Where does Ahmad Tea come from?
Next time you drink a cup of Ahmad Tea, take a look at the dried brown leaves inside your teabag or strainer. You may think ‘there’s nothing particularly interesting going on here’. To that we say ‘think again’.
That’s why our expert Tea Tasters are here to tell you about the exciting journey that Ahmad Tea takes before it reaches your cup.
A taste of the world in your cup
Did you know that your Ahmad Tea teabag or loose leaf blend could contain teas grown in 20 different regions and up to 8 different countries?
Ahmad Tea’s Expert Buyers are always travelling around looking for new and exciting types of tea. We don’t buy teas from any country alone rather we taste thousands or samples from hundreds of tea gardens around the world to find the best quality teas for our blends.
The big 4 tea producers
Ever tried growing a tea plant in your front garden? Well don’t bother trying, leave it to the professionals.
The tea plant, Camellia sinensis, enjoys warm, tropical climates with good rainfall and high altitudes. Tea bushes need a lot of space and are grown in ‘gardens’ where differences in soil acidity, altitude and climate produce a wonderful variety of different flavours.
That’s why the characteristics of teas from the world’s four main tea producing countries – China, India, Kenya and Sri Lanka, differ so much.
With a tea drinking tradition stretching back over 5000 years, it’s no surprise that China is the world’s largest producer of tea.
Legend has it that in 2737 BC, when the Emperor Shen Nung boiled some water for drinking, a leaf from a wild tea tree fell in unnoticed and the resulting brew was found to be refreshing and invigorating.
Nowadays there are 18 tea producing regions all over the South Eastern part of the country that contribute to over two billion kilograms of tea produced each year, around 60% of which is green tea.
Today tea cultivation is big business in India with over a billion kilograms produced each year. But it wasn’t until the early 19th century when, under British Rule, India’s commercial potential for tea growing began to be unlocked.
There are now three famous regions in India that produce black tea – Darjeeling, known as ‘the champagne of teas’ with a delicate aroma and light colour , Assam, known for its robust taste and dark colour and Nilgiri tea that is dark, intensely aromatic and flavoured
Kenya is the world’s biggest exporter of tea and it specialises in making ‘CTC’ tea (Crush, tear, curl) which is the kind used in making teabags.
Kenya’s equatorial location makes year-round production possible, guaranteeing a perpetually fresh product. It has a developed road and rail network for transporting tea from the gardens to the port town of Mombasa where it is then shipped to the UK, Middle East and Europe.
Our final member of tea’s main players is Sri Lanka – the world’s fourth biggest producer.
Tea from Sri Lanka is known as Ceylon and is produced in various regions of the island. The mountainous areas of Nuwara Eliya, Uva and Dimbula produce premium quality teas. While in the South of the country lower grown teas are produced that are much stronger and thicker. These teas are particularly popular in Middle-Eastern countries which favour their very clean jet black leaf.