Bangladesh is an important tea producing country. Its tea industry dates back to the British rule , when the British East India Company started tea business in Chittagong in 1840 . At present, Bangladesh has 16 commercial tea estates, some of which are the largest operational tea gardens in the world. The industry produces 3% of the world's tea, and employs 4 million people.
Tea is produced in the northern and eastern districts; Highlands, warm climates, humid and rain-prone areas create an environment conducive to the production of high quality tea.
Historically, Bengal Tea Horse Road was the end, the subcontinent 's first tea-producing region llanera connected to that. Atish Dipankar is considered to be one of the earliest Bengali tea drinkers.
The cultivation of black tea in the province of Bengal started during the British rule . European traders established the subcontinent's first tea garden in the port city of Chittagong in 1840 , when Chinese tea trees were brought from the Calcutta Botanical Gardens and planted next to the Chittagong Club . The first tea was made and drunk in 1843 on the banks of the Karnafuli River in Chittagong . The first commercial cultivation of tea began in 1857 at the Malnichhara tea garden in Sylhet . The Surma river valley in the Sylhet region is in East BengalKnown as the center of tea production. Tea cultivation also started in Lower Tripura (now Comilla ) and Panchagarh in North Bengal . Panchagarh is the third tea region of Bangladesh and the most sought after tea is produced here.
Tea was a significant export of British Bengal. The Assam-Bengal Railway has served as the lifeline of the industry by delivering tea from tea farmers in the Surma and Brahmaputra valleys to exporters in the port of Chittagong .
Chittagong Tea Auction was established in 1949 by British and Australian traders. British companies such as James Finlay and Duncan Brothers once dominated the industry. The Ispahani family was also a famous partner in the industry.
A tea garden in Sylhet district .
After jute , tea is the most exported cash crop in Bangladesh. This industry accounts for 1% of the national GDP. Tea producing districts are Moulvibazar , Habiganj , Sylhet , Chittagong , Panchagarh , Brahmanbaria and Rangamati .
Once a major tea exporter in the world, Bangladesh is now just an ordinary exporter. The rise of the Bangladeshi middle class has largely driven the industry towards a lucrative domestic market. At present the sector is being managed by Bangladeshi companies like MM Ispahani Limited, Kazi & Kazi, Transcom Group , James Finlay Bangladesh, Orion Group, Abul Khair Group and Duncan Brothers Bangladesh Limited.
In 2012, Bangladesh produced a record amount of tea, which was about 8,375 crore kilograms.  Whereas in 1947 there were 26,634 hectares of land, now there are more than 56,848 hectares being used for the cultivation of this industry.Currently, the government has taken initiatives to develop small scale tea growers in the industry, especially in the Chittagong Hill Tracts .
The price of tea in Bangladesh is determined through a government auction in Chittagong. In March 2015, the international market price of Bangladeshi tea was US $ 2.40.
There are more than 300,000 tea plantations in Bangladesh. 75% of whom are women.Many of the workers are tribal people who were brought from Central India during the British rule.
The Bangladesh Tea Board and the Bangladesh Tea Research Institute are supporting the production, attestation, and export of tea for trade in Bangladesh . The Bangladesh Tea Research Institute began work on improving the quality of tea in 1956, by inventing genes to produce and develop high quality high yielding leaves.