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China

China is the birthplace of tea. The first accounts of tea date back almost 5 millenia, though it wasn't commonly consumed until "just" two thousand years ago during the Zhou Dynasty. Initially prepared for medicinal purposes only, tea eventually established itself as an essential beverage enjoyed by all levels of society.

As the world's largest grower of tea, China produces all major varieties, with white and yellow teas being the most rare. Its vast range of climates and topography also leads to considerable differences in character from region to region. The most renowned growing areas are Yunnan Province in the southwest and Fujian Province along the eastern coast. Cultivation is still mostly driven by small scale farms where plucking and processing is done by hand.