The Top 5 Tea Producers In The World

Jul 17, 2022

China produces the most tea in the world.

India produces 1.2 million tons of a tea, and over half of it remains in the country to be consumed by its citizens.

Kenya produces 432,400 tons of tea, making it one of the most tea producing countries and the top exporter of black tea.

Humans have long known that water is essential for life. For centuries, we have sought to improve and innovate upon the ways in which we consume this vital beverage. From flavored sodas to coffee, there is no shortage of options when it comes to quenching our thirst. But of all the different types of water out there, tea is perhaps the most varied and distinctive.

Tea originated in Southeast Asia and has become a major part of social functions and economic value around the world. Many countries are known for their unique tea flavors and high production rates. The following list includes some of the largest tea-producing nations in the world.

1. China

Top Tea producers in the world

People pick green tea leaves in the farm

In ancient China, tea was created by Emperor Shennong in 2737 BCE. The emperor had decreed that all drinking water must be boiled for safety, and when he saw the hot water turn brown from the leaves, he was intrigued and decided to try it. From then on, tea became a key part of Chinese society and culture, playing an important role in economic development and daily life.

China is renowned for its wide variety of tea varieties, with popular varieties including green, black, and oolong tea. Tea consumption has a thriving culture of its own, with special emphasis placed on the flavor and setting in which it is savored. Even the ideas of philosophy, ethics, and morality are incorporated into tea tradition.

2. India

1.2 million tons of tea produced annually in India which makes it second place on this list. The first tea was brought to India by the silk caravans who sailed from China to Europe centuries ago. Despite this early association, the beverage wouldn’t really take off until the British publicly introduced it to the culture. The British intended to break China’s monopoly on tea production by cultivating it in their prized colony, India, where the climate is ideal for growing the plants and boasts tea quality comparable to that of China.

Tea is an important part of daily life in India, with tens of thousands of tea gardens spread around the nation producing popular varieties such as Darjeeling and Assam. More than half of the tea produced in India is consumed within the country, making it a nation of billions of tea drinkers.

3. Kenya

Top Tea producers in the world

Kenya is the next nation on this list, with 432,400 tons of tea produced there. Kenya is the world’s greatest exporter of black tea, despite the fact that most people don’t instantly think of the nation when discussing tea. Additionally, there are over 500,000 small-scale Kenyan farmers that grow tea there. Its proximity to the equator provides the plants with the best growing conditions and plenty of sunlight. It has been a mainstay ever since the first Kenyan tea shrub was planted in the early 1900s.

4. Sri Lanka

Top Tea producers in the world

Indigenious Sri Lankan tea picker picking tea.

On our list with 340,230 tons of the plant grown there, Sri Lanka ranks fourth among countries that produce tea. It is one of the leading producers of orthodox teas in the world and is renowned for its Ceylon teas, so named because the nation was formerly known as Ceylon by conquerors. Although the nation produced considerably more coffee initially, it converted to tea after a blight destroyed their plantations. Tea production now contributes for 2% of the nation’s GDP and is the main source of the country’s foreign exchange with other nations (GDP).

5. Vietnam

Vietnam rounds out the top five tea-producing nations, with a total of 214,300 tons annually. The country has a long history of tea production and consumption, with the drink deeply ingrained in the culture. Tea is typically drunk informally in Vietnam, without the rituals and ceremonies that are common in other cultures. For Vietnamese people, tea drinking is a contemplative activity, often associated with scholarly pursuits.

Vietnamese have used tea for a long time, but the nation didn’t start manufacturing its own until the 1880s, when French colonists established tea plantations northwest of Hanoi. Vietnamese tea lovers often like straightforward teas with little tastes, with green tea being the most widely consumed type. Another delicacy of Vietnam is lotus tea, which is created by enclosing green tea leaves in a lotus flower and letting it sit for an entire night to allow the leaves to absorb the smell of the flower.


These top five tea-producing nations demonstrate the complexity and diversity of tea and the cultures that surround it. Whereas one country may heavily incorporate it into daily life and create rituals around its consumption, another may choose to simply export the majority of its supply or consume it in a far more casual manner. Tea aficionados can relax knowing that they’ll always have access to the many delectable variations of the world because its popularity does not appear to be waning anytime soon.

Top Tea-Producing Countries Chart

Top Tea producers in the world

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