World's tea growing regions - WIP
Tea from Greater China
A: JiangBei region - mainly green and yellow tea - area consists of provinces north of the Yangtze River. Because of its geographical location, this region has a low average temperature of around 15C, and thus this cool climate is suitable for growing excellent quality green teas. Tea plant grows slowly in cool temperature and the extra time allows plant to absorb all the nutrients from the soil during the winter months before spouting new leaf in the Spring.
B: JiangNan region - white, green, oolong, black, dark - this area is located in the middle to lower regions of the Yangtze River and one of the key tea growing regions of China. The climate in this region can be very warm in the summer, so many tea estates are located in the mountains where the temperatures are cooler. This area produces a variety of teas.
C: XiNan region - green, yellow, black, dark - this region covers the southwest of China and it’s generally considered the birthplace of earliest form of tea. In particular, the Puerh tea from Yunnan province is especially well known outside China. Domestically, it also produces the famous black tea such as Dian Hong. The soil in this region is also known to have richest organic content in all of China, and thus the taste of teas from this region varies significantly.
D: Huanan region - green, white, oolong, black, dark, jasmine etc - area located at the southern end of China. This region is the birthplace of white, oolong and black teas. Oolong tea from this region is the most renowned including well known classics like Da Hong Pao (a type of Wuyi rock oolong), Tieguanyin (aka Iron Goddess) and Dan Cong. Terroir in this area is particularly ideal for growing tea. The soil from this region appears red clay, providing a distinctive flavour and aroma to teas. Climate wise, it has ample rain, cool temperatures, and clear seasonality with a long growing season. Natural mountain streams flow through many of the tea estates, which are often located in remote valley of mountains that make up most of this region.
(Need to insert a slide covering four regions, provinces, and teas)
If you seek to better understand the characteristics making each of these four regions unique, start with one regions classic teas and taste multiple iterations of that one tea. This will give you an appreciation for how the same type of tea will differ from one village to another. Similar to how sommeliers understand wines variety by becoming acquainted with the primary wines from a region. You can acquire a better appreciation for a regions unique teas by sampling a flight of the same tea from the same region… > need to create tasting sets here!
Tea from Japan
island spanning North to south, with significant temperature variations and seasonalities.
Tea from India
Regions here… darjeeling, south and north
Tea from Nepal
The East India Company started planting tea in Nepal in the 1860s, at the same time it started to plant tea in Darjeeling. Nepal and Darjeeling share similar climate and geography and largely grow tea from similar cultivars. Therefore, Nepals black tea tastes and smell similar to Darjeeling’s. Through the twentieth century, however, Nepal government isolated the country from foreign trade and the tea industry collapsed. During the last 20 years, the government has made a concerted effort to revitalise tea industry and it is now possible to find Nepal’s exotic tasting teas in markets around the world again.
Tea from Sri Lanka
Tea growing was introduced to Sri Lanka in the middle of 19th century, bu the industry did not grow until the Sri Lankan coffee crop was decimated by coffee blight in the 1860s and 1870s. The coffee blight was so bad that almost all of Sri Lanka coffee crop was destroyed within tens years, facing most of Sri Lanka coffee growers to replant their coffee field with tea. The mountains in central Sri Lanka make for ideal tea-growing conditions because they receive ample rain and cool temperatures. Most of Sri Lanka tea production is dedicated to the production of its famous black tea - Ceylon.