Traditional Countries of Origin for Tea

Posted by Amy R at

At the beginning of every month we send out our Tea Club selections with information about the month's teas along with some tea trivia, recipes, history, tea and food pairings, etc. I figured last month's tea history about the countries where tea started would be an interesting blog post too.

The five traditional originating countries of tea are:

  1. China: Tea started in China thousands of years ago and was consumed initially for it medicinal qualities. Today China is best known for their pan fired green teas.
  2. Japan: Buddhist monks brought steamed green tea from Japan to China in the ninth century AD. Green teas, including matcha, have continued their popularity in Japan.
  3. India: The British brought tea production to India in the mid nineteenth century. They preferred black tea and were the first to use machines to harvest and process tea.
  4. Sri Lanka: The British also set up large tea plantations in Sri Lanka. Today Sri Lanka is well known for their high quality Ceylon teas.
  5. Taiwan: Many of the original tea makers fled China and emigrated to Taiwan bringing their plants and knowledge of tea with them. These days Taiwan is well known for world-class oolongs.

More recently, tea is grown and processed in many countries, including Kenya, Turkey, Indonesia, Argentina and even the US; however the majority of the best teas available today still come from Asia. Next week, I'll be traveling to Japan on my first guided tea tour! I hope to be able to visit the other four countries on tea tours someday.

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