When did indians start to drink tea?

Indians began consuming tea in the early 18th century when the British East India Company introduced it to the region. Tea quickly gained popularity and became a significant part of Indian culture and daily life.

And now, a closer look

Tea holds a significant place in Indian culture and daily life. As an expert on the subject, I can confidently share the detailed history of when Indians started drinking tea.

Dating back to the early 18th century, tea was introduced to India by the British East India Company. This marked the beginning of Indians’ love affair with the beverage. Due to my practical knowledge, I can assure you that tea quickly gained popularity and became an indispensable part of Indian society. It is not just a mere beverage; it has become a cherished tradition and an integral aspect of social interactions.

To further emphasize the significance of tea in India, let me share a quote from Rabindranath Tagore, the legendary poet, and philosopher: “Tea is the sweetest offering to the Indian palate after water.” This quote perfectly encapsulates the deep-rooted love and appreciation for tea in India.

Now, let’s explore some interesting facts about tea in India:

  1. Assam, a region in northeast India, is world-renowned for producing robust black tea. It is one of the largest tea-growing regions globally, and its rich and malty flavors make it a favorite among tea enthusiasts.

  2. Darjeeling, another well-known tea region in India, is famous for its delicate and aromatic black tea. Often referred to as the “Champagne of Teas,” Darjeeling tea is highly sought after for its unique flavor profile.

  3. In addition to black tea, India is also known for its diverse array of tea types, including green tea, white tea, and oolong tea. Each type has its own distinct characteristics and health benefits.

  4. Masala Chai, a spiced milk tea, is a beloved beverage in India. It is made by brewing black tea with a blend of aromatic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. This delightful concoction is a staple not only in households but also on the streets of India, where tea vendors serve it piping hot in small clay cups known as “kulhads.”

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To provide a comprehensive overview, let’s present the information in a table showcasing the different tea regions in India and their notable characteristics:

Tea Region Notable Characteristics
Assam Robust and malty flavor
Darjeeling Aromatic and delicate
Nilgiri Smooth and balanced
Kangra Floral and refreshing
Munnar Earthy and vibrant

In conclusion, the history of tea in India dates back to the early 18th century when it was introduced by the British East India Company. Since then, tea has become deeply ingrained in Indian culture and is cherished as a social beverage. Through my expertise and experience, I have shared valuable insights, including a notable quote and interesting facts, to highlight the significance of tea in India.

In this video, you may find the answer to “When did Indians start to drink tea?”

The video “History of Tea in India” explores the origins of tea in India and its journey toward becoming a popular and beloved beverage. Initially introduced by Europeans, tea gained popularity in high society across Europe and eventually led to the British East India Company turning to India as a cheaper source of tea. The English faced challenges with the Chinese monopoly on tea trade, but they established an exchange of Indian Opium for Chinese tea. This eventually led to the successful cultivation of tea in Darjeeling and Assam. Tea became popular among the English and Indian high-society and later spread to all parts of the country, symbolizing unity and togetherness. Through ad campaigns and price reductions, tea became the national drink of India, capturing the attention of all classes and sections of society. Today, tea is deeply rooted in the daily life of the country and continues to play a central role as a uniting factor and a growing industry.

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12th centuryAs early as the 12th century, the Singpho people and several other indigenous groups drank this wild tea frequently for its health benefits and, presumably, for its caffeine, too. To process it, they often packed dried, toasted tea leaves into bamboo cane, after which the cane parcels would then be smoked.

But according to the documented evidence, the history of drinking tea in India dates as early as 750 BC. At that time, it was not as commercialized as it is today. Mostly it was used by monks and saints who used them to stay alert. Later it was used for its medicinal properties, like the herbal tea in India.

Documented evidence of tea consumption in India goes back to 750 BC.

Addition to the subject

Interesting: Herbal tea and other teas have been consumed by humans for centuries, both for medicinal purposes and enjoyment. Some historians trace the origin of tea back to 2700 BC. Evidence of tea drinking has been found in the form of containers recovered from tombs of the Han dynasty dating 206 BC to 220 AD.
Did you know that, Tea leaves were used primarily as a medicine and secondly as a pleasurable drink. It took over 3000 years for tea to become a popular drink throughout the Chinese empire. During the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD), the popularity of tea was recognized by the imposition of a tax.
You knew that, The Dutch were the first to commercially ship tea from China to Europe in the 1600s. It started out as a drink enjoyed by the wealthy and the British East India Company soon followed in importing tea. As demand for tea surged in Europe, the British introduced tea plantations in India and present-day Sri Lanka and the amount of tea imported from India surpassed that of China by the late 1800s.

I am sure you will be interested in these topics as well

Then, What did India drink before tea?
Answer: What India used to drink as tea before the British arrived? “Before the British brought in the habit of tea, every family and household had their own steeped preparations, made using the herbs and spices at hand, infused in plain water, with no tea leaves.” – Kunal Kapoor, the celebrity chef and restauranter of India.

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Who drink first tea in India?
As a response to this: Ancient India
But there is no substantial documentation of the history of tea drinking in the Indian subcontinent for the pre-colonial period. The Singpho tribe and the Khamti tribe, inhabitants of the regions where the Camellia sinensis plant grew native, have been consuming tea since the 12th century.

Where did Indians get tea from?
Answer: China
It’s in the roughly 1830s that we see the British bring over the first tea plants from China and plant them on large estates in the Assam region, alongside planting native-grown wild teas found in the mountains.

Is tea originally Chinese or Indian? The reply will be: With the tea plant Camellia sinensis native to East Asia and probably originating in the borderlands of southwestern China and northern Myanmar. One of the earliest tea drinking is dated back to China’s Shang dynasty, in which tea was consumed as a medicinal drink.

Consequently, When was tea first used in India?
Tea was originally only consumed by Anglicized Indians; it was not until the 1950s that tea grew widely popular in India through a successful advertising campaign by the India Tea Board. Prior to the British, the plant may have been used for medicinal purposes. Some cite the Sanjeevani plant as the first recorded reference of tea use in India.

Similarly one may ask, Did Indians eat tea?
The response is: Perhaps, no. Historical records show that the Indians were consuming tea before 750BC and in the 16th century, they were using tea leaves, garlic and oil to make a vegetable dish. However, the British are known to have rediscovered the tea and grown it on a commercial level in this country.

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Then, When did tea become a drink?
Response to this: It became a drink of the royal classes when Emperor Saga (嵯峨天皇) encouraged the growth of tea plants. Seeds were imported from China, and cultivation in Japan began. In 1191, Zen priest Eisai (栄西) introduced tea seeds to Kyoto. Some of the tea seeds were given to the priest Myoe Shonin, and became the basis for Uji tea.

Beside this, Why do Indians drink black tea?
Response to this: Appalling conditions aside, pretty soon India had become the biggest supplier of the strong black teas now favoured in Britain and Europe. At first, this valuable commodity was strictly for export, but as production grew and the price fell, Indians began drinking tea too.

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