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  • The Development of Tea Culture

    The Place of Tea Origin

    The tea plant, Camellia sinensis has been cultivated for so long that it's home as a wild plant is a matter of speculation.

    It is known that in south east China that tea has been drank for around 3000 years, yet no one has ever described the existence of Wild Tea in China. Whenever wild tea has been found in China it has been a result of previous tea cultivation before records of tea breeding began.

    Distribution Reveals the Spread of Tea from the Irrawaddy

    Given the distribution of tea it is thought that tea developed near the source of the Irrawaddy and spread into south east China, Indo-China and Assam. However it is thought by many scientists that this base of tea distribution outwards from the Irrawaddy, is a secondary distribution, and that really Tea originated in more northern areas. The reason for this thinking is that in Southeast China, Indo-China and Assam, tea has three distinct types, but each area has the other types of tea.

    Earliest Forms of Tea

    It is possible that the four varieties, viridis, bohea, stricta and lasio-calyx were amongst the earliest forms of tea. It is difficult to try to put an exact figure on the raise of tea as breeds tend to hybridise freely; assamic, sinesis and cambodia are all able to hybridize with each other.

    From the point of origin in south east asia tea has spread out into many types of terrain including, but not limited to, topical rain forest, tropical savannah, and summer rain.

    Evolution of Tea Culture

    From its low start as a peasant cultivated crop in the far east, tea culture has evolved rapidly into an extremely important plantation industry, which is mainly controlled by European countries, who invest great amounts of capital into the product.