South America


Tea culture started in Brasil in 1818 thanks to Dom Joao who planted tea tree seeds in the botanical gardens of Rio de Janeiro. The presence of Chinese specialists allows for a good beginning and the tea culture spreads to more favorable regions such as Minas Gerais and Sao Paolo. Unfortunately, the plantations were poorly maintained and the harvests diminished.  

In the beginning of the 20th century, a Japaneese, Torazo Okamoto, began to cultivate tea again. He began with green tea and imported all the necessary material from Japan. He also imported tea tree seeds from Assam and Sri Lanka. Similar to the Argentinian experience, the harvests (October-April) give mediocre results and the majority of the production (15000 tons annually) is exported and sold for the tea blends of large multinationals. A small portion of the harvest, cultivated south of Sao Paulo escapes this circuit.