Tea has an important place in the global economy, as it’s the second most consumed non-alcoholic beverage after water. According to data on WorldAtlas, China tops the charts as the leading tea producer in the world, with a production rate of over two million metric tons annually. India ranks second, producing approximately 1.2 million tons, while Kenya comes in third with over 430,000 tons and ranks as the world’s largest exporter of black tea.
Other top tea producing countries include Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Turkey, Iran, and Japan. With so many tea producers around the world, tea lovers have access to a variety of tasty teas, including teas to counter flu-like symptoms to those that boost the immune system. But what are the best teas and which countries produce them? Keep reading to find out where you can find the best teas in the world.
India – Darjeeling Tea
Named after its place of production, Darjeeling tea is a favorite among consumers around the world. So, what makes Darjeeling tea so special? Darjeeling tea, also known as the champagne of tea, has musky, sweet tasting notes like muscat wine. However, it can also have delicate fruit, vegetable, citrus, and mossy flavors. Compared to other black teas, Darjeeling tea is less oxidized.
Note that the planting and processing method used, and the time of harvest determine the quality and taste of Darjeeling tea. For example, Darjeeling tea made from the first harvest or flush of young leaves has a satisfying balance of astringency and sweetness, and minty fresh mountain flavors. The second flush comprises mature Darjeeling tea leaves that offer the strong wine flavors.
Japan – Matcha Tea
The fascinating taste of matcha tea is the key reason it’s the most sought for tea in the world and its native to Japan. Attending tea ceremonies in Japan is an excellent way to understand the traditions that surround matcha tea cultivation and processing. However, you can still get a taste of the best matcha tea, as well as have access to different tea variants, by joining tea subscription box services.
A reputable tea subscription service provides steeping guidelines and tasting notes to help you identify pure tea flavors from flavored teas. With that said, matcha differs from regular green tea because it’s steamed after harvesting to prevent oxidation. The environment, climate, soil, and shading of young shoots of Camellia sinensis also play a significant role in ensuring the color, taste, and aroma of matcha are of unmatched quality.
Sri Lanka – Ceylon Tea
If you’re a tea lover, you’ve probably heard of Ceylon tea. This tasty tea comes from Sri Lanka, once known as Ceylon. While Ceylon tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as other teas, it contains high levels of antioxidants and its character, appearance, and flavor are unique.
Typically, Ceylon tea has notes of citrus and a full-bodied taste, depending on the unique environment it’s grown in. Although Sri Lanka focuses on Ceylon black tea, Ceylon white and green tea varieties are available. Like other teas, Ceylon tea offers many health benefits, including improved heart health, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and aids in weight loss.
Tea has become a popular beverage, and with a variety of tea blends available worldwide, its popularity isn’t declining soon. While many countries specialize in exporting their tea, some have formed rituals around tea production and brewing to make the best teas. Some of the world’s best teas are matcha tea native to Japan, Ceylon tea from Sri Lanka, and Darjeeling tea from India.