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Largest Tea Producing Countries in the World

Tea is the most globally consumed hot beverage on the planet. For the most part, tea is the preferred morning beverage. Tea is thought to have started as a medicinal drink in China in the 17th century. It eventually expanded to the United Kingdom and is now grown all over the world.

The British brought tea manufacturing and consumption to India to compete with the Chinese monopoly on tea. As a result, many countries are noted for their distinct tea flavors and high tea production rates.

Tea has its own set of advantages. It improved cancer prevention, cognitive health, weight loss and waist circumference, and muscle endurance and oxidation.

Tea comes in over a thousand different varieties, with the most common being white, green, oolong, and black being the most prevalent. The degree of oxidation varies between these classifications.

It is a list of the top 10 tea-producing countries in the world.

1. China


2,400,000 TONNES

When it comes to mass production, China is at the top of the board. China produces 2.4 million tonnes of tea, accounting for 40% of the global output. Yunnan, Guangdong, and Zhejiang provinces are the primary producers. Tea has always been an essential element of the country’s social fabric and its economic development and daily life.

Emperor Shennong is said to have invented tea when he drank heated water into which leaves had fallen by accident. The emperor was fascinated by science and had issued an order mandating that all drinking water be boiled for sanitary reasons.

As a result, when he noticed the hot water turning a brownish color from the leaves, he was enthralled and drank the water out of curiosity.

Tea was initially being used as a medication in ancient China; over hundreds of years, it gradually moved to be considered first as a tonic, then as a beverage, as it is today.

Tea is primarily grown in China’s south and east provinces, where the climate is humid and varies from tropical to subtropical. However, tea is also grown commercially west of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and as far north as Shandong province.

China is recognized for its diverse tea varieties, which include anything from green to black to Oolong tea. Tea drinking has a thriving culture, with particular attention devoted to the taste and environment it is enjoyed.

2. India


900,000 TONNES

India produces 900,000 tonnes of tea per year, making it the world’s second-largest producer. The crop was initially commercially introduced by the British in 1824 to compete with China’s monopoly on tea production. For almost a century, India was the world’s largest producer of tea.

With tens of thousands of tea plantations spread across the country, including prominent types like Darjeeling and Assam, India’s tea business is massive. As a result, India consumes more than half of its tea production, making it a tea-drinking nation of a billion people.

Its beautiful steep hills are perfect for tea cultivation. With a 70% domestic market, India also exports to the Russian Federation, Iran, and Pakistan. Several prominent Western tea brands, including Lipton, Tetley, Twinings, and Typhoo, have been acquired by Indian tea firms. However, most Indian tea garden entrepreneurs have concentrated their efforts on exporting to markets such as Europe and Russia. Makaibari, Dharmsala Tea Company, and a few more companies are among the few that have focused on brand development.

Tea consumption per capita in India is still low, at 750 grams per person per year. However, in August 2021, total tea exports totaled US$ 75.38 million. After Kenya, China, and Sri Lanka, India ranks fourth in terms of tea exports.

In addition to developmental and regulatory tasks, the Tea Board of India engages in direct promotional operations. Organizing collaborative participation in international fairs and exhibitions, scheduling buyer-seller meetings, and sending and hosting trade delegations are all part of it. It also conducts market research, market analysis, consumer behavior tracking, and dissemination of pertinent information to exporters and importers, among other things.

3. Kenya

305,000 TONNES

Kenya is Africa’s leading tea-producing country. Every year, they gather little around 305,000 tonnes of tea. Kenya is the world’s leading producer of black tea. 90% of Kenyan tea is grown on small farms with less than an acre of land.

Its proximity to the equator ensures plenty of sunlight and ideal growing conditions for the plants. As a result, tea production has substantially contributed to Kenya’s economy and will continue to do so in the future. With over 80,000 people working on the estates and nearly 3 million people earning a living from the tea industry, it is the largest employer in the private sector.

The Kenya Tea Packers Association (KeTePa) has agreed to market tea in the United States through Tabai Tea. Kenyan tea will gain 10% of the market as a result of this. In addition, safari Tea Canada and KTDA have established an agreement to commercialize tea in Canada.

Kenya has created cultivars that are more suited to their soil and weather circumstances, resulting in higher yields. In addition, the government is assisting farmers in their efforts to grow tea.

In 1903, GWL Caine was the first to bring tea to Kenya. Malcolm Bell was sent out specifically for that purpose in 1924 to commercialize it for Brooke Bond fully.

4. Sri Lanka


300,000 TONNES

Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth-largest tea producer. Making a name for itself in the country, the plant has grown to a weight of 340,230 tons. Sri Lanka is well-known for producing high-quality tea. The government initially took over the British-established plantations in the 1960s.

The contour planting method is used to grow tea. Ceylon black, Ceylon white, and Ceylon white tea are the three main types produced. Tea production is currently the country’s primary industry, accounting for 2% of GDP.

In the central mountains, roughly 17% of the world’s tea production is farmed. Teas such as Dimbula, Kenilworth, and Uva, as well as Ceylon, are grown here.

For October 2021, tea exports totaled 24.34 million kgs. The country’s central highlands have a climate that encourages the production of high-quality tea due to the humidity, cold temperatures, and rainfall.

