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In news: International Tea Day

The ‘International Tea Day’ gets thumbs up from the UN. Tea is the most consumed drink in the world, second only to water.

It would be no surprise to expect a question based on worldwide tea production:

Q. Among the following, which one is the largest exporter of rice in the world in the last five years? (CSP 2019)

(a) China

(b) India

(c) Myanmar

(d) Vietnam

International Tea Day

  • While the UN has been aware of the popularity of the drink, May 21, 2020, became the first time when it recognized and gave an official nod to International Tea Day.
  • The UN General Assembly proclaimed May 21 as International Tea Day.
  • The day is aimed at promoting sustainable production, consumption and trade of tea.
  • As part of the celebrations, key players in tea production come together and make systematic plans for expansion of demand for tea, particularly in tea producing countries where per capita consumption is relatively low.
  • This day also reminds all actors at global, regional and national levels to ensure that the tea sector continues to play a role in reducing extreme poverty, fighting hunger and safeguarding natural resources.

Tea

  • Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to East Asia.
  • After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world.
  • There are many different types of tea; some, like Darjeeling and Chinese greens, have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour.
  • Tea has a stimulating effect in humans primarily due to its caffeine content.
  • China is the leading producer of tea in the world. (Ref.)

Its significance

  • In 2018, over 50 lakh tonnes of tea was consumed globally, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN.
  • The origin of tea plantations dates back to 5,000 years. Like many cultures, tea enjoys a special space in Indian culture.
  • With more than 100 varieties being consumed in the country, India is among the top four producers of tea.
  • Currently, tea is grown in more than 35 countries and supports 1.3 crore people including smallholder farmers around the globe.

Back2Basics: Tea cultivation in India

  • India is the second producer of tea in the world and second in terms of land devoted to tea growing as well.
  • Much of India’s tea production is concentrated in the areas of Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Dooars, and Assam, which is the single largest tea growing region in the world. The top 5 growing states in India, ranked by production, are:

1) Assam

2) West Bengal

3) Tamil Nadu

4) Kerala

5) Karnataka

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