Where is tea grown?

2 January 2022  |  Olivia

Where is tea grown?

Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world and studies have shown after water it is one of the most widely consumed drinks in the UK with a staggering 100 million cups per day.

There is nothing like a cup of tea and it, especially with your favourite cake or pastry.

But where exactly is tea grown?

Tea is mainly grown in Asia, Africa, South America, and around the Black and Caspian Seas.

The four biggest tea-producing countries today are China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya; together they represent 75% of world production.

Ever since it was first discovered in China in 2737 BC tea has been one of the most popular drinks across the world.

Today tea is cultivated all over the world, primarily in Asia and Africa, but it is commercially produced by more than 60 countries.

The Top 10 Tea Producing Countries

The top 10 producing countries are in order, based on data published in 2021 are

1 China - 2.4 million tonnes are produced annually and It is primarily grown in the provinces of Yunnan, Guangdong, and Zhejiang.

2 India - 900,000 tonnes are produced annually making it the world’s second largest producer of tea with the crop being grown in bulk across Darjeeling, Nilgri and Assam

3 Kenya - 305,000 tonnes are produced annually which makes Kenya the top tea producing country in Africa. Kenya also claims the accolade of the world’s top black tea producing country, with teas grown in the Kericho region, the Nyambene Hills and Nandi.

4 Sri Lanka - just under 300,000 tonnes are produced annually which is around 17% of the world’s tea crop, grown in the central mountains.

5 Turkey - 175,000 tonnes are produced annually in Turkey, which historically sat squarely on the ancient trades routes between east and west.

6 Indonesia - 157,000 tonnes are produced annually and the crop was introduced in the 1700’s by the Dutch East India Company during colonial rule, producing mostly black and green teas from Indian Assam varieties. The Indonesian climate allows these tea varieties to thrive.

7 Vietnam - 117,000 tonnes are produced each year; The French introduced the crop during their period of colonial rule.

8 Japan - 89,000 tonnes are produced annually, mostly green tea in the regions of Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Uji. Tea has enormous cultural significance in Japan; it’s their most popular drink and is central to tea ceremonies.

9 Iran - 84,000 tonnes are produced annually in Iran and the Caspian sea region of Gilan.

10 Argentina - 70,000 are produced annually and whilst South America is more widely known for coffee production, Argentina primarily produce black tea varieties of Indian origin.


Tea was first discovered, according to historians by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, who first tasted the beverage when he and his soldiers were busy sheltering under a tree.  Several windblown leaves fell into a pot of boiling water, which infused into the water and tea as a beverage became a reality.

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