The whole world unites over tea, owing to the historical Silk route which played a pivotal role in popularizing the beverage. The ancient 7,000-miles trade route spanned from China to the Mediterranean Sea, and witnessed an expansive trade of tea, along with other commodities. People developed a taste for the beverage and exchanged it for everything, ranging from ponies to jewels.
Coffee lovers might be shocked to know that tea is the most consumed drink, after water. It is in fact, the cheapest drink that one can indulge in. There are numerous ways tea can be prepared. Lemon, milk, honey or sugar are the most common additives worldwide. In some regions like Bhutan and Nepal, butter and salt are also added. The serving style also varies from country to country. While people in China and Japan serve tea in tiny cups, Indians serve their most common “masala chai” in unique styled tea glasses.
Owing to globalization, numerous types of teas are now available in most of the countries. Herbal and non-herbal teas have their own health benefits. Numerous herbal teas, which are created from the roots, seeds, berries, flowers and leaves of a variety of plants, are known to have a soothing effect on the digestive system. On the other hand, the non-herbal teas made from “Camellia sinensis” plant leaves can be further divided into three categories: black, green and oolong. Green tea is the least processed and has highest ratio of polyphenols, known for their potential to prevent cancer and improve overall health.
Tea production is the highest in tropical or subtropical climates. After the tea leaves are picked, they have to be immediately dried to avoid its oxidization. The variety of flavors in tea is brought out depending on how much the tea is wilted and oxidized. White tea is the most oxidized of all kinds.
As per estimations by World’s Top Exports, in the year 2017, the global tea exports amounted to US$7.8 billion, and Asian continent has accounted for about 60% of the total sale. China and Sri Lanka were the titans in tea export amounting to USD 1.6 billion and USD 1.5 billion respectively. From these two countries, the established players in the tea exporting trade in 2017 were Akbar Tea and George Steuart Group from Sri Lanka, and Ten Fu Group from China.
Here is the entire list of top ten tea exporting countries:
|Country||Export Value in US$ in 2017||%age of total exports|
|Sri Lanka||1.5 billion||19.3|
|United Arab Emirates||286.8 million||3.7|
|United Kingdom||137.7 million||1.8|
|United States||136.1 million||1.7|