Thereafter, the first public Tea auction took place in Ceylon on the 30th of July in 1883 at the office of Messrs. Sommerville and Company Colombo. Then in the year 1873, the first consignment of Tea was exported from Sri Lanka and the production of pure quality Ceylon Tea topped the one million kilo mark by the year 1884. Since then the production of pure Ceylon Tea had steadily increased to the extent, that it has become the major export commodity, as well as Sri Lanka stands on top in the International Tea export market, for its unique taste and aroma. The Tea plant grows from almost sea level to a higher elevation of 2,000 to 3,000 meters above the sea level in acid red yellow Podzolic to reddish-brown lateritic soils. The Tea-growing areas in Sri Lanka experience an annual rainfall of 1,500 to 5,300 millimetres (mm) or more, with a minimum temperature of 14 deg.C and a maximum temperature of 28 deg.C respectively. Today the habit of Tea-drinking has spread all over the world. It is second only to water as the most favourite beverage in the world. Most people drink Tea as a social drink because of its pleasant and stimulating character. Recent biomedical research confirms, that this century-old traditional beverage has the power to prevent illnesses and prolong life.