2022 witnesses a substantial recovery of the world’s economy after Covid-19. Demands for every good have positively fluctuated, including demand for tea sources. This article lists the world’s top tea producing countries in 2022. Let’s have an international journey to find impressive statistics about tea manufacturing hubs. 

Introduction

Tea is the second-most consumed beverage, just after water. Tea is produced from tea leaves or buds of the tea plant( Camellia sinensis). The origin of tea dates back to 2700 BCE in China. After that, that beverage was brought to Europe and then worldwide. Nowadays, drinking tea has become an inevitable activity in people’s daily life in many countries. 

Camellia sinensis, the primary source of tea leaves, is cultivated mainly in tropical and subtropical climates. The conditions are available in many parts of Asia. As a result, there is no surprise that eight countries in the top tea producing countries are located on this continent. 

Right now, let’s start our journey!

1. China- the world’s biggest tea producing country

China is the biggest tea producing country in the world
Shandong- China’s major green tea production base. Source: chinadaily.com.cn

China is the birthplace of tea and tea drinking culture. The country also accounts for the 1st position in tea producing and supplying for decades. Its tea manufacturing annual volume reaches many more than 2 million tonnes this year (approximately 40% of its tea weight). The export markets for Chinese tea are large, mainly in Europe, America, and Asia.  

Chinese tea has its typical aroma, taste, and features. The country is famous for multiple types of tea, including black tea, green tea, Pu’er tea, yellow tea, and flower tea.

China owns more than 2,000,000 hectares of tea land, distributed mainly in Yunan Province, Fujian Province, Hubei Province, Sichuan Province, and Hunan Province. These regions are ideal for high-grown tea farms. Tea plantation and production in China is a vital part of the economic development of this country.

With moderate and stable weather characteristics, China has ideal conditions for cultivating tea plants. Furthermore, human resources and geography are the two factors contributing to the growth of tea production in this country.

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2. India – the second-biggest tea manufacturing country

India is the second-biggest tea producing country in the world
Assam is the top producer of tea in India. Source: theindianblog.in

As a neighbor of China, India is known as the 2nd biggest tea-producing country globally, with approximately 1 million tonnes in 2022. 

The British introduced the tea crop was first introduced to India by the British in 1824 to compete with neighboring China’s tea production monopoly. However, with a billion tea drinkers internally, more than half of the tea production in this country is for domestic consumption.

In India, tea plants are mostly cultivated in Darjeeling, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nandu, Kerala, and Karnataka. Ten thousand tea gardens are distributed across the nation, with more than 600,000 hectares of tea land.

Primarily, Assam is the biggest tea producer in the country, with approximately 52% of the total tea produced in India coming from this State. 

3. Kenya – the third-largest tea manufacturing country

Kenya is the only African country to be listed in the top 10 tea producing countries globally. The country produces over  400 thousand tonnes of tea in 2022 and is regarded as the world’s largest exporter of black tea.

Regarding tea leave cultivation, it is estimated to have over 500,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers growing tea throughout the country, with roughly 236,000 hectares. Tea plants are distributed in famous regions, including the Kericho region, the Nyambene Hills, and Nandi.

While Kenya is in Africa, it is located near the equator making for ample sunlight and optimal conditions to grow the plants.

4. Sri Lanka- “ Ceylon land” for “ Ceylon tea”

Sri Lanka- among the world's top tea producing countries, is famous for Ceylon Tea
Ceylon tea- unique tea from Sri Lanka. Source: healthline.com

Sri Lanka is famous for its “ Ceylon tea,” unique in aroma, taste, and even brewing. The country is the fourth rank in the top list, with more than 340 thousand tonnes in 2022. In particular, Sri Lanka’s tea production accounts for 2% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year.

When talking about tea in Sri Lanka, people talk about orthodox as the country is the world’s largest exporter of this type of tea. 

Most tea farms are in Sabaragamuwa, Nuwara-Eliya, Dimbula, Ruhuna, Uva, Uda Pussellawa, and Kandy, with 200,000 hectares of tea land.

5. Vietnam- among the biggest suppliers of Black tea, Green tea, and Lotus tea

Vietnam is one of the biggest supplier of Black Tea, Green Tea, and Lotus Tea
Tea harvesting with the hand-picked method in Thai Nguyen Province, Vietnam. Source: pinterest.com

With the tropical climate and high-mountain plain across the country, Vietnam accounts for the fifth position in the list of top tea producing countries in the world. The country produces more than 200 thousand tonnes of tea this year. 

Vietnamese tea markets are broad and constantly expanding, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and America. Domestic tea drinkers typically prefer simple teas with minimal flavors, with green tea as the most popular variety. As a result, green tea is the most popular tea. In addition, Vietnam is famous for lotus tea, made by sealing green tea leaves into a lotus flower and leaving it to sit overnight so the leaves take on the flower’s fragrance. Lotus tea has a unique aroma, taste, and related culture of this national flower found across the country.

