Where Does Tea Come From?

Where Does Tea Come From? Tea Growing Regions Of The World

cup-of-tea-2If you found this article, you likely are looking for an answer to the question: where does tea come from? Unfortunately, the distribution and marketing system does not draw attention to the region in which most tea is grown. Even the names for teas, many of which use historical names that are no longer in common use, do not necessarily make it easy to learn where a given tea is produced. For example, Ceylon tea is from Sri Lanka; the term Ceylon is an old name for Sri Lanka. Similarly, Formosa oolong is grown in Taiwan; Formosa is an older name for Taiwan.

This page gives a brief overview of where the various types of teas are from, starting with their names, and following with an explanation of where they are from. But before we explore the named single-origin teas, we start by discussing where blends come from, since most of the tea that most people drink is blended.

Where do blends come from?

Tea plantation in Fujian Province in China

Tea plantation in Fujian Province in China

When tea is labelled by grade, like orange pekoe, or by style, such as English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast, it is usually a blend of teas from different regions. The origin of the teas in the blend vary from one company to the next, but most of the teas used in blending comes from the world’s largest tea producers, which are India, China, Sri Lanka, and Kenya. Turkey is also a major tea producer, but most of their output is consumed domestically. If you buy tea from the supermarket, not labelled with region of origin, chances are that most of it comes from India, China, Sri Lanka, and/or Kenya.

Named varieties of tea and their origin:

Black Teas:

Tea plantation in Xiping Town. a famous historic site in Xiping, Anxi, Fujian, China.

Tea plantation in Xiping Town. a famous historic site in Xiping, Anxi, Fujian, China.

Darjeeling comes from the Darjeeling district in Northeastern India, a high-altitude region at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

Assam comes from the Assam region of Northeastern India, in a low-lying river valley.

Ceylon tea comes from Sri Lanka.

Keemun originates in Qimen county of Anhui province in China; teas in the style of Keemun are also grown in surrounding areas.

Green Teas:

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Tea Garden in Himalaya

Sencha, bancha, kukicha, genmaicha, and most other teas with a name ending in “cha” are Japanese green teas. These teas originated in Japan, but many of them, especially sencha, are also grown in other regions, including China and Vietnam.

Dragonwell, bi luo chun, mao feng, gunpowder, chun mee, young hyson, and most green teas other than the Japanese ones are grown in China. China is the world’s largest producer of green teas

Other Types of Tea: White, Oolong, Pu-erh:

Gorgeous Tea Plantations

Gorgeous Tea Plantations

All Pu-erh tea originates in Yunnan province of China.

Most white tea comes from China, and most (not all) is grown in Fujian province.

Most oolong tea comes either from China or Taiwan. Formosa Oolong, Dong Ding oolong, and Alishan oolong come from Taiwan. Wuyi tea come from the Wuyi mountains in Fujian province of China.

Learning more about tea:

Glass of Turkish tea in Istanbul

Glass of Turkish tea in Istanbul

This page is just a brief introduction to where tea comes from. There are many unusual and interesting teas that do not fit into the scheme presented here. Some of these are some of the most interesting and exciting teas to sample. If you really want to learn more about where your tea comes from, consider buying single region, loose-leaf teas so that you can start tasting the differences between teas grown in different parts of the world.


Alex Zorach is the creator of RateTea, an interactive website where anyone can rate and review teas. This site has a database of teas classified by brand, style, and region, with a wealth of information about different varieties of tea. Visit this site to explore the various tea growing regions of the world, and learn more about where you can buy teas from each of these regions.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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