History of Tea in India

Tea- an essential part of most of the people and different cultures throughout the world. Sometimes it comes in our mind that how this magical drink has come into our lives.

According to history, Origination of the tea was from China, and that too way back from 2737 BC.

It started when the emperor of China Shen Nung got to taste those tea leaves of plant camellia sinesis, when he was sitting under the tree and his servant was boiling water for him. It’s just then the idea of tea got to blowout throughout the world.


Origination of tea in India

If we look on to current situation India has become the largest consumer of the tea in the world and also the second largest producer of the tea.

Basically, the discovery of tea in India was done by British during their ruling on India. British people were truly fond of drinking tea and they need to purchase it from China every year which costs million pounds to them. Gradually they found that their tea consumption was astronomically expensive and unsustainable.

So, the realization of this fact, lead them to understand the production of tea and eventually an idea to start tea production in India.

Some researchers by the British people were also done on the seeds brought from China in the Indian Botanical Garden so that they can understand the procedure for the cultivation of the tea in India.

During 1823, a Scottish explorer, Robert Bruce came across a native plant which was being grown in Brahmaputra valley in Assam. This information was provided by Maniram Dewan to him and his brother Charles Alexandra Bruce. Thus, these samples of tea leaves were sent to the botanical garden for the further research.

After analysis, it was found that these leaves were of a plant which is a variation of Chinese plant Camellia Sinensis. Later on, this plant was named Camellia sinensisvarAssamica (Masters) Kitamura.

History of Tea in Assam

Preliminary Stage of tea production in Assam

Primarily, British were having a view that the plant found in Assam was somewhat inferior to the Chinese variety. After doing various researchers, British found that due to atmospheric conditions of Assam, cultivation of Chinese seeds is not possible.

Then they decided to go with the Assamese plant and in February 1839 first joint stock tea company named Assam company was formed in London. From then onwards, the story of tea production had grown leaps and bounds leading to the formation of other companies as well.

Evolution in Darjeeling

With the successful cultivation process in Assam, Sir A Campbell researched for the Darjeeling region and found that it is suitable for the growth of particular Chinese variant of tea. So, he planted the Chinese seeds in Darjeeling for the first time in 1841.

With growing efforts, soon commercial plantation also started in Darjeeling and more than 113 tea gardens were formed by 1874 which accounts a production of 3.9 million pounds of tea.

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Shortly, the tea cultivation was popular in other parts of India, due to the positive results in Assam and Darjeeling. The hilly regions which found to be suitable as per the atmospheric conditions required for tea plantation also started this amazingly successful production.  And thus, it spread in different regions of India like Dehradun, Kangra Valley, Kulu, Kumaon and even in southern region Nilgiri as well.

After getting freedom from British in 1947, the production of tea is prospering amazingly and found to an increase of 250% since 1947, which is again a big achievement.

Nowadays drinking tea is a regular affair and mostly Indians drink it with milk and sugar. It has become a rooted tradition now and every guest is welcomed with a warm cup of tea. The brewing and drinking of tea differ from region to region but still, you will find this favorite drink of all, from a roadside tea stall to the boardrooms of corporate India.

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2 thoughts on “History of Tea in India

  1. Hey thanks for sharing such an informative post!!
    I am a big tea lover and trust me this a magical drink that produces an extraordinary mood of relaxation & attentiveness.

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