Tea farms in Vietnam are mostly located in Northern provinces such as Ha Giang, Thai Nguyen, Phu Tho, etc, and Central Highland areas such as Lam Dong. Vietnam has more than 120,000 hectares of tea land, with a large number of skilled farmers cultivating and harvesting tea leaves for production.

In addition, Vietnam has also become one of the world’s biggest Black tea exporters to many markets worldwide recently. Vietnamese Black tea comes in various grades, based on tea leaf size, the origin of the plantation, and the processing machine. The tea is also unique in flavor, taste, and liquor. 

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6. Turkey

Turkey manufactures about 200 thousand tonnes in 2022, making the country 6th position in the top list. 

Turkey’s tea production is located in the North-East Black Sea Region, with 84,000 hectares of tea land. Tea cultivations are distributed in specific regions, including Rize Province, Trabzon Province, Artvin Province, Giresun Province, and Ordu Province. Among them, Rize produces over 66% of the tea in Turkey, making it a giant tea plantation in this country. 

Turkey has various weather characteristics in different parts of the country, but the Kaçkar Mountains and the proximity to the Black Sea create a climate ideal for tea plantations. 

7. Indonesia

Apart from Vietnam, Indonesia is among the South East Asian countries listed in the top 10 tea producing countries. In 2022, Indonesia’s total tea manufacturing volume will be roughly 150 thousand tonnes.

Most teas produced here are black and green teas from Indian Assam varieties whose plantations are located in Wonosari in East Java.

Indonesia owns more than 110,000 hectares of tea farms across the country and ensures a stable supply for domestic and export markets. 

8. Japan

Japan is famous for the Ceremonial tea
Ceremonial tea- a long-lasting tradition of the Japanese. Source: pinterest.com

Japan is famous for ceremonial tea, with the most prominent green tea including Green Sencha and Green Matcha. This year, the total tea produced in Japan is  90 thousand tonnes, making it 8th position on the list.

Japan has 43,000 hectares of tea land, most distributed in Shizuoka Prefecture, Kagoshima Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyoto Urban Prefecture, where the climate conditions and geography are ideal for tea plantations.

Tea has enormous cultural significance in Japan and has become an inevitable beverage for many Japanese and their ceremonies.

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9. Iran

The 9th ranking belongs to Iran, the only Middle East country on the list. Its total tea producing volume will be roughly 84,000 tonnes in 2022. 

Tea was introduced to Iran for the first time in the 15th century, thanks to the trade expansion along the famous Silk Road. Although the tea crop was first grown in 1899, the country currently has about 18,000 hectares of tea land, ensuring a sufficient supply for the domestic market and even export.

10. Argentina

Argentina is the biggest tea supplier in the Americas
Yerba Mate- Argentina’s famous tea. Source: teapigs.co.uk

Argentina is the largest tea producer in the Americas and the only South American country in the top 10 tea producing countries. The total tea manufacturing volume of the country this year is approximately 70,000 tonnes. 

Tea in Argentina is hybridized from black and green teas, cultivated mainly in the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Formosa, Chaco, and Tucuman.

Particularly, Argentina is famous for Yerba Mate, which is earthy and bitter in taste profile. Yerba Mate is mainly for domestic consumption. 

With nearly 40,000 hectares of tea land, Argentina is a significant tea supplier in the Americas. 

Conclusion

Tea consumption has increased recently. Before determining which country will be your supplier, getting information about them and their goods is necessary. The largest ten tea producing countries in 2022 is a helpful report for all tea distributors, tea importers, and tea lovers.

About Future Generation Company Co., Ltd

We are FGC, the biggest tea exporter in Vietnam and one of the biggest tea suppliers in the world. Our tea products are diverse in types, grades, and production methods. We provide customers with Loose tea (such as Black tea, Green tea, and Oolong tea), Specialty tea (such as Matcha), RTD Tea, and Teabags. Our mission is to become Vietnam’s leading healthy beverage company.

With vast high-grown tea farms, we ensure stable tea sources for both domestic markets and exporting. Our tea gardens and factories also meet many international standards such as VietGAP, ISO, HACCP, etc. In addition, we constantly innovate our machinery system, strengthen production capacity, and increase productivity. We also provide private label and customized packaging services which is ideal for small and medium enterprises. 

If you are tea distributors, tea importers, teashop managers, or even tea lovers, we are committed to being your prestigious tea source supplier in Vietnam!

Contact

Address: R4 building, Office Quarter 02, Royal City, 72A Nguyen Trai St., Thanh Xuan Dist., Hanoi.

Phone: +84 24 73 000 125/ +84 24 6664 7788

Website: vietnam-tea.com

Mail: info@vietnam-tea.com

Sources

1/ britannica.com/topic/tea-beverage 

2/ farrerscoffee.co.uk/blogs/blog/top-10-tea-producing-countries-in-the-world

3/ worldatlas.com/articles/the-worlds-top-10-tea-producing-nations

4/ statista.com/statistics/264188/production-of-tea-by-main-producing-countries-since-2006

5/ killgreen.io/main/tea-producing-countries 

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