If you asked a child in most Western cities what tea is, the chances are they will say it is a brown powder in a small paper bag which has a string attached to it!

The dumbing down and lack of information about this mystical and healthy beverage was successfully carried out by large multi national food companies from the 1970s until a few years ago. They were looking for market share in the supermarkets and therefore attempted to make the tea bag a generic product without emphasising product quality, regional variation or origin.

Thankfully over the last few years the knowledge about tea and its wonderful attributes have been widely publicised, primarily because of the health benefits associated with it.

Tea is grown in many countries mainly in Asia and Africa. It is an important agricultural product and the source of important export revenue for many of them. The tea trade employs millions of people to produce, manufacture and distribute this healthy and pleasing drink which we all enjoy.

The principal producers of tea are China, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Taiwan. Very often smaller tea producing countries blend their teas with teas from the major producing countries as their own production levels are low.