Where Does Tea Come from?

  • Last edited: October 5, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. This is no surprise because tea has shown to have many health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and preventing cancer. Tea can also be a great source of antioxidants and anti-ageing compounds that help keep your skin youthful. But where does tea come from? This blog post will explore this question!

“Where does tea come from?” is a simple question but a lot can be said in order to answer it. There is scientific evidence that tea originally comes from China. Most sources suggest that it comes from Yunnan Province because there is fossil evidence that supports these claims. There are even tea trees in Yunnan that are thousands of years old!

What is tea?

Tea is a beverage brewed from the leaves of tea plants, as you can read in this article. The main types of tea are Green tea, Oolong tea, Dark Tea, White Tea, Yellow tea and Red tea. Each type differs in taste and nutrients but all contain antioxidants. For more information about the different types of tea, click here.

Don’t know where to buy tea online? I made a list of over 300 online tea shops and I keep updating it regularly. You can check it over here

The tea legend of Sheng Nong

Tea originated in China about 4000 years ago. The Chinese tea legend goes that tea was discovered by a Chinese emperor and tea lover named Shen Nong. In this legend, Shen Nong is known for studying plants and their benefits to human health.

One day he noticed that some tea leaves had fallen into boiling water and had been brewed. After tasting the tea, he realized tea’s deliciousness and health benefits and it became his favourite drink.

There are several different versions of this legend, but they all have the same meaning. The Chinese emperor tried tea by accident and fell in love with the magical brew. The rest is history…

The origin of tea according to science

Scientific research has discovered that tea is native to Eastern and Southeast Asia. According to the Tea Association of the USA, tea plants have existed for about 4-7 million years. It was only 6000 years ago that tea cultivation started in China. This information was found through fossil evidence from various tea plant remains.

It is debated who tea was first discovered by, however, tea has been drunk for thousands of years in China. Excavation sites have found tea from the mausoleum of emperors that were buried about 2000 years ago. These findings suggest that tea was being brewed or consumed before this time period.

According to tea expert Jane Pettigrew, the oldest tea trees in China are several thousand years old. These tea trees are located in the mountains of Yunnan Province in China.

Where else does tea grow?

Tea is cultivated in many places around the world besides China. For example, tea can be found in India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Japan.

In these countries, tea is grown on plantations similar to tea farms present in China.  The tea plants are cultivated in rows and are pruned regularly to maintain proper growth. Their leaves are harvested each year (or multiple times a year) and as tea grows back, tea-producing tea plants need to be managed regularly.

Tea is also grown commercially in countries such as Kenya and Iran where it is used in herbal teas or for making tea bags.  Some cultivars of the tea plant are quite sturdy and can be grown in a variety of climates around the world so tea can be found virtually anywhere tea plants are grown.

According to the Tea Association of the USA, important tea producing countries are China, India, Kenya, and Sri Lanka.

Tea production today

As tea has been around for such a long time, tea production and production regions have changed as time progressed. Today tea is produced by machines that pick, pluck and process the tea, which was not done when tea first began to be consumed.

In some areas, tea is still produced by hand without the use of machinery. It all depends on the market and the price of the tea. Expensive and more exclusive teas are usually produced by hand. Mass market tea is mostly made by machines because a lot more tea can be produced that way. If this kind of tea was made by hand, the producers would not be able to keep up with the rising demands.

Where does tea come from?

Tea is grown in many places around the world. The tea plant originated thousands of years ago in China but has been commercialized and cultivated all over the world since its discovery. Popular modern tea-producing countries are China, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Japan.

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