While most people might think they know the answer to this question, too many people get it wrong. But not even I could have predicted the top 10 as some of these countries I didn’t know you could even grow tea plants in them! But this is is a sign of the times and the position of them often changes with severe climate changes. More drought, less tea! Too cold, too wet, too sunny! But as of this year, this is the current top 10 list…
10 – Argentina (Annual Production in Tonnes: 40,545)
Wiki Info: The Argentine regions with the largest concentration of tea cultivation are the highlands of the Misiones and Corrientes provinces in northeastern Argentina, where the climate is hot and humid. The major plantations are on relatively flat land where highly mechanised production can occur. The growing season for tea is from November to May.
9 – Japan (Annual Production in Tonnes: 95,856)
Wiki Info: In the 14th century Ming Dynasty, southern China and Japan enjoyed much of the cultural exchange. Significant merchandise was traded and the roasting method of processing tea became common in Kyushu, Japan. Since the steaming and the roasting methods were brought to Japan during two different periods, these teas are completely distinct from each other.
8 – Indonesia (Annual Production in Tonnes: 130,015)
Info: Due to the lucrative business prospects of palm oil the country’s tea output has declined in recent years as some tea plantations were transformed into palm oil plantations, while other tea estates have been given up for the production of vegetables or other crops considered more profitable.
7 – USSR (Annual Production in Tonnes: 150,785)
Wiki Info: By the end of the 18th century, tea prices had moderately declined. The first local tea plant was set in Nikitsk botanical gardens in 1814, while the first industrial tea plantation was established in 1885.The tea industry did not take off until World War I, and greatly expanded following World War II.
6 – Turkey (Annual Production in Tonnes: 152,600)
Wiki Info: Most of the tea produced in Turkey is Rize tea, a terroir from Rize Province on the eastern Black Sea coast, which has a mild climate with high precipitation and fertile soil. This tea is usually processed as black tea.
5 – Vietnam (Annual Production in Tonnes: 214,354)
Wiki Info: Vietnamese teas are produced in many areas that have been known for tea-house “retreats”. For example, some are located amidst the immense tea forests of the Lamdong highlands, where there is a community of ancient Ruong houses built at the end of the 18th century. Vietnam has the world’s oldest trees, dating back to 1000 years.
4 – Sri Lanka (Annual Production in Tonnes: 340,290)
Wiki Info: The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall of the country’s central highlands provide a climate that favours the production of high-quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1867 by James Taylor, a British planter who arrived in 1852.
3 – Kenya (Annual Production in Tonnes: 432,455)
Wiki Info: Tea is a major cash crop that is grown in Kenya. Kenya tea has been the leading major foreign exchange earner for the country. Most tea produced in Kenya is black tea, with green tea, yellow tea, and white tea produced on order by major tea producers.
2 – India (Annual Production in Tonnes: 1,208,780)
Wiki Info: The Indian Tea Association was founded in 1881 to protect the interests of tea planters in British India and to promote the consumption of Indian tea. It had offices in London and in India and It also laid down rules for the recruitment of labour for the plantations and in the early twentieth century attempted to raise the standards of treatment of labourers.
1 – China (Annual Production in Tonnes: 1,924,457)
Wiki Info: The practice of drinking tea has a long history in China, having originated there. Although tea originated in China, during the Tang Dynasty, Chinese tea generally represents tea leaves which have been processed using methods inherited from ancient China. According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2737 BCE when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into water the emperor was boiling.