Tea Production in China: 4 Main Tea Growing Regions
When asking the question: Which tea regions and provinces in China produce tea? You might as well wonder which areas aren’t producing. China is the biggest tea producer in the world, and in fact, many regions produce tea from the most southern Hainan province all the way up the more northern Shandong province.
4 Tea Growing Regions
More than 20 provinces in China actually produce tea to some extent, though there are some large differences in total output. Traditionally, the tea producing areas are divided into 4 main growing regions:
Southwest China: ‘Xinan’ 西南
This region includes the provinces Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and some southern parts of Tibet. It features many varieties of large tea trees. The most representative tea types are green, black and dark (pu erh) tea.
South China: ‘Huanan’ 华南
This region includes the provinces Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Fujian and Taiwan. This region has according to tea experts the most suitable climate with the best tea growing conditions. All tea types are represented by this region.
South of Yangtze River: ‘Jiangnan’ 江南
This region is situated between middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze river and includes the provinces: Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Hunan as well as the southern part of Jiangsu, Hubei and Anhui. Due to cooler climate this region is famous for green tea, but also produces a smaller amount of yellow and black tea.
North of Yangtze River: ‘Jiangbei’ 江北
This region includes the provinces Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Shangdong as well as the northern part of Anhui, Jiangsu and Hubei. With the coolest climate this region is only suitable for growing tea trees of smaller leaf kinds, as they are more resistant to cool temperatures. Therefore, this region mainly produces green tea.
As you might have noticed, some provinces are included in 2 regions. That’s because these regional divisions aren’t taking provincial borders into account, instead it looks at the climate and growing conditions.