Tea growing countries
Drinking tea is valued for its pleasant taste in all cultures worldwide as it refreshes both the body and the mind and soothes the soul. Tea is derived from the tea plant Camellia sinensis L. Kuntze, which is cultivated in many countries.
China, India, Indonesia, Kenia and Sri Lanka count among the most important tea growing countries.
China is the largest tea producer worldwide. The main producing areas are Zhejiang, Hubei, Yunnan, Szechuan, Anhui and Fujian. China produces a big variety of green and black teas, as well as Oolong and other speciality teas. Every tea has its unique and distinguished flavour.
India is the second largest tea producing country in the world. Two-thirds of the tea production originates from the four tea growing regions in the north of India: Assam, Darjeeling, Dooars and Sikkim. One third is produced in Nilgiri and Kerala, both lying in the south of India.
Assam is the world`s largest coherent tea growing area and lies in the north part of the country on either side of the Bramputra river. Assam tea is valued for its full-bodied, malty, robust and strong flavour as well as its dark colour.
Darjeeling tea is grown on the foothills of the Himalayas, at an altitude of about 2,000 m (about 6560 ft). The flavour ranges from a mild, flowery and muscatel aroma to a tenderly bitter and spicy flavour.
Tea is grown on both, the island of Java and Sumatra. On the island of Java, aromatic top quality tea is cultivated during the dry period in August and September, while on the island of Sumatra tea can be harvested throughout the whole year. It is very popular to complement tea blends with the soft and subtle Indonesian teas.
Kenyan tea is grown in the highlands of east and west Great Rift Valley at an altitude between 1,500 to 2,000 m. Both, Kericho, which is also the largest coherent tea growing region in Kenia, and Limuru-Kiambu are the oldest area of tea cultivation in the country. The Limuru-Kiambu district is well known for its particularly fine tea quality. Kenyan tea has a remarkable strong and spicy aroma, partly with a slight “lemon flavour”.
Tea is cultivated in mainly 7 growing regions, namely: Uva, Dimbula, Uda Pussellawa, Nuwara-Eliya, Kandy, Sabaragamuva and Ruhuna. These extend from mid of the island to the south. Sri Lankan tea is either low-grown (up to 600 m high), medium-grown (between 600 and 1,200 m) or high-grown (over 1,200 m). Each level produces tea of unique character. That is why Sri Lankan tea can offer a very wide range of flavour. Some are full-bodied and strong with a dark colour; others are light and soft with a well-rounded aroma and bright golden colour.