody bitterness. This has become my second favorite tea - first will always be Irish Breakfast :)

  4. Great everyday tea

    Posted by Melissa O. on 10th Jun 2016

    I was reading the reviews and had to add one, too! I love this tea. My husband and I drink copious amounts of tea....hot, iced and in Kombucha. And yeah, it's pretty much all this Nilgiri. This tea is to be enjoyed straight up in a 16 oz mug each morning, followed by second mug, at least. It's smooth, drinkable, and delicious. I don't know fancy tea descriptor words, I just love this tea, and it is SO not Liptony!

  5. Smooth and Sensual

    Posted by Kara on 30th Apr 2016

    This tea is bold and robust yet quiet and smooth; I'm not sure how to describe it other than there's a richness to it that's quite lovely. Good for a pick-me-up in he afternoon. It seems like it will go well with lemon in an iced tea.

  6. Overzealous Tea Snobs?

    Posted by Bryan R on 29th Oct 2015

    I love this tea far too much to let it get buried with mediocrity! I'm sorry but to those who say this tea is the lipton of fine black teas has obviously forgotten what lipton tastes like. Simply because it's a heck of a deal, is no reason to fool yourself into thinking this tea is anything less than Gold!

    The criticism is what makes this tea great. It doesn't taste like one is eating a plate of flower petals. It doesn't taste like someone has their face directly next to a pile of burning wood (thought it does have a mild smokey/sweet essence). This tastes like an extremely smooth, non bitter black tea that holds its own against other options in a much higher price range. Smooth is an adjective worthy of describing this excellent tea.

    Give this stuff a try

  7. Gourmet Lipton?

    Posted by Benjamin Hartwick on 28th Mar 2015

    If Lipton were this good, I would probably have drunk a lot more of it in my life and would likely even order it on airplanes and roadside dinners on occasion and would be glad it was there and enjoy it, but as I’m guessing most of us who are patrons of Arbor Tea would agree, that sort of tea is something that one consumes as a “placeholder,” a caffeine-containing liquid that you accept when there is nothing else available. If only the airlines, hospitals, et al., were to serve Nilgiri, I think real tea drinkers like us would all be a little happier in the world.

    If I did not need variety, I would probably just get intoxicated on Darjeeling every day, switching it up between the 1st and 2nd flush, but I can’t be on a magic carpet ride every moment of every day, and that’s where a tea like this comes in. If Darjeeling is a magic carpet ride, then this is a silent golf cart ride – plaid pants, muted shades of beige and definitely no paisley (or purple – incense or exotic mantras to accompany it). Of all the teas in the Arbor Tea catalog I’ve tried, this one is clearly at the other end of the spectrum from the magical 1st and 2nd flush Darjeeling teas. There is nothing about this Nilgiri tea that I would describe as magical. It is a very one-note tea. Really, that’s about it. It’s just tea – without a twist. Having said that, it is in fact a good tea, and I do actually like it and drink it on occasion. It’s straight forward and uncomplicated. The flavor profile is narrow, without depth or complexity, yet the flavor that it does have is pleasant and relaxing. For me it has come to function as a very late afternoon or early evening tea when I want minimal caffeine and, for whatever reason, I can do without the distraction of a strong, complex or even subtle (Zen-like) flavor.


    If I were banished to a deserted island and could only bring one tea, would this be it? No. I’d be packing up all the Darjeeling I could carry.

  8. Very mild but good.

    Posted by Sam K on 12th Dec 2013

    This tea is very mild and has an even, smooth flavor. I agree with the other reviewer that suggested this tea works better as a way to relax in the afternoon than a morning pick-me-up.

  9. delicate

    Posted by Abby on 14th Nov 2013

    This is a light, delicate tea; I didn't notice any 'brisk'ness to it. If you want a light, mellow tea - you'll probably enjoy this one.

  10. Worth redeeming

    Posted by Unknown on 3rd Sep 2013

    This tea is good for one thing....relaxing. Its mildly stimulating but its real quality is the way it makes you feel, "mellow". Im able to take a nap after drinking this stuff, or just go about my day in a relaxed fashion. As for the taste its just average. Nothing really stands out taste wise and thats why its missing a star. Still a quality organic/fair trade tea.


We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.

There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.


Quantity of tea: one rounded teaspoon (1.25) per 8 oz cup of water


Water temperature: use water that has been heated to a full rolling boil (212° F)


Steeping time: 3-5 minutes

Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.

Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.

Learn more from our How To Guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!


There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.

For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.

For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.

Iced Tea

Teas from the Nilgiri region of India seem to resist clouding better than other tea varieties and are traditionally used for making the quintessential American iced tea. According to the USDA, Americans consume more than 2.2 billion gallons of tea per year, about 80 percent (around 1.75 billion gallons) of which is iced. That's an average of nearly 6.5 gallons of iced tea per person! Iced "sweet tea" has been consumed in the south for a hundred years or more, but with the rise of fast food restaurants (nearly all of which sell iced tea), America has watched its tea consumption double in the past 30 years.

The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair offered an opportunity for merchants from around the world to show off their wares. Little did tea merchant Richard Blechynden know it would also mark the beginning of America's love affair with iced tea! In the midst of a sweltering St. Louis summer, Blechynden's efforts to promote Indian black tea at the fair were proving unsuccessful. Hot tea was the last thing on the minds of those attending the fair. So, the enterprising merchant and his staff set out to develop an apparatus in which their brewed Indian tea would flow through iced lead pipes, creating a chilled beverage that was very well-received by fairgoers. Not only was Blechynden successful in promoting Indian tea at the fair, he also uncovered America's seemingly endless thirst for iced tea - a thirst that has yet to be quenched to this day!

Can't get enough iced tea info? Check out our Iced Tea Tips for several fun variations on iced tea!

For information on other traditions or to submit your own tea tradition visit our Tea Traditions section.