History of Tea in Thailand.
In Northern Thailand between 1188m to 1350m around the town of Chiang Rai is Thailand’s tea growing area. The Shan people native to the border region between Northern Thailand and Myanmar ( Burma) used to collect tea leaves for their own consumption from a local large leaf sub-species of Camellia Sinensis that grew wild there. They made a kind of pickled tea which is eaten called Miang . Miang is made from fresh tea leaves which is steamed then packed into large bamboo stalks where it is buried and left to ferment for several months. An acquired taste.
In the late 1980’s one of the Royal Thai projects was to introduce tea as a cash crop as part of the initiative to replace opium as a cash crop in Northern Thailand. The ethnic Chinese population in the mountain enclave’s of Doi Mae Salong and Doi Wawee in Thailand had ties with Taiwan’s Aloshan mountain people which had a successful Oolong and Green Tea indiustry. With the help of the Taiwan Tea Agricultural Research Centre, equipment, expertise and plants suitable for Thailand was made available to support the Thai initiative. This was the basis of Thailands new tea industry. Thailand is now ranked 11th in the tea producing world creating its own unique teas.