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Teas of the World

The rich and vibrant world of teas may seem a bit daunting for a beginner, with such a wide variety of flavours and aromas to choose from, as well as different growing regions, countries, climates and more to consider.

At Tea-Direct, we source a fantastic range of quality loose leaf teas, selected from a variety of countries and growing regions. Our Teas of the World page can help you narrow down your choice, as well as our Tea Finder tool, but why not take a look in more detail at some of our most popular tea-growing countries.



Sri Lanka

A major exporter of tea, Sri Lanka exports over 90% of the tea it grows and is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the largest producers of tea worldwide. It also boasts the unique growing conditions that allow teas to be produced throughout the whole year.

Formerly known as Ceylon, which lends its name to the popular Ceylon Orange Pekoe variety, Sri Lanka exports tea to countries worldwide, with a large amount going to the Middle East and Europe.


The country produces mostly black teas, but also produces and exports CTC (‘crush, tear, curl’), white and green teas. The two types of green tea produced in Sri Lanka are gunpowder tea, prepared using the Chinese leaf-drying method, and sencha tea, prepared using the Japanese method of steaming the leaves.

Ceylon Orange Pekoe TeaFrom £8.99
Offering up complex flavours, a subtle sweetness and a lovely crisp bitterness, Ceylon Orange Pekoe is well-balanced and can be enjoyed all through the day. Made from golden-tipped Pekoe leaves, this is best served as a black tea, but can also be enjoyed with a drop of milk.

Ceylon BOP TeaFrom £7.99
A full-bodied Broken Orange Pekoe tea, offering up delicious, slightly sweet flavours and a rich, deep colour, and made from carefully selected medium-sized leaves.


China

Home of the very first tea plants, China has an ancient tea-drinking culture that goes back thousands of years. With a global influence on tea production and cultivation, China is today the world’s largest tea producing country, offering a vast variety of teas that are grown in equally varied climate conditions.


Chinese tea leaves are harvested at different times throughout the year but not usually during winter, when temperatures are simply too low. The first spring harvest is generally considered to be the highest quality, making up nearly half of all yearly production of Chinese tea.

China produces almost all types of tea, with the majority being green tea, which is exported widely. Black teas such as Keemun, Yunnan and lapsang souchong are exported in large quantities, while oolong and pu’erh are also very popular.

Lapsang SouchongFrom £8.99
Sourced from the beautiful Wuyi Mountain region of China's Fujian Province, this fine black tea has a distinct smoky aroma and taste, created from methods used during the drying process. Leaves are dried over pine wood fires to develop complex woody notes, complementing their natural flavours, and resulting in a delicious, well-balanced and robust tea.

Keemun TeaFrom £8.99
Sourced from the Qimen County of Huangshan City, Keemun is a black Chinese leaf that was first produced in 1875. Revealing delicate fruity aromas and a subtly floral fragrance, Keemun is best served without milk or sugar, allowing the winey and fruity flavours to be truly experienced.


India

India produces a wide variety of world renowned, highly sought-after black teas, making it the largest tea producing country in the Indian subcontinent.


The assamica tea variety is native to India’s Himalayan region and has grown wild for thousands of years, with tea being made from it for at least 500 years. The famous Indian tea regions of Assam and Darjeeling boast a climate that is considered key to producing excellent tea flavours, while different harvest periods, known as ‘flushes’, occur in early spring and again in early summer, when higher amounts of rainfall mean that the harvested teas are of good quality.

India produces mostly black teas, which are split between CTC and orthodox production methods, but it also offers some green, white and oolong teas.

Darjeeling Leaf Tea From £9.99
Produced in the warm, humid climates of West Bengal, where fresh, clean air imbues the leaves with delightfully floral aromas, Darjeeling Tea Leaf is an excellent, light tea that offers up delicate fruit flavours, which are characterised as Muscatel, in reference to the Muscat variety of grape.

Assam Leaf TeaFrom £8.99
This large leaf tea produces a delightful amber brew that reveals bold, full flavours. Perfect when prepared with milk and sugar, Assam Leaf makes for a delicious tea that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.


Kenya

Tea was introduced to Kenya in the early 1900s, when Indian seeds were planted in the Highlands. Most of Kenya’s tea-growing regions are today found in the Kenyan Highlands, on either side of the Great Rift Valley.


The Great Rift Valley is located on the Equator at an altitude of 1,500m-2,700m, which provides an ideal climate for growing tea, with long, sunny days and consistent rainfall throughout the year, as well as a red volcanic soil that is high in nutrients.

Kenyan teas can be described as bright and brisk, with a copper-red tint to the liquor. CTC tea is produced for blending in Kenya, which is a full-bodied tea, bright in flavour and often taken with milk.

Kenya BOP Tea From £8.99
Produced in the tea growing regions of Kenya, where ideal climates, volcanic soils and warm weather create an excellent environment for growing, Kenya BOP offers a rich red liquor and strong and well-balanced flavours.

Kenya PF Tea From £7.99
Made from small but very aromatic leaves, Kenya PF is produced in the ideal climates of Kenya's tea growing regions. With a beautiful red liquor and lovely strong flavours, Kenya PF can be enjoyed at any time of the day.


South Africa

In the world of tea, South Africa is widely known for its rooibos. This caffeine-free beverage, also known as “red bush tea”, is made from the leaves of the rooibos plant, Aspalathus linearis.


Rooibos is grown and harvested in a similar way to tea but is only produced as two types: red and green. Red rooibos, the most common of the two, is the fully oxidized version and tastes malty and earthy, similar to black teas. Green rooibos is not oxidized, tastes grassier and more vegetal, and is more similar to yerba mate or camomile.

Rooibos tea is prepared by infusing the dried leaves in boiling water for no less than four minutes, but unlike certain other teas from the Camellia sinensis plant, rooibos does not tend to become at all bitter when over-brewed, making it a very versatile tea that also blends wonderfully with select flavours.

Rooibos Tea From £9.99
Rooibos is a naturally caffeine-free herbal plant that grows in South Africa. Rooibos reveals rounded sweet and fruity flavours, refreshing herbal notes and a mild and smooth finish.

Rooibos Vanilla TeaFrom £9.99
Revealing aromas of dark sugar and notes of vanilla, subtle fruitiness, a melting texture and warm, comforting flavours, Rooibos Vanilla is a delicious, caffeine-free rooibos tea.


Take a look at our Teas of the World map to find your new favourite tea!