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The (Almost) A – Z of Tea Producers

The consensus seems to be that tea is grown in about 40 countries around the world. Some of the powerhouse producers, such as China and India, account for much of the world’s total, while tea growing in some other nations — like the United States and England — is more of a novelty. Below is a rundown of the few of the world’s notable tea growing nations and regions.

As for the “almost” in the title, coming up with an entry for the letters L, O, P, and X was more than I could manage. If you can think of any, feel free to leave a note in the comments.

Where was your tea grown?
Where was your tea grown?

A state in India and the world’s largest single tea-growing region. Not to be confused with China, the world’s largest tea-growing nation, which is comprised of many growing regions.

If you grew up in my generation you probably know of Bangladesh as the country Beatle George Harrison and others gave a much-publicized concert to benefit. Located in the same general vicinity of the Indian states of Assam and Darjeeling, Bangladesh is the world’s 11th largest tea producer.

The powerhouse of tea production, China is not only tops in quantity grown, but is also the first country to have a tea culture, as well as being the producer of a number of outstanding black, green, oolong, white, yellow and puerh varieties.

A region in northeastern India that produces modest amounts of a premium black tea renowned for its distinctive aroma and flavor.

Never a significant producer of tea on their own shores in spite of being avid consumers. Tea is currently only grown in England at Tregothnan Estate in the western part of the country.

A province in eastern China that’s probably best known for its output of Wuyi oolong, a tea grown in the vicinity of the northern Wuyi Mountains.

Tea accounts for about of one-third of the agricultural output of this former Soviet republic, but they are not considered a major producer in the overall scheme of things.

Aside from South Carolina and Washington, the only state in the U.S. that currently produces a significant amount of tea.

The world’s second largest tea producer, after China. Comprised primarily of the Assam, Darjeeling and Nilgiri growing regions.

The world’s eighth largest tea-grower. Primarily known for its output of a wide range of green teas.

An African country that’s ranked third in the world for tea production, Kenya is primarily known for its output of black tea.

A small country in eastern Africa that grows the most tea on the continent, after Kenya. Ranked 12th worldwide in tea production.

After Assam and Darjeeling, the other well-known tea-growing region in India. As with the other Indian regions, is best known for producing black tea.

Nonsuch Estate Tea
Nonsuch Estate Tea

A region in China’s Anhui Province that’s best known for being the home of a type of black tea known as Keemun.

One of six main tea-growing regions in Sri Lanka. Located just east of the capital city of Colombo.

Sri Lanka
Formerly known as Ceylon (tea grown there is still called Ceylon), this island nation off the shores of India has been turning out black tea for more than a century following a failure of the thriving coffee crop there in the late nineteenth century.

Best known for its high-quality oolong tea, the island of Taiwan was formerly known as Formosa, a name still given to some of the varieties of tea grown there.

A Japanese city renowned for its production of high-quality green tea, which has been grown in the area for nearly a thousand years.

The world’s sixth largest tea producer.

A mountain range in the northern region of China’s Fujian province. The point of origin for a number of popular tea varieties, most notable among them Wuyi oolong.

Located in southern China, Yunnan province is a producer of a number of varieties of tea, including several well-known black teas and the post-fermented type known as puerh.

Zambia & Zimbabwe
Neighboring countries in southern Africa that grow modest amounts of tea.

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5 responses to “The (Almost) A – Z of Tea Producers”

  1. […] gone through the alphabet according to tea a few times already, including The A-Z of Tea Types, The (Almost) A – Z of Tea Producers, and The A-Z of Tea Terms, but it seemed like a good time to take another shot at it, taking a look […]

  2. […] The (Almost) A – Z of Tea Producers, By William I. Lengeman, III […]

  3. There’s also a tea farm getting underway in California though it may be some time before they produce any tea.

  4. You forgot the mainland USA, there are 3 places here that grow and sell tea.
    Well done, anyway! Lot of reasearch there.

    1. Actually, Bill mentions South Carolina and Washington under “Hawaii”, since he already had covered “C” and “W”. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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