The fact is, there is far more than five countries that produce great tea, but there are 5 countries where tea is produced in such large quantities that they can be considered the largest tea producers in the world. By a large margin most of the tea in the world is made in either China or India but there are a few other countries that come close such as Kenya, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
Top 5 Countries Where Tea Is Produced
Tea Production in China
China takes the lions share of the world’s tea production at an estimated 1 million tonnes annually. And although other countries are slowly catching up to their tea dynasty they still retain the crown as the largest tea producer in the world.
China has long since been the global leader in tea production and for good reason. They have a long storied history with Tea dating as far back as 5000 years ago in 2732 B.C. As the story goes an ancient Shen Nung was drinking hot water when a leaf from a nearby plant fell into the drink creating Tea as we know it today. And whether that folklore turns out to be true or not, tea has since become a staple in Chinese culture and a very important export.
Tea Production in India
Easily the second biggest producer of Tea is India. Coming close at 900,000 Tonnes of produced annually, India is quickly covering the gap and getting closer and closer to being the worlds largest tea producer.
The popularity of tea in India can largely be linked to the British. Back in 1920 they were said to have brought tea to India in hopes of disrupting the Chinese tea monopoly. Which seemed to have worked as the popularity of the drink has grown immensely since then.
Tea Production in Kenya
As the biggest producer of Tea in all of Africa, Kenya takes the third spot in terms of annual tea production at 300,000 tonnes. Which is around a third of India’s total production despite the country only having about 4% of the population that India has.
Tea is one of the chief exports in Kenya and is very crucial to their economy. Tea production in Kenya began as early as 1903 but the widespread commercialization of their tea didn’t begin until 1923. Known mostly for their Black Teas, Kenya owes a lot of economic successes to this crop.
Tea Production in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is another notable producer that makes nearly just as much tea as Kenya. At 295,000 tonnes the different in quantity between them and Kenya is negligible.
Another country that largely owes it’s tea popularity to the British, Sri Lanka’s connections to this plant can be dated back to 1824. Their tea have been a driving force in their economy in recent years.
Tea Production in Turkey
Lastly on our list Tukey produces upwards of 175000 tonnes of tea annually. Although there is a notable gap between Turkey and the rest of the countries on this list they are easily the fifth largest producer of tea.
Tea is largely rooted in Turkish history as it’s commonly accepted to offer tea to guests. Although Turkey is primarily known for their coffee tea is often offered as an alternative.
Other Notable Tea Producing Countries
Just missing out on this list there is a few countries that should be talked about when gathering the top countries in the world for tea. Indonesia, Viet Nam, Japan, The Republic of Iran and Argentina all each produce around 100,000 of tea per year as well and are all major contributors to the global tea economy.
Notably excluded from this list is England. Along with China, England has long been synonymous with tea consumption. Why were they left out of the list of 5 countries where tea is produced? Although they rank 4th globally for tea consumption per capita they don’t actually produce that much of it themselves. They mostly rely on imports from other countries.