International Tea Day is observed every year on May 21.
The motto for celebrating ITD every year is “Harnessing Benefits for all From Field to Cup”.
- May has been selected because the season of quality tea production starts in May in most of the tea producing countries.
- Tea production and processing around the world are the main source of livelihood for millions of families, particularly in developing countries.
- ITD is for celebrating tea – central to so many cultures.
- It contributes to the employment of millions of people. Whether you are sleepy, tired, cold or worried – a cup of tea can be the perfect solution.
- The first ITD was held in New Delhi in 2005.
- The United Nations declared May 21 as International Tea Day after Indian government moved a proposal at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea expanding the observance of International Tea Day through UN FAO.
The main objective of celebrating this day is as follows:
- To boost its production and consumption,
- To help in fighting hunger and poverty in rural areas
- To improve the condition of the tea producers and tea workers.
- Empowerment of women
- It seeks to encourage the status of tea workers, daily wages, social security, employment security, health and workers’ rights
- The sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development:
Moreover, there is an urgent need to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development and sustainable livelihoods and to improve the tea value chain to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Some Interesting Facts About Tea:
- Tea is a beverage made from the Camellia sinesis plant.
- Tea is one of the world’s oldest beverages and most popular after water.
- Records suggest that tea had originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and in southwest China.
- There is evidence that tea was consumed in China some 5,000 years ago.
- Tea plantations provide employment to millions of growers and tea estate workers worldwide.
- The production and processing of tea are among the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SGDs.
- The tea industry helps in fighting poverty and hunger.
- It contributes to the empowerment of women and the sustainable use of ecosystems.
- While more than half of the tea produced is consumed locally, it is widely traded and exported.
- Over the years, the tea industry worldwide has seen rapid growth.
- In some of the largest tea producing countries, the per capita consumption of tea is low, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)
- There are many health benefits linked to drinking tea. Tea is believed to be anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and green tea is known to be good for weight loss.
Tea producing states of India:
The majorly producing teas states are Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Sikkim, Nagaland, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Bihar, Odisha.
About Tea in Nepal and Darjeeling:
Darjeeling and Nepal are known for some of the finest teas in the world.
First Flush tea:
- The first flush arrives in spring – between mid-March and May.
- This variety of tea is clear, light and extremely aromatic.
- It commands the highest price in international markets.
Second Flush Tea:
- The second or summer flush arrives between June and mid-August.
- This is a darker tea and has a stronger flavour.
Third Flush Tea:
- The third or autumn flush arrives in October and November.
- This variety of tea is dark and quite strong.
- From the world’s finest tea – Makaibari tea grows in Makaibari Tea Estate located Kurseong subdivision of the Darjeeling district in the Indian state of West Bengal.
- The makabari tea factory is the world’s first tea factory that was established in 1859.
- Makaibari Tea Estate was the first garden to be certified for trade in the world.
- It was one of the first few to be awarded fair trade certifications. In 1988 it was the first garden to be awarded/ certified as the fully organic tea garden estate.
- In 2014 a special lot of handcrafted second flush tea from Makaibari fetched $1,850 (Rs. 1.57 lakh) per kg. That was the most expensive Indian tea ever sold.
- Makaibari Tea Estate has sustained the residents of seven villages: Kodobari, Fulbari, Makaibari, Koilapni, Cheptey, Thapathali and Chunge