In this trip Sharyn travelled to China in order to attend the second annual China Tea Industry Conference, where she was appointed as Commissioner of the Tea Experts Committee. Also seen on this trip were several expert brewers and craftsman, and a wide array of highly delicious foods.
Discussions of international tea industry matters were held at this conference, particularly about growth of the tea industry and its sustainability as a whole, from the perspective of several different represented nations.
Formally: Republic of Korea
A beautiful country boasting a rich cultural heritage and a varied cool climate, as well as the East Asian monsoon.
Australian Tea Masters is currently doing a lot of work with the Koreans to help develop their teas and tea business platform. Korea has some of the most fantastic teas being produced in the world, however its position in the global tea market does not seem to reflect this.
Formally: Nihon-Koku, or State of Japan
A oceanic country consisting of almost 7,000 different islands. Japan retains a very strong sense of identity and culture, blending the old with the new almost seamlessly – and tea isn’t an exception.
Birthplace of chanoyu, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, as well as beloved tea treats such as the Matcha KitKat (and matcha just about anything else you can think of).
Formally: Republic of China | Previously: Formosa
Taiwan is one of the hearts of oolong tea creation. Ancient techniques taken from China are combined here with modern techniques to create both traditional and unique types of oolong tea. Most famous is Dongfang Meiren, or Formosa Oriental Beauty.
Taiwan is known for vast tea plantations upon steep mountain slopes. Much of the country is warm, sub-tropical, and well above sea level, creating prime plantation conditions.
Formally: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Located on the Indo-China Peninsula, one of Vietnam’s primary exports is tea. Tea among the Vietnamese is more popular with the older members of society and households, and is considered of a similar level to activities such as writing poetry.
The Vietnamese favour lighter teas, and as such primarily produce green tea and scented teas made from botanicals.
Formally: Republic of Singapore
Singapore is a unique island nation of densely multicultural origins, and a major financial centre located in the heart of the southeast Asian island belt. Its multicultural nature means that it boasts many different cultural events, habits, and activities.
Though tea is not grown in Singapore, as a Chinese-hailing nation it is still widely fond of the art of tea. Many seek to drink it regularly and even learn more about it.
Formally: Republic of Indonesia
Indonesia is a large island archipelago, and consists of about five main large islands, and countless smaller ones. It is one of the world’s largest tea producers, and though it mainly creates tea intended for CTC and mass production, also creates its own beautiful specialty teas.
Indonesia has some of the widest biodiversity in the world, and in spite of densely populated cities, also boasts large areas of wilderness.
Formally: Bhārat Gaṇarājya or Republic of India
The country where British-commissioned tea all began. After British botanist Robert Fortune stole the secrets of tea, workers, and numerous plants from China, he brought them to British-occupied India for cultivation. This led to unprecedented tea growth within the country.
India’s main varietal is var Assamica tea, and produces the world renowned Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri teas.
Formally: United States of America
Produces very little of its own tea but remaining a large consumer and innovator in the industry, America has brought us developments such as teabags and iced tea. It continues to host large trade shows such as the World Tea Expo.
Tea plays a large part in American history, especially in American Independence, where huge volumes of tea were dumped into the ocean to protest British tea taxes.