Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Tea Bits

Who are Producing Tea Too?!

Posted by Selina Law on

When we think of tea production, the first country that comes naturally to most of our minds is probably China, since China is the birthplace of tea. After China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Taiwan are all considered to be the traditional origins for tea. Together, teas from these five countries set the standards to which teas from all other nations are compared.

Today, at least forty-six countries over six continents are producing tea. While some countries consume nearly all the tea that they produce, others export practically all their tea. For example, Turkey is the fifth largest tea producer of the world, but its tea export amount is minimal because Turkey has the highest per capita tea consumption in the world, according to most surveys. Indonesia, on the other hand, has one of the lowest tea consumption rates in the world. It exports most of the tea it produces.

Although most of the tea growing countries are in Asia, the number of tea growing countries in Africa is almost just as many. As a matter of fact, Kenya is the world’s top exporter of black tea as of 2017 with a 23% share, followed by China (18%) and Sri Lanka (15%). Owing to each place’s unique terroir, history, purpose and market, teas from different regions, very often, have their own distinctive qualities.

Below are the 15 countries that produced the highest amount of tea (in metric tons) in 2017:

  1. China – 2,609,000
  2. India – 1,321,760
  3. Kenya – 439,858
  4. Sri Lanka – 307,720
  5. Turkey – 255,404
  6. Vietnam – 175,000
  7. Indonesia – 136,481
  8. Argentina – 82,000
  9. Bangladesh – 78,979
  10. Japan – 78,800
  11. Uganda – 53,887
  12. Malawi – 45,582
  13. Tanzania – 31,814
  14. Rwanda – 27,887
  15. Nepal – 24,200

In the U.S., the attempt to produce tea had started even before we became a nation. During these almost 300 years, there have been many ups and downs in this endeavor. So far, the most well-known tea plantation in the U.S. is probably the one in Charleston, South Carolina, which is currently owned by Bigelow Tea. Other known efforts are in Hawaii and Washington. The dollar value worth of tea we import is almost four times that of the tea we export.

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest (US) dollar value worth of tea during 2018:

  1. China - $1.8 billion (23% of total tea exports)
  2. Kenya - $1.4 billion (17.7%)
  3. Sri Lanka - $942.2 million (12.1%)
  4. India - $763.2 million (9.8%)
  5. United Arab Emirates - $295 million (3.8%)
  6. Germany - $252 million (3.2%)
  7. Vietnam - $225.1 million (2.9%)
  8. Poland - $203.1 million (2.6%)
  9. Japan - $142.2 million (1.8%)
  10. United Kingdom - $140.7 million (1.8%)
  11. United States - $124.4 million (1.6%)
  12. Taiwan - $111.9 million (1.4%)
  13. Indonesia - $108.4 million (1.4%)
  14. Russia - $97.9 million (1.3%)
  15. Malawi - $91.6 million (1.2%)

By value, the listed 15 countries shipped 85.7% of global tea exports in 2018.

New Tea vs. Aged Tea

Recently, I have been hearing people buzzing about aged teas in China. Most often when people mention aged tea they are talking about pu-erh tea, but actually there is an interesting selection of aged teas beyond pu-erh. Tea farmers in China have been aging black tea, oolong and white tea as well. Even high quality green teas can be aged, [...]

Read More »

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea, originated from Fuzhou in China’s Fujian province, was first produced in the Song Dynasty more than a thousand years ago. During that time, the Chinese medical field was into capitalizing on the health benefits of aroma and tea, thus, many varieties of scented tea were created. Over the years, many of those scented teas disappeared, but jasmine [...]

Read More »

Tea Drinking 101

There are certain tea related questions that are repeatedly asked at my tea workshops. It may be a good idea for me to go over them here because they seem to be of interest to many people.Do white and green teas have caffeine?Yes, all true teas have caffeine. True teas, such as white, green, oolong, black and puerh, all [...]

Read More »

Different Ways to Decaffeinate Tea

If you love drinking tea but have issues with caffeine, you may want to explore the decaffeinated tea option. All true teas—teas made with leaves, buds, and other parts of the plant, camellia sinensis–contain caffeine. Most herbal “teas” come from a variety of different plants and do not contain caffeine; however, there are exceptions such as yerba mate, guayusa and yaupon. When [...]

Read More »

Ru Ware – The Rarest Song Ceramic

Finches and Bamboo, Emperor Huizong (Chinese, 1082–1135; r. 1100–25), Early 12th century Song dynasty (960-1279) saw a growth in agriculture, technology, trade and craftwork in China. It was the time when Chinese used gunpowder to produce the world’s first firearms, the movable clayblock printing was invented, and as China had advanced to a credit-based currency the world’s first paper money was [...]

Read More »

Tea Drunk

When we hear the word “drunk”, we usually associate it with people being in a compromised mental and physical state due to the effect of excessive alcohol consumption. Dictionaries define the adjective “drunk” as “affected by alcohol to the extent of losing control of one’s faculties or behavior.” Seldom do we associate intoxication with tea, but it is actually not uncommon [...]

Read More »

Ginger – “To peel, or not to peel?”

Ginger is a root that is widely used in not just cuisines around the world but also in many ancient medicinal practices. It has a variety of benefits from bringing relief to sore throat and cold and cough to treating nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women. It is said that Henry VIII used a ginger concoction in hopes of battling [...]

Read More »

Tulsi - Holy Basil

It may not be everyone’s tradition or belief system to pray to a Holy Basil plant every morning to ensure good health and well-being of his/her family, but this “Queen of the Herbs” from India carries many health benefits that most everybody can surely appreciate. Holy Basil is a cousin of the more common sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). Called Tulsi [...]

Read More »

Tea in the Great Outdoors

Picnic is almost synonymous with summer. It is a favorite way to spend a summertime meal. People have been eating outdoor for thousands of years. The origin on the word picnic is believed to be French—piquenique—which represents visiting friends with food and drinks. At these piqueniques, the attendees would all bring food to the occasion, similar to what we call [...]

Read More »