The History of Tea
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The year was 1815. A year that changed the course of tea industry worldwide. Until then the only kind of tea known to the world was the Chinese tea. It wasn’t until 1815 when an Englishman who was offered tea as a beverage by an Indian king realized that the delicacy was tea indeed and it was superior to its Chinese counterpart .However it took almost another 20 years and innumerable attempts for the then British government to accept the samples from Assam as tea. Finally the confirmation came during the Christmas Eve of 1834. From that moment on a new variety of tea was born. Tea until then had only one botanical name, Camellia Sinensis but from then on a new variety Camellia Sinensis (var. assamica) was born. What the British did not know was that tea was grown and consumed in India long before the Chinese understood its medicinal properties. Assam went on to become the tea capital of India and suddenly tea markets exploded, tea plantations sprung up all over the country. The British understood that they had “green currency” and that tea marketing was a lucrative business. The British governed India witnessed tea factories being setup all over the nation. Tea production in India has spread ever since and is still on the rise despite of some stiff competition from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka. India was the top producer of tea for nearly a century, but was displaced by China recently. Indian tea companies have acquired a number of iconic foreign tea enterprises including British brands like Tetley and Typhoo. Despite the growing market the per capita consumption of tea in India remains a modest 750 grams per person every year due to the large population base. Nevertheless tea has been the mother of all beverages in India and will continue to do so. The Green Currency is here to stay.
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