What will be more relaxing and refreshing for a tea lover, than waking up in the morning and having their favourite blend of tea in hand to kick start their day? The love of Indians for tea makes it the most common beverage to be found in every Indian household. This is the reason why 70 percent of the tea produced within the country is consumed by Indians only.
Several tea-producing states are not only responsible for bringing the happiness of tea to every Indian household but is also the reason which makes India the second-largest producer of tea in the world after China. Among tea producing states, Assam is the largest tea producer in India. It produces more than 400 million kilograms of tea annually. Tea from every state possesses an exquisite taste, refreshing aroma and variety of it is available at affordable prices.
What Are The Conditions Required To Grow Tea Leaves?
The plantation of tea takes place at the foothills of the mountains. In India, tea plantations take place in the mountain ranges of northern India, Nilgiri hills and the sloppy hilly terrains. Apart from the area, different conditions are also required to grow high-quality tea leaves and make them tea producing states. Some of these conditions are as follows-
For the production of tea in India, a continuous 21°C temperature for 8 months is required. In the Northeastern part best yields take place between June to September. Monsoon is also another essential condition for high-quality tea production.
2. Sloping Hills
The tea estate has sloping terrains as is seen that the exquisite taste of tea comes from the tea estate that is located at the sloppy hilly terrains. Sloping land is required for tea plantations as they do not survive in stagnant water. Therefore, the tea estates are located at an altitude of 1220 metres and higher.
The suitable soil for the high-quality tea plantation should be porous, acidic, loamy and should not contain calcium.
For photosynthesis, tea plants need a lot of sunlight. While they can withstand some shade, tea is often cultivated in brighter environments since the leaves are of higher quality.
5. Irrigation and Rainfall:
Rainfall that is regular and evenly distributed is crucial during the growth season. In areas where rainfall varies seasonally, more irrigation may be required to guarantee healthy development.
Higher humidity is preferred by tea plants, especially when they are young. Proper leaf development and moisture stress prevention are made possible by enough humidity.
7. Wind Defence:
Strong winds can harm leaves and hinder growth since tea plants are delicate. Tea plantations can be safeguarded by windbreaks or other natural obstacles.
8. Plucking and Pruning:
It's critical to regularly prune and pluck plants to promote new development and preserve their structure. Additionally, pruning enhances air flow and sunlight penetration.
9. Disease and Pest Management:
Infestations must be avoided and plant health must be maintained by employing efficient pest and disease management techniques. Numerous caterpillars and the tea mosquito insect are common pests in the tea-growing industry.
10. Care and Labour:
For picking and processing tea, competent labour is needed. To maintain healthy plant growth, proper maintenance is required, including frequent fertilisation and weed control.
11. Cultivars and Varieties:
The yield and quality of tea can be considerably impacted by selecting cultivars or tea varieties that are suited to the local environment.
These are conditions that make a tea-producing state which further produces high-quality tea leaves to full fill the demand both inside and outside the country.
These elements need to work together for tea cultivation to be successful in order to foster the growth, leaf development, and general health of the tea plant. To maintain a flourishing and fruitful tea plantation, it is crucial for tea growers to comprehend and control these factors.
Major Tea Producing States In India
Now, let us have a glance at some of the most important tea-producing states which make India the world's second-largest producer of tea. These are -
- West Bengal.
- Tamil Nadu.
- Himachal Pradesh.
- Arunachal Pradesh.
Among these, West Bengal and Assam are the top tea producer states of India.
1. Darjeeling, West Bengal
Darjeeling is located in the Kalimpong district of West Bengal. The tea plantation in Darjeeling covers an area of over 437 acres at 6800 feet above the level of the sea.
Darjeeling is famous for the production of green tea, black tea, white tea and oolong tea. This state produces tea which is exported. Darjeeling is also a famous tourist spot. Most of them take tours because of the tea factories which are set up. Total 84 tea estates are working in Darjeeling.
2. Jorhat, Assam
Assam is situated in the eastern Himalayas along with the river Brahmaputra which acts as a precursor for tea production. Assam tea is a well known commercial market. An area of about 2,16,200 hectares of land is dedicated only to the tea estates, which makes Assam the largest tea producing state in India.
3. Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu
The geographical area of Tamil Nadu is one of the main reasons behind the aromatic tea which is produced here. Located at an altitude of 1000 to 2500 metres and receives rainfall of about 60-90 inches annually.
Nilgiri hills in western ghats are famous for their strong, aromatic teas. One can also find exotic tea varieties such as white teas, green teas, oolong teas and orange teas.
It is one of the top producers of tea in India. One can find tea plantations in the areas of Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Hassan etc. The lush green tea covers southern India which produces tea but also grows crops of higher commercial value like coffee.
5. Kolukkumalai Tea Garden, Tamil Nadu
Located at a height of 7900 feet makes kolukkumalai of Tamil Nadu highest tea garden in India. Blanketed with the team all-around also makes it a tourist spot and for the tea connoisseur, it is a must-visit place
6. Munnar Tea Plantation, Kerala
In the mountain ranges of the western, Munnar is the hill station. Munnar tea plantation is located at a height of 5,200 feet above the level of the sea. Approximately, 50 wastes of this region are occupied by the big brand tea companies.
7. Himachal Pradesh
The Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh is the most important site for the production of tea. Due to the flavour and aroma of the tea, it is also known as the ' Valley of gods '. The green and black teas are the two very prominent varieties of Himachal Pradesh.
Tea is the most consumed and also one of the most popular beverages in the world. In India also tea is the most loved beverage and is the necessity of every Indian household. The efforts of these tea plantations of the top tea producing states make it possible to cater to the needs of the in house customers but also makes it available for export. Thus, making India the second-largest tea producer in the world. Different varieties, aromas and blends are available to serve every need of the tea connoisseur.