There’s nothing more calming in the morning than a hot cup of tea. Many people can’t begin their day without the beverage. According to the Tea Association of America, tea is the most widely consumed drink in the world after water. That claim isn’t really surprising, given how popular the drink is.
While people drink tea around the world, do we ever stop and think where it all comes from? The cultivation of tea dates back more than 6,000 years in East Asia, where farmers learned to steep the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant into a fragrant brew. Since then, tea’s impact on civilization has been nothing short of remarkable.
With rolling green estates and lush zigzag slopes, tea plantations all over the world produce our favorite beverage. Apart from producing a myriad of tea varieties and providing livelihood to millions of people across the globe, many of these gorgeous locations are also extremely pleasing to the eyes.
While a tea plantation excursion might not be viable for you right now, given the current circumstances, you can certainly admire their bewitching beauty from the comfort of your home. Let’s take a look at some of those breathtaking locations below.
1. Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Also referred to as Little England, Nuwara Eliya is a cozy little hill country in the tea country hills of central Sri Lanka that does indeed resemble the English countryside. This region is known for producing multiple varieties of tea and has a very temperate climate with many picturesque locations. The Pedro Tea Estate, in particular, is a visually stunning place filled with lush greenery just waiting to be explored. Just a glimpse of the flourishing lush tea pastures and crystalline waterfalls in the area is enough to make your day.
2. Darjeeling Tea Estates, India
The Darjeeling variety of tea is considered among the best the world over. Located in the northeast of India, among the great Himalayas, the Darjeeling tea estates are admired for their magnificent scenery. You will also get stunning views of their rolling lush fields and the astounding Himalayan foothills from the tea estates. The only way you can be distracted from gaping at the gorgeous views of the plantations is by the chugging sounds of Darjeeling's famous toy train.
3. Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco
The oldest public Japanese garden in the United States, the Japanese Tea Garden is a unique spot that promises to awaken all of your senses. Located inside Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the park was established in 1894 to showcase a Japanese Village for the California Midwinter International Exposition. The Japanese-style garden is replete with an azalea-covered waterfall, regal lanterns and statues, and plenty of wisterias and other magical blooms. The highlight of the garden is the Tea House, where you can enjoy a meditative cup of tea and sample popular Japanese refreshments.
4. Gorreana Tea Plantation, Portugal
Located in São Miguel island in Portugal, the Gorreana Tea Plantation is Europe's oldest still-operational tea farm. The island was once a major orange producer and exporter, but over time, the locals realized that its humid climate and volcanic soil were best suited for tea plants. The Gorreana Tea Plantation is a family-run tea producer established in 1883. Today, the plantation produces 44 tons of tea annually and ships it to various parts of the world. Its spectacular views are what will draw you toward the place.
5. Doi Mae Salong Tea Estates, Thailand
Mae Salong, situated in the hills of the Chiang Rai area of northern Thailand, is a charming province teeming with beautiful tea plantations. The high-quality Oolong tea is the specialty of the region and can be enjoyed in any of the tea houses here. The region is Northern Thailand’s leading tea estate and produces about 200 tons of oolong tea every year.
The tea trees are lined in staircase fields, and visitors can witness tea picking, tea production, tea brewing, and tea tasting while checking out the picturesque scenery.
6. Boh Tea Plantations, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
The Cameron Highlands of Malaysia are surrounded by tea plantations, jungle trails, and lively farms. Most of the mountain slopes here are wrapped in lush green tea leaves and gushing waterfalls that make for quite a serene sight. The Boh Tea Plantation is the most prominent of the tea gardens here. Founded in 1929 by British businessman JA Russel, it is the largest tea plantation in Southeast Asia - with more than 8,000 acres of sweeping green fields of tea plants and some of the most gorgeous vistas you will ever see. Taking a stroll through this enchanting area in Malaysia is an experience you will never forget.
7. Rize, Turkey
Turkey's Rize region has some amazing tea plantations along the beautiful Black Sea coast. This scenic small town is the country's main tea-producing region and hosts the annual Rize International Tea Festival, during which tea experts from all over the world congregate in this enchanting place. All the tea plantations here are extraordinarily charming and will steal your heart instantly. Sip steaming hot samples of different tea varieties and meander through bright green rippled meadows to make the best of your time here.
8. Kolukkumalai, Kerala
Tea is an intrinsic part of daily life in India, so it’s no surprise that the country abounds in tea plantations. While Darjeeling is well-known for its tea production, Kolukkumalai, in Kerala, also deserves a mention. At 7,900 feet (2,407 m) above sea level, it is the world’s highest tea plantation and one of the most scenic destinations you will ever see. The plantation produces organic tea, the quality of which is said to be among the best in the world. If not for anything else, you will certainly relish the winding slopes and beautiful views of Kolukkumalai.
9. Moc Chau Plateau, Vietnam
Spending a day at the Moc Chau tea plantations in Vietnam will be something you will never forget. Set at an altitude of 3,460 feet (1,054 m) above sea level, it is one of the country’s most exquisite tea estates. Your eyes won’t get enough of the endless green tea hills and verdant fields along with the gardens of plum and apricot trees. And the aroma of the tea plants will stay with you long after you have left Moc Chau.
Moc Chau is a significant producer of high-quality tea and is best known for the Oolong, Kim Tuyen, and Shan Tuyet varieties. Take tours of the tea plantations during the day and savor a warm cup of tea in the evening.
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