5. Turkey

175,000 TONNES

In Turkish culture, tea is very important, and it is still the most popular hot beverage. However, tea became popular in Turkey only in the twentieth century. It produces 225,000 tons of tea leaves in a very tiny area of the city of Rize. In 1888, Turkey received its first tea seedlings from Japan and China.

Turkey produces 175,000 metric tons of tea. The most famous black tea in the world is from Turkey. Today, the Turkish government produces 65 percent of all Turkish tea – mostly black tea – while the private sector makes the other 35 percent. Turkey has increased the amount of tea it exports in recent years. Most of its tea is bound for European Union countries, former Soviet republics, India, and the United States.

Using a samovar to generate a strongly concentrated brew that is then diluted to taste extra water is the traditional way of making Turkish tea. It’s usually served in glass cups like the one on the left, and sugar is generally added but not milk. Various caffeine-free herbal teas, such as sage and linden blossom tea, are also popular in Turkey.

In the first nine months of 2021, Turkey earned $13 million 212 thousand from tea exports to 115 countries. Turkish tea is popular among visitors to the nation. They consume, and this contributes significantly to economic exports.

6. Indonesia


157,000 TONNES

The black tea of Indonesia is well-known around the world. It is because black tea accounts for the majority of the 157,388 tons produced. During colonial authority, the Dutch East India Company introduced the crop in the 1700s, making predominantly black and green teas from Indian Assam varietals.

Catechin, a natural phenol, and antioxidant that aids in the maintenance of a healthy gut and heart, is abundant in Indonesian teas, which are well-known around the world.

The atmospheric conditions are practically perfect for the production of black tea in this country. State-owned corporations often manage Indonesia’s large tea plantations. Russia, the United Kingdom, and Pakistan are the top export destinations.

7. Vietnam

117,000 TONNES

Vietnam is in the 7th position with 117,000 tonnes. During their colonial authority, the French introduced the crop to them. 

For thousands of years, tea has been firmly ingrained in their society. 

Tea is also seen as a contemplative activity in Vietnam and something to be consumed while studying.

It primarily produces black tea, while it also produces jasmine and Shan Tuyet in limited numbers. Vietnam’s government is likewise working hard to increase tea yield.

Tea is produced in both large and small scale industries in this country. In addition, it exports a significant amount of tea to other countries.

8. Japan


89,000 TONNES

In Japan, tea is the most common and popular beverage, and it is the centerpiece of tea rituals. As a result, around 89,000 tonnes of tea are produced there.

Buddhist monks may have brought tea to the islands as early as the sixth century. During the sixth century AD, the usage of tea became more widespread. [36] When Japanese priests and envoys sent to China to learn about the culture brought tea back to Japan, it became a drink of the religious classes.

Three of Japan’s four islands have favorable climates for tea production. Green Sencha and Green Matcha are two of Japan’s most famous tea exports today. However, they consume most of the output, leaving only 2% of the entire 88,900 tons for export.

Green tea is Japan’s most popular beverage. Surprisingly, green tea accounts for 99.9% of all Japanese tea production. 

However, Japan has a limited amount of land available for tea production expansion. Therefore, steamed tea is the most common type of tea in Japan.

9. Iran

84,000 TONNES

The central production hub for Iranian tea is Gilan, which is located in northern Iran. Lahijan was the first town in Iran to develop tea plantations, according to history. The most prevalent type of tea is black tea.

Due to trade along the historic Silk Road, tea first debuted as a drink in that region in the 15th century, and it quickly became popular. However, it wasn’t until 1899 that Prince Mohammad Mirza sneaked tea trees from India into the city of Lahijan and began producing the crop, with the country’s first modern tea factory opening in 1934.

Lahijan has the most significant area of tea plantation in Iran because of its mild climate, good soil, and abundant spring water. As a result, the most extraordinary grade tea produced in the country is “Lahijan Spring Tea.” In addition, tea is grown in Gilan’s other cities, such as Fuman and Roudsar.

Compared to the same period last year, tea production grew by 25% in the first five months of this year (from March 21 to August 21). From March 21 to July 21, the country exported 3,800 tons of tea.

10. Argentina

70,000 TONNE

Argentina Is the only American country in South America, to be precise, that ranks in the top 10 producers. With a total tea production of 69,924, it primarily produces black tea. Tea is an essential aspect of Argentine culture.

When the Argentine government encouraged farmers to experiment with various crops in the 1920s, tea was introduced. In the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Formosa, Chaco, and Tucuman, hybridized black and green teas were introduced.

The government has shown a strong interest in the country’s tea production. It has conducted regular research and has come up with many new ideas or initiatives to advance the country to greater heights in the world.

Only approximately 5% of Argentina’s tea production is consumed locally; the remainder of the country’s tea production is exported worldwide.

In terms of domestic consumption, the most popular tea in Argentina is Yerba Mate (which has an earthy and bitter flavor profile).


Tea is a popular beverage all around the world. A staple in millions of kitchens around the world and billions of cups are consumed every day. However, tea has evolved into more than just a beverage; it has evolved into an experience shared among friends and family.

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