Thursday, August 09, 2012

Where Does Tea Come From?

teaDid you know tea is the second most popular beverage in the entire world?  It is second only to water!  Its popularity can probably be attributed to the cooling – slightly bitter – astringent flavors.  Also, the abundance of health benefits associated with tea definitely don’t hurt the beverage’s reputation!  Tea has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, the ability to regulate food intake, and the capacity to suppress pain and nausea while providing calming effects.

While the popularity of the beverage is world-wide, very few countries actually have the ability to produce tea.  So, where do all these helpful, yummy leaves come from?  Approximately ninety percent of the world’s tea comes from Asian countries.  More interestingly, the majority of the world’s tea production happens in just ten countries.

The World’s Ten Leading Tea Producing Countries

Iran is number ten in the world’s tea production. Its annual production of tea is approximately sixty thousand tons, landing it in the top ten list. Iran is actually known for its red Iranian tea, which is drank locally and exported all around the world.

Argentina is the only country in South, Central, or North America that is on the list. It sits so high (at number nine) because of its 76,000 tons of tea per year.

Japan comes in at number eight, producing over 110,000 tons of tea, including green tea. Tea is an important part of Japanese custom.

Indonesia is number seven on the list. While many people know Indonesia for its delicious coffee, it is also a leader in tea production for over 150,000 tons of tea per year.

Vietnam lands the sixth spot because of the 174,900 tons of tea it produces each year. The province of Lam Dong is the largest tea producer in all of Vietnam and grows 27% of the country’s tea.

Did you know that Turkey produces almost 200,000 tons of tea per year? That makes it the fifth largest tea producer in the world.

Sri Lanka’s tea production totals 318,470 tons per year. This constitutes nine percent of the world’s tea and makes them the fourth largest tea producer in the world.

Kenyais the third largest tea producer in the world with over 345,800 tons annually.

Indiais second on the list because it produces over 800,000 tons of tea per year. This is almost one-quarter of the world’s tea production.

Finally, Chinais number one with well over one million tons of tea per year.  With such a flourishing tea trade, it isn’t surprising to learn that 15% of the total land area in China is used for crop production.

Guest blogger Doug Adams works in web design (learn more here).  He was recently hired to design a site for a local tea room.  In the beginning, he was woefully ignorant of the popularity of tea.  After doing some research for his client, he finds himself more intrigued by the beverage with each passing day!