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Three Major Green Tea Production Regions in the World
Green tea is hot!
More and more evidences of the potential health benefits of the green tea have given a boost to its outputs among the three major green tea producers: China, Japan and India.
A recent report issued by UN stated that 2011 tea production rose to 987,000 tonnes from 890,000 tonnes of 2010 in China. Due to the stronger demand from oversea, the average tea price remained higher throughout 2011 in China's market.
Being the second most populous country in the world, India is responsible for 29.0 percent of world tea output last year, followed by China with 27.5 percent. Most of green tea in Japan is consumed domestically. It exports only 5% of what it produces. However the superior quality of the product keeps Japan in the rank of top tier players in this market.
Some large Japanese companies have even purchased a few Chinese firms to expand green tea extract production capacity. The demand for dieting beverage has helped this market grow steadily while price remained firm. The US and the European Union are the major consumption market.
The three major players are discussed in the following.
China: The Top Player in Green Tea Production
China is the birth place for tea. So it is pretty much natural to assume that China is the major green tea grower. It is also the largest green tea exporter in the world. It won’t take you too much effort to spot a local grocery store that carries a few variety of Chinese green tea.
Most of Chinese green tea is grown at high elevations, anywhere from 2,300 to 4,600 feet above sea level. Perfect mix of exceptional climate and soil conditions boost the tea’s quality to the highest standard. The variety of Chinese green tea is astonishing: a few hundred! The West Lake Dragon Well, Pi Lo Chun, Tianmu Mountain and Yunnan Green Needle are among the Top Ten Chinese Tea list.
Japanese Green Tea: Another Name for Quality
Japanese green tea shares a lot of common characteristics and procedures during production. Tea leaves are plunked during the spring of the year between February and March. After plunking, tea leaves are quickly steamed, followed by rolling. Unlike China’s labor extensive hand operation, Japan’s tea production is more machinery driven with higher automation and efficiency.
95% green tea is consumed domestically in Japan with only 5% exported. Therefore, it is a relatively a small player in the overall world tea market. The main grow region is situated south of Tokyo with quality tea estates and gardens all over the places.
India: Head to Head with China
Last but not least, India is rising to the top green tea producer globally. India is the second populous nation after China. Its huge consumer base plus high quality tea (chai) are the main driving force to help India become the largest tea exporter. It is competing with China to become the leading player in this ever-expanding consumer market.
In a matter of fact, India’s domestic demand for green tea is so high that it has to import tea from other regions. Imagine every grocery store and every eating place has dozens of tea offerings in the shelf. Imagine every average person in India drink 3 to 5 cups of tea each day. With 1.1 billion consumers there, India is indeed becoming and remaining the powerhouse of green tea market. Without any doubt, Chai is the part of future major beverage.
Darjeeling tea, Assam black, Puttabong green are among dozens of top quality Indian tea brands.