Tea plantation History
The Tea plantation, Tea was known to the Chinese as early as 2737 BC. It was used as medicine in China in the 4th century AD and became a common beverage in China in the 7th century AD. The word ‘TEA’ is derived from T’e of the Amoy language, ‘CHA’ is derived from the Cantonese language. The Dutch traders introduced tea to Europe in 1610 and it became a popular drink in England in 1664.
Dr. Christy experimented in the Nilgiris in 1832 and Tea plantation in South India started as Nilgiris in 1859 and was followed in central Travancore in 1875, Kannan Devan hills in 1878, Waynad in 1889 and the Anamallais in 1897. Tea research started in North India in 1900 and South India in 1926. Tea is now cultivated in over 38 countries and the major countries are India, China Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Kenya, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Bangladesh and Argentina of which India is the largest producer with over 4,00,000 hectares. India produces 78% CTC and 21% orthodox and 1% Green teas out of total production of over 700 million kgs, of which Assam produces more than 55-60% followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala & Karnataka and other states.
Tea plantation Munnar
Munnar is an attractive destination with the world’s best and renowned Tea plantation . There are more than 50 Tea estates in around Munnar, the first Tea plantation was planted in munnar by A.H. Sharp at Parvathi, which is currently the part of Sevenmallay estate. Presently the whole area is covered by the mile and miles of lush Tea plantation , owned by the various private companies. Munnar is essentially a tea town. Tea bushes are planted 1 meter to 1.5 meters apart to follow the natural contours of the landscape. Sometimes they are grown on specially prepared terraces to help irrigation and to prevent erosion. Fifty years ago tea plants were raised from tea seeds and they were known as seedlings.
Munnar is perhaps the choicest of places to preserve and showcase some of the exquisite and interesting aspects on the genesis and growth of tea plantations in Kerala’s high ranges. With special emphasis to Munnar, and to the delight of tea lovers and Tea plantation loves tourists, Tata Tea opened a Tea Museum which houses curious, photographs and machineries, each depicting a turning point that contributed to a flourishing tea industry, as seen today in the region.