Commercial production of tea in India began after the conquest of large areas by the British East India Company, at which point large tracts of land were converted for mass tea production.India was the top producer of tea for nearly a century.The documented evidence according to the history of tea drinking in India dates back to 750 BC. Tea in India is generally grown in the North Eastern regions and the Nilgiri Hills. Having evolved since those early days, tea drinking in India has now come a long way. Today this nation is proud to be one of the largest tea producers in the world. Buddhist monks in India have used tea for its medicinal value since thousands of years.
According to a very interesting legend, the history of tea drinking in India began with a saintly Buddhist monk about almost 2000 years ago. It so happened that this monk who later became the founder of Zen Buddhism, decided to spend seven sleepless years contemplating the life and teachings of Buddha. While he was in the fifth year of his contemplation and prayer, he almost fell asleep. He took some leaves from a nearby bush and began chewing them. These leaves revived him and enabled him to stay awake as he chewed on them whenever he felt drowsy. Thus he was able to complete his penance for seven years. These were the leaves of the wild tea plant.