The British became interested in tea cultivation in the Assam region of India in the 1830's when it appeared that treaties with China which included tea were not going to be extended. The East India Company made representations to the British Governor of India to be allowed to research the possibility of tea cultivation in India. These discovered a hardy camellia that was indigenous to Assam. This particular genus of the camellia eventually became know as the Assam jat and today forms the backbone of Assam tea plantations.
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