Tea is the most popular beverage in the world! Around 6 billion cups are consumed a day. Since first harvested in 2700 B.C. by the Chinese "Divine Healer" Emperor Shen Nung, the world has been enjoying tea for over 4,000 years. With this incredibly high demand for tea, an unjust and corrupt system has risen to meet it. Daily, many tea garden workers are exploited by corporate tea companies which are unknowingly supported by every-day tea drinkers.
On gardens that we've visited, a typical tea plucker picks around 200lbs a day for a daily wage of $2 - $3 US dollars. (Keep in mind that a single green leaf weighs very very little). Typically women are employed as tea pluckers because their smaller hands are more precise in picking the preferred top two leaves and the bud, and workers often climb steep mountain sides in order to get to the leaves. One time my wife and i were talking with a lady on a garden in the Nilgiri region of South India, and we told her it was so beautiful there that we thought we might have died and gone to heaven. She replied by saying, "That's ironic, because all of us who work here think we are trapped in hell." Her response was sobering. The men often have jobs as (INSERT INFO)