Organic South Indian Black Tea

Bright and full-bodied, smooth, with subtle tangy sweet and sour notes

fair trade certified certified organic
Organic South Indian Black Tea
Orders over $60 ship free in USA

Organic South Indian Black Tea

Backyard Compostable Tea Packaging

This fine organic and Fair Trade Certified Indian black tea hails from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in the southern tip of the Indian peninsula grown amid lush rain forests. The infusion boasts a bright body with tangy sweet-n-sour notes that evaporate quickly in the mouth with medium astringency. The leaves are bio dynamically grown on one of the first tea plantations to be certified organic in India, the Oothu Singampatti Tea Estate.

The Oothu Estate includes roughly 520 acres of tea production tucked away in the Western Ghats at 3,500 - 4,000 feet above sea level and bordering the remote Kalakad Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary. These forests are some of the best preserved in the world and are home to a wide variety of plants and animals. The local communities have been able to preserve the native flora and fauna extraordinarily well over the years including the creation of a green belt that helps animals cross from one part of the jungle preserve to another without venturing into the tea.

Ingredients: organic Indian black tea

Origin: Oothu Singampatti Estates, Tamil Nadu, India


Oothu Singampatti Estate is one of several holdings of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation Ltd. (BBTC). The Oothu Singampatti Tea Estate was started in 1929 as a new plantation in the Manjolai Manimuttar hills in the eastern mountain region of southern India. In 1965, the Singampatti Group was founded to manage this estate. This group has three distinct operations, but Oothu Singampatti is particularly interesting as it was the first of the three tea gardens to adopt biodynamic principles and the first in the country to become certified organic. Each day, up to 40 workers collect raw material to make the 120 thousand tons of compost that Oothu’s tea plants require each year for its Demeter certification! Estate workers voted to use their Fair Trade premiums to purchase computers for use in estate schools and to finance training classes in occupational health and safety for all female workers on the tea estate.

Steeping Instructions


At Arbor Teas, we believe tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. We’re happy to make recommendations to get you started, but don’t hesitate to experiment! When brewing your tea, your main considerations are tea quantity, water temperature, and steeping time. We recommend black teas to be steeped for 3 to 5 minutes in water heated to a full, rolling boil. For the best flavor, use fresh water whenever possible, and avoid overboiling. Try not to steep your tea longer than necessary, as you’ll extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves. If you want a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea. And don’t forget to re-steep your tea leaves to get the most out of your leaf!

Looking for more info? Check out our How-To Guides and Eco-Brewing Tips!

Staff Perspectives

  • Jeremy

    "This tea is a nice bridge between an Indian Assam and a Darjeeling First Flush."

  • Aubrey

    "Our South Indian Black Tea reminds me of a sunny, late summer day."

Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Tea

Like all true tea, black tea offers many potential health benefits. Research has found that tea (Camellia sinensis) can have many positive effects on human health, including improved cardiovascular function, cancer risk reduction, improved immune function, improved oral health, and help with weight management. Tea is also full of polyphenols, which are a class of antioxidant that help your body maintain homeostasis and balance your stress levels. Black tea specifically has been found to regulate blood sugar in diabetics better than other types of tea, according to a study done by the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

For more information about the health benefits of black tea and other types of tea, and for direct sources of the above information, check out our Tea Health Benefits page!

Please note: the information above is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Customer Reviews

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  • 5
    So good

    Posted by Sarah Allison on 3rd Oct 2021

    My friend gave this tea to me and I *love* it. It's so flavorful. It tastes exactly how a full bodied black *should* taste. If you like black tea, you'll like this.

  • 5
    South Indian: Delicious tea

    Posted by Andrea Truppin on 14th Jul 2020

    This tea is really delicious. I was hesitant because it did not carry the name of a known region, such as Assam, but wherever it is from in South India, it is amazing. It's lighter than Assam, with a kind of undercurrent of something subtly floral. Works with a little milk but I'm sure it's also great plain as well. Haven't tried that yet.

  • 4

    Posted by Derek on 4th Jan 2017

    Mild in flavor, and very mild in astringency, which is a good thing.

  • 4

    Posted by Kara on 29th Apr 2016

    A standard, very solid black tea. If you're looking for an all-purpose, everyday black, pick this one.

