The cultivation and brewing of tea in India has a long history of applications in traditional systems of medicine and for consumption. Research shows that tea is indigenous to eastern and northern India, and was cultivated and consumed there for thousands of years. However, commercial production of tea in India had not begun until the arrival of the British East India Company, at which point large tracts of land were converted for mass tea production.

In the early 1820s, the British East India Company began large-scale production of tea in Assam, India, of a tea variety, traditionally brewed by the Singpho tribe. In 1826, the British East India Company took over the region from the Ahom kings through the Yandaboo Treaty.

The tea cultivation begun here in the nineteenth century by the British, however, has accelerated to the point that today India is listed as the world's leading producer, its 715,000 tons well ahead of China's 540,000 tons, and of course, the teas of Assam, Ceylon (from the island nation known as Sri Lanka), and Darjeeling are world famous. However, because Indians average half a cup daily on per capita basis, fully 70 percent of India's immense crop is consumed locally."

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