Imagining life without tea will put most Indians into sleepy morning inertia. For us, it’s the answer to a frenzied day at work, morning woes and even heartbreak. Don’t we kill all sorts of social awkwardness with a warm comforting cup in our hands for company? Consequently, it’s amazing to study the history of the Tea Industry and unravel its impact on the country.
Our prehistoric ancestors, who discovered pivotal things like fire and civilization, also made use of the most important thing of all- tea leaves. As surprising as it sounds, evidence points to the usage of tea to as early as 750 BC. The industry is more than 170 years old and its contribution to our economy is salutary. Owing to soil and climatic stipulations tea cultivation was confined to a few parts of the country. It all started when Robert Bruce made a discovery of wild tea plants in upper Brahmaputra Valley during 1823. After a few years, The East India Company initialized experimentation with tea leaves in Assam. Soon after, a batch was sent to UK for sale. Other parts of the country triggered growth of tea only between the 50s and 60s of that significant century.
Plantations here are located mostly in the North East and South regions like West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Over time there have been many small-scale plantations in areas like Karnataka, Tripura, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. India has the upper hand over other exporting countries with a binary manufacturing base for tea production. There’s mass preference for orthodox tea as people here are more attuned to its taste and preparation. Green tea production in India has been relatively confined and the country faces a linked competition from Sri Lanka, Kenya, China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
India has dropped down to the fourth echelon in the run of tea exporters. Our country enjoyed regality till 2003, but China took over. The world has opened up to tea consumption over the past decade and the resultant increase in tea supply in India shows a production of 49 million kg in 2010 as opposed to 45 million kg recorded just the previous year. Sri Lanka and China gradually became the top players in tea export, but the fact that the best tea leaves in the world came from West Bengal and Assam could never be brushed aside.
The Indian Tea Plantation Industry has faced adverse climatic changes with adroit capabilities. Water shortages and acute agro-related problems have not deterred companies working for the long-term preservation of the country’s favorite beverage. Many big manufacturers have joined hands to beat the adverse effects of global warming and have allowed a decent employment to millions of people of the backward class. As a nation struggling to beat monetary woes, price-value retention of a cheap product like tea is of great importance. This herculean history of tea makes us at Goodwyn Tea beautify your consumption by delivering the very best we can!