  • 5
    Regular Black Tea

    Posted by Bryan on 3rd May 2015

    What can I say. Smells good, regular, high quality, smooth, black tea. Mild sweetness. Solid stuff

  • 4
    Must smell to fully appreciate

    Posted by Benjamin Hartwick on 30th Mar 2015

    One of the first things I notice about this tea is the smell! To me it smells like unburnt pipe tobacco. It has a comforting sweet smell of syrup of some sort, but not cloying at all. Having said that, my taste buds must be defunct because upon tasting the brewed tea, “sweet” is not the first adjective that comes to mind and yet many others who have reviewed this tea before me describe it as sweet. Perhaps I just equate “sweet” with “floral,” and if sweetness is a quality of this tea, then it’s sweetness is not floral but something more akin to molasses. In any event, there is certainly nothing bitter about it. It’s warm and comforting, but for me it is not an ideal tea to have first thing in the morning. I need more body first thing in the morning. I find myself switching to this by midmorning or early afternoon on a day when I am, for whatever reason, not craving Darjeeling. It has become one of my core go-to black teas. It could easily become an every day tea for me like Assam has become. Jeremy said that this tea was a bridge between the Assam and the Darjeeling first flush. I agree that it is similar to the Assam, although less malty, but I do not taste anything in it that alludes to the Darjeeling first flush. For me it lacks the floral quality that would allow for this comparison. If you’re looking for an every day black tea, this one is worth trying.

  • 4
    A nice, neat black

    Posted by Rajan on 6th May 2014

    This makes a wonderful morning brew but works just as well in the evenings, unlike the English Breakfast that is definitely for me only a morning starter. I like my Black slightly sweetened with a teaspoon of maple syrup but I figure this beauty would be fine without that addition. On a side note, I really like Arbor Teas - Organic, Fair Trade, Loose leaf and quick deliveries. My enjoyment of tea has increased manifold since I became a regular customer. Thanks!

  • 2
    Very mild flavor.

    Posted by Sam K on 13th Nov 2013

    This was possible the mildest black tea I've ever had. There was a slight sweetness but not much flavor. Next time I brew it I'm going to steep it longer (I brewed the first pot a full 5 minutes). Not bad tea, just nothing special.

  • 4
    Great, but black tea?

    Posted by Unknown on 3rd Sep 2013

    The other reviews are spot on it terms of a unique sweetness. Im amazed though this is "Black tea". It reminds me of oolong type teas but still good none the less. If your looking for a good strong cup of black tea id take a gander elsewhere

  • 5

    Posted by Joe P. on 2nd May 2013

    Deeply satisfying, rich dark carmel notes, similar to brown rice syrup or malt syrup. Delicious tea over ice. One of my new favorite black teas!

  • 5
    My favorite!

    Posted by Lauren on 20th Mar 2013

    Out of the ones I've tried, this is my favorite tea from Arbor Teas. It's rich, full-bodies, light on the astringency with a hint of sweet. Delicious!

  • 5
    Wonderful sweet, spicy flavor

    Posted by Andrew Coury on 5th Mar 2013

    This is one of my favorite teas as well. I find that steeping for the recommended 3 minutes leaves an astringency (though not bitterness) that requires milk. Steeping for only one minute, or steeping the leaves a second time reveals a full bodied sweetness, coupled with a spiciness reminiscent of vanilla or allspice. This makes for a very pleasant mid-morning tea.

  • 5
    great tea

    Posted by Unknown on 22nd Jan 2012

    This is one of my favorite teas, I always make sure to have some on hand to get through a tough work day. It has a distinctive sweet flavor (but not cloying or anything) that I've never experienced elsewhere. Highly recommended!

  • 4
    two different ratings

    Posted by Bill Edwards on 26th Oct 2008

    My adult son gives it a 5 but 3 from me averages a four. I am just more of a green fan. this is a wonderful full bodied black but I could not appreciate anything distinct about it. My son just said "this is great". He has good taste so give it a try!

  • 5
    Excellent black tea

    Posted by Unknown on 12th Aug 2008

    This is one of my favorite Black Teas. It has a very unique soft flavor and is almost sweet as described. It truly is a delight drinking this.

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