The top tea producing countries in Asia
It seems like coffee is the go-to thing, but in reality, the world runs on tea. Tea is the second most consumed beverage after water. With 5000 years of rich history, tea is known to have originated in China. Tea then gradually spreaded to UK in the 17th century, mainly through exports via Dutch East India Company. Having its hold there, tea became a ritual in the Royal Court of England and obviously became popular over the time.
China is the biggest tea producer in the world, with India and Sri Lanka following closely behind. As per certain studies carried out, China has produced 2.4 million tonnes of tea in 2016 alone-which is nearly 30-35% from the total amount of tea that was produced in the world that year.
Given China’s long history with the beverage – legend has it that tea was presented in China by ruler and cultivator Shennong in 2737 BCE. It has been used as everything from a refreshment to a medication and is at the focal point of innumerable social customs in the country. China is best known in the world for their green tea, with minimal processing, the green tea leaves has a rich earthy flavour.
While India produces nearly 1,325,050 tonnes each year, tea is a state drink and 70% of what is been produced is consumed by locals instead of exporting.
Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tea producer in the world and the second largest tea exporter producing nearly 349,308 tonnes each year. Unlike the teas that come from other countries, Ceylon tea has high regard and there’s a reason behind this. The love, care and expertise that goes into producing tea in Sri Lanka is what makes Ceylon Tea the finest and the most extraordinary. While tea production in most countries are machine bound (the CTC method), Sri Lanka still continues to stick to the harder way while respecting the age-old practices. Sri Lanka remains true to its orthodox manufacturing process- because the harder way is the best way to get quality tea.
Ceylon Tea is handpicked and packed fresh at the source to ensure the leaves maintain their natural state. Sri Lanka, although a small island, experiences varied climate and due to this the tea grown in one region differs to tea grown in another. They differ from the appearance, aroma and taste of the tea, which depends on the soil, the influence of rainfall, sunshine, wind and temperature of the region. Ceylon tea producers constantly nurture the topography and remain true to the artisanal way of producing it because they believe that there is no better tea-maker than Mother Nature. Sri Lanka produces three main varieties: Ceylon black, Ceylon green, and Ceylon white tea- one of those rarest teas in the world.