TEA
 
 
 
 
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Tea
 

tea plantHigh in the Himalayan "Blue" Mountains tea pickers are hard at work . They pluck only young and the most flavorful leaves. The best Assam teas are grown in high altitudes with clouds comforting the tea plant and moisturizing it's leaves. Although tea plants flourish in tropical climate cool mountain air and shade from clouds produce the highest quality teas . Assam , with over 800 tea estates , is one of the major tea producers . Most of the tea is blended for consistent quality Assam . When blended with other teas like African teas or Ceylon teas becomes some of the most famous English tea or Irish tea .

Most of the tea blending is done in Amsterdam and Hamburg . At this point tea is purchased by brokers, packaged and labeled with various brand names. Single estate teas (unblended) are gaining popularity and becoming the teas of choice among tea connoisseurs . Some of the tea estates are producing organic teas. This means that there are no chemical pesticides or fertilizers  used in growing the tea . Estates in Darjeeling, India produce teas known as " Darjeeling Teas " also called " Champagne Teas " with aroma resembling Muskat grapes .Tastes vary from malty / complex to bright / simple.

Most of the tea blending is done in Amsterdam and Hamburg . At this point tea is purchased by brokers, packaged and labeled with various brand names. Single estate teas (unblended) are gaining popularity and becoming the teas of choice among tea connoisseurs . Some of the tea estates are producing organic teas. This means that there are no chemical pesticides or fertilizers  used in growing the tea . Estates in Darjeeling, India produce teas known as " Darjeeling Teas " also called " Champagne Teas " with aroma resembling Muskat grapes .Tastes vary from malty / complex to bright / simple.
PROCESSING : After tea leaves are picked they are inspected and sorted by hand. Withering takes place as water evaporates and the natural process of fermentation takes place . Fermentation , also known as oxidation , does not produce alcohol . Enzymes oxidize the tea leaf and turn it brown just like a tree leaf in the fall changes colors from green to brown .This process is accelerated by increased heat and high humidity . As a result of these conditions it takes only a few hours to turn green tea into what is known as the black tea - World's number one beverage hot or cold.  Of historical note, tea is nearly 5,000 years old and was discovered, as legend has it, in 2737 b.c. by a Chinese emperor when some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water. In the 1600s tea became popular throughout Europe and the American colonies. Since colonial days, tea has played a role in American culture and customs. Today American schoolchildren learn about the famous Boston Tea Party protesting the British tea tax -- one of the acts leading to the Revolutionary War. During this century, two major American contributions to the tea industry occurred. In 1904, iced tea was created at the World's Fair in St. Louis,and in 1908, Thomas Sullivan of New York developed the concept of tea in a bag.


tea plantation tea plantation tea prepration
 




Tea breaks down into three basic types: black, green and oolong. In the U.S., over 90 percent of the tea consumed is black tea, which has been fully oxidized or fermented and yields a hearty-flavored, amber brew. Some of the popular black teas include English Breakfast (good breakfast choice since its hearty flavor mixes well with milk), Darjeeling (a blend of Himalayan teas with a flowery bouquet suited for lunch) and Orange Pekoe (a blend of Ceylon teas that is the most widely used of the tea blends).

Green tea skips the oxidizing step. It has a more delicate taste and is light green/golden in color. Green tea, a staple in the Orient, is gaining popularity in the U.S. due in part to recent scientific studies linking green tea drinking with reduced cancer risk.

Oolong tea, popular in China, is partly oxidized and is a cross between black and green tea in color and taste.
While flavored teas evolve from these three basic teas, herbal teas contain no true tea leaves. Herbal and "medicinal" teas are created from the flowers, berries, peels, seeds, leaves and roots of many different plants.

Green Tea - Types and origins

Bancha - Origin - Japan - also produced in China and Indonesia.
The Large leaf is steamed. A sweet tasting, light golden liqueur. 

China Green - a generic name for Chinese green tea. This tea is usually pan fired resulting in a very slight" Smoky " taste and aroma.

China powder - similar to Japanese Macha

Darjeeling Green teas - Origin - Darjeeling district of India
A totally different experience. The appearance, of this tea resemble a combination of both green and
black Darjeeling teas.
Its aroma and flavor characteristics are those of a Darjeeling tea not the "Grassy" flavor and aroma typical
of Japanese green teas.

Gunpowder - Origin - China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka
Young leaves are tightly rolled in order to preserve freshness.

Kukicha - Origin Japan.
Twigs of the tea leaf. Some are lightly roasted. The tea produces a very light liquor and has the least
amount of caffeine.

Konacha - Origin Japan.
Also known as " Sushi Tea ", semi - powdered (coarse) Only high grade young leaves are used for this tea.

Macha ( Matcha ) - Origin Japan.
This tea is made of young tea leaves that are shielded from the sun for 4 to 6 weeks resulting in a very
delicate taste. It is ground to a very fine powder.

 Sencha - meaning " common tea " - Origin Japan.
Wide variety of grades and tastes from mild. and sweet flavor to a strong vegetal flavor and aroma.
Sencha - Origin China - Labeled " Japan tea " with the appearance of Japanese Sencha. Chinese grown tea
does not have the trademark aroma and flavor of Japanese Sencha.



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