How many tea producing countries are there worldwide? To date there are 61. Some of these may surprise you and I would venture that many you have never heard of as a supplier of tea.
Here are the top 10:
4. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
6. Viet Nam
Some countries, for example India, Kenya and Australia grow tea that was transplanted there by the English. While tea is native to India as well, it had not been recognized as the Camellia Sinensis that grew in China at the time. The English “stole” tea plants from China to plant in India when their relationship with China was deteriorating.
This part of teas' history requires it's own post to include all of the background that led up to it. There are several books that have been written on the subject. Two of my favorites that you might enjoy are For All The Tea In China, by Sarah Rose and The Ulitmate Tea Lover's Treasury, by James Norwood Pratt.
A few of the other tea producing countries are Bangladesh, Portugal, Chile, Laos, Iran, Ecuador, Madagascar, France, United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Russia and Zimbabwe.
You will find teas from different locations have different flavor profiles. This is because tea absorbs the flavors and aromas in the ground and air around it (which is why you should never keep your tea in a spice cabinet). When tasting and comparing teas you will discover the subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences.
Cheers to a Cuppa,
P.S. If you love tea and would like to learn more about it, be sure to sign up for my newsletter where I will soon be announcing the opportunity to participate in an on-line tea tasting class with me.