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Tea Leaves Production By Country (Top 46 Countries)

Tea is a popular beverage that people around the globe love. The production of tea leaves is a significant industry in several nations, contributing to employment and international trade. Depending on a country’s climate, geography, and history, the type and quality of Tea produced will vary. In this article, we will investigate the top tea-producing nations and examine the varieties of Tea grown and consumed in each region. 


Cultivation of Tea Leaves

The majority of tea leaves are grown in warm and subtropical areas. The first step in growing Tea is planting seedlings or cuttings in the dirt that drains well and gets plenty of sunlight and rain. The bushes are cut back often to help them grow, and they are picked every few weeks during the growing season. The leaves are then spread out to dry, rolled, and oxidised to get the right flavour and smell. The leaves are then dried and put into grades based on how big and good they are.

Facts about Tea Leaves Production:

  • China produces the most Tea worldwide. About 49% of all Tea made in the world comes from China.
  • India is the second-largest tea producer in the world. It makes up about 19.4% of all the Tea made in the world. The Indian areas of Darjeeling and Assam are known for their high-quality Tea.
  • Kenya is the third biggest tea producer in the world. It makes up about 8% of all the Tea in the world. Kenya makes mostly black Tea, mixed with other teas to make tea leaves.
  • Turkey is the fourth-largest tea producer in the world. It makes up about 5% of the world’s Tea. Tea is an important part of Turkish society and is often served in small glasses with sugar cubes.
  • China and Japan are the main places that make green Tea, while India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya are the main places that make black Tea.
  • After water, Tea is the second most popular drink in the world.
  • Tea comes from East Asia and the plant that makes it grows best in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • Portuguese monks and merchants brought Tea to the West in the 16th century. By the 17th century, Tea was very popular in England.
  • There are many different kinds of Tea, such as black, green, oolong, white, and Herbal. Every kind of Tea has a different taste and health perks.
  • The United places only make a little Tea, but places like Alabama, Hawaii, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, and Mississippi are growing their tea industries.

The following are the top 5 tea leaf-producing countries:

1. China

China is the world’s largest producer of tea leaves, producing 13.8 million tonnes in 2021. Most of the country’s Tea is grown in the southern and eastern parts of China. Fujian, Zhejiang, Yunnan, Anhui, and Hunan are the most important tea-growing areas.

The time of year when Tea is picked in China, depends on the type of Tea and where it is grown. Most of the time, the first tea gathering of the year takes place between March and April. This Tea is thought to be the best of the year.

Green Tea, Black Tea, oolong tea, and white Tea are the most popular types of Tea made in China. China is known for its high-quality green teas, like Dragonwell (Longjing) tea, made in Zhejiang province near Hangzhou. 

2. India

India is the second biggest producer of tea leaves in the world after China, with over 5.5 million tonnes produced in 2021. India’s tea gardens are mainly in the states of Assam, West Bengal, and Tripura, which are in the northeast, and in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, which are in the south. Most of the Tea made in India is black Tea, but smaller amounts of green and white Tea are also made.

The Darjeeling region of West Bengal is known for making high-quality, premium Tea in high demand in foreign markets. People often call the Tea from Darjeeling the “Champagne of Teas” because it smells like flowers and fruit. Polyphenols, potent antioxidants with many health benefits, are also high in Indian tea leaves.

3. Kenya

Kenya is the world’s third-biggest producer of tea leaves, and tea leaves are one of its most important cash crops. In 2021, the country produced more than 2,300,000 tonnes of tea leaves. Tea is made all over the country, but the mountains West of the Rift Valley, the foothills of Mount Kenya, and the Kisii region are some of the most important places to grow Tea.

Kenya mainly grows black Tea, which has a strong flavour and smell. Many Kenyans make most of their money from the tea business, giving them direct and secondary jobs. It is also a very important part of the country’s income since Tea is one of the most valuable exports for Kenya.

4. Turkiye

Turkey is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea leaves, with approximately 1.45 million tonnes produced in 2021. Rize, Trabzon, Artvin, and Giresun are the main provinces in Turkey that produce Tea. As Tea is a popular beverage in Turkish culture, most of Turkey’s tea production is consumed locally.

The optimal climate for tea cultivation occurs during the six months between May and October. In contrast to Sri Lanka and India, where harvests continue throughout the year, Turkish Tea must be harvested three times yearly to be profitable.

Rize Tea and Caykur Tea are the two principal types of Tea cultivated in Turkey. Rize tea is a black tea named after the Turkish city of Rize, the epicentre of tea production. Caykur tea, on the other hand, is a tea brand produced by the Caykur state-owned company.

5. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the world’s fifth-largest tea-producing country, producing approximately 1.3 million tonnes in 2021. Tea production in Sri Lanka dates back to the 1860s when British planters seeking to replace disease-ravaged coffee with a new crop introduced Tea to the country.

Ceylon black and green tea are the two significant tea varieties in Sri Lanka. The former is Sri Lanka’s most extensively produced and exported variety of Tea. In addition, Tea is cultivated in numerous regions throughout the nation, including the Central Highlands, which are renowned for producing high-quality Tea.

Tea is one of the country’s primary exports and a significant economic contributor. The industry employs a significant number of individuals, especially in rural areas. United Arab Emirates, Russia, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Kingdom, Egypt, Libya, and Japan are Sri Lankan tea’s most important external markets. 

Which country is the leading tea exporter in the world?

China dominated the world’s tea export market in 2021, with exports valued at approximately 2.30 billion U.S. dollars. Sri Lanka and Kenya were also significant tea exporters in the same year.

Which country is the top tea importer in the world?

In 2021, Pakistan was the top country in the world that imported Tea, with purchases worth about 598 million U.S. dollars. That same year, the United States came in second with a worth of about 532 million U.S. dollars for its tea imports.

Here is a list of the largest Tea leaf-producing countries, according to the FAO:

RankCountryTotal Production (In Tonnes)
1China 13,768,883
2India 5,482,186
3Kenya 2,338,000
4Türkiye 1,450,000
5Sri Lanka 1,302,000
6Vietnam 1,073,000
7Indonesia 563,000
8Bangladesh 393,000
9Argentina 339,288
10Uganda 320,737
11Malawi 205,351
12Rwanda 149,627
13Tanzania 120,000
14Myanmar 115,848
15Nepal 103,000
16Thailand 98,715
17Iran 83,473
18Japan 78,100
19Zimbabwe 65,385
20Burundi 50,357
21Mozambique 30,657
22Taiwan 11,883
23Laos 10,719
24Ethiopia 10,490
25Malaysia 7,078
26Cameroon 5,559
27Papua New Guinea 5,551
28DR Congo 4,055
29Georgia 2,900
30Republic of Korea 2,334
31South Africa 1,807
32Peru 1,707
33Ecuador 1,622
34Bolivia 1,209
35Azerbaijan 1,178
36Mauritius 1,097
37Zambia 932
38El Salvador 632
39Guatemala 552
40Brazil 469
41Madagascar 403
42Russian Federation 229
43Colombia 223
44Montenegro 100
45Mali 92
46Seychelles 8

Lastly, Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and millions of people in developing countries depend on it as their primary source of income. China, India, Kenya, Turkey, and Sri Lanka are some countries that make the most Tea. There are many different kinds and types of Tea made in these countries. For example, China produces the most green Tea, and Kenya exports black Tea.

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