- Tea: Geographical Factors
- Black vs Green Tea
- Factor: break of the bulk (London)
- Tea: Darjeeling
- Tea: China
In the previous article, we discuss the geographical factors affecting the location of rubber plantation. Now moving to the next topic
- Weeding, manure, pruning and plucking= tedious job: need skill+ patience=>cheap female labour force is essential. (recall the same factor for sericulture development in India, China)
- Since tea has to be grown in hill slopes, mechanization =not possible (like in case of wheat in Canada/corn in US.)
- Even while drying, rolling, fermentation, grading and packaging of tea, skilled manpower needed.
- Therefore, tea plantation is done near areas with high population density.
|Topography||doesn’t like stagnant water=> has to be grown on highland or hill slopese.g. hills of Darjiling, Jalpaiguri or Nilgiri|
|black tea||green tea|
|People in far east and Japan like green tea more. They consume it without adding sugar/milk (obviously because this region doesn’t a have well developed dairy industry.)|
- Break of the bulk=place where mode of transportation changes e.g. waterway to railways.
The rise of London Tea Biz
- In the era of Colonization, British controlled Indian and Sri-Lankan tea estates and had a ‘sphere of influence’ in China.
- Therefore, lot of tea went to London port and from London the large consignments were broken, various blends were mixed and tea was re-exported to other European countries + USA (which was a ‘colony’ of Britain at that time) + local consumption.
The fall of London Tea Biz
- In world history, we saw that Americans revolted against the tea-tax imposed by Britain= Boston Tea Party, and then American war of independence= Thus tea export to USA declined, product became expensive, Americans shifted to Coffee drinking.
- Later Both Indian and Sri-Lanka gained independence, Communist rule in China=now tea was exported directly to the recipient country in Europe, rather than via ‘middleman’ London.
- Britain had accumulated truckload of wealth from its Asian-African colonies + industrial revolution.
- By 1830s, monopoly over Chinese tea-trade was lost with the entry of other European players exercising sphere of influence over China.
- The indigo cropping in Bihar was not giving good returns.
- Suez Canal opened=distance reduced.
- All ^these factors led to British “FDI” going in the Indian tea-plantation activity.
|Climate||morning fog, low temperature=high grade leaf|
|soil||soil has good quantity of phosphorous+potash=>gives special flavor to Darjeeling Tea.|
|Topography||Grown in hills=no stagnant water.|
|Labour||Large estates have residential, school, hospital facilities=>permanent labor force working for generations.|
Mostly grown on Yangtze-Kiang and Sikiang valleys
|Climate||summer monsoon keeps the temp good for tea|
Some passing reference to other countries and factors
|Indonesia||Ocean breeze and cheap supply of female labour|
In the next article, we’ll check the geographical factors affecting the location of coffee plantation industry in Brazil and India.