Centuries ago, tea was born in China. Before long, it crossed the sea to Japan and then was transplanted far and wide. Today, tea is cultivated on lush hills, high mountains and coastal regions in a geographic belt that runs from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn. The great teas of the world, however, are grown and masterfully processed in a handful of countries: China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and Taiwan (Formosa).
Tea is produced in vast areas of China, mostly in the southern half of the country. The Chinese drink mainly green tea and produce some of the world’s rarest green teas, but they export mostly black tea. From the banks of the Aiushi River in the Wuyi Mountains, our Sky Between the Branches is a pure, hand-picked tea harvested only 10 days each spring that rarely makes its way beyond China’s borders.
The oldest living tea tree resides in China where it is said tea was discovered in the 5th century A.D.
India produces more tea than any country in the world. Home to many major tea-producing regions, the most celebrated are Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri. From these regions come some of the most exquisite teas in the world. Republic Darjeeling offers an excellent way to enjoy the pleasures of Indian tea.
Indian tea gardens are self-sustaining communities.
Japan is renowned for producing green tea and elevating its consumption to a fine art. Its three major tea-growing regions are Shizuka, Kagoshima, and Mie. Shizuoka, between Mt. Fuji and the Pacific Coast, is the country’s most prolific tea-growing region. The Republic’s Spring Cherry and Big Green Hojicha are perfect introductions into the world of Japanese Green Tea.
Bright green powdered matcha – a rare Japanese tea — is the star of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The verdant hills of the island of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), a few of them reaching up to 7,000 feet, are planted with some of the world’s finest teas. Most Ceylon tea is superior black tea, fully oxidized. The Republic of Tea’s USDA Certified Organic Ceylon Breakfast Tea offers a splendid way to welcome the day.
Tea was once a rarity in Sri Lanka – until the coffee crop failed and British grocery magnate Thomas Lipton converted coffee plantations to tea-growing in the 1880s.
The island of Taiwan was once known as Formosa, so you will hear the teas grown there still referred to as Formosan oolong teas. Cultivated at relatively low altitudes, most all of the teas processed on the island become oolong, a semi-fermented tea. Grown in the hills of Taiwan, our Wuyi Oolong Full Leaf Tea is prized for its silver-tipped leaves and pure peach notes.
The ancient Chinese teahouse culture flourishes in Taiwan.More Interesting Knowledge from The Citizens' Tea Library: