Tea

white tea yellow tea green tea
red tea black tea aromatic tea

Tea [from the word ‘thea < South-Chinese –te] camellia sinensis – a plant form the Theaceae family, a shrub or tree, maximum of 10 meters high, in cultivation up to 1,5 meter. The average cultivation temperature is about 20°C and high amount of rainfall: about 2000mm.

The most important strains of tea are Chinese Short with short, leather-like leaves, highly resistant to unfavorable weather conditions and the Assamese strain originating from Assam, India. The firs harvest of tea leaves are conducted when the shrubs are about 3-5 years old.

Due to the fact that the shrubs grow very fast, the must be trimmed. The duration of the harvest depends on the location of the plantation. Usually it lasts from the middle of March until November, three times on average. The best tea is made from the youngest leaves; usually these are two leaves and a bud. At many plantations, there are experienced pickers who pick manually.

Tea cultivation was already mentioned in Chinese writings dated back to about 2000BC. In Japan, the first mention of tea cultivation appeared in about 800BC; however, the knowledge of the tea was not widespread until the first plantations in India, Ceylon in the 19th C. and in the 20th C. outside Asia, in South America and later Africa, mainly Kenya.

Before the year 1930, the biggest producer of tea was China, later India and Ceylon. These countries comprised about 60% of the world production of tea. Currently, tea is cultivated in over thirty countries; mainly China, India, Burma, Japan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Argentina and Turkey.

There are 1500 tea blends. Their characteristics, class and quality is determined by the location of the plantation, duration of harvests, the size of the leaves, processing technology and the dried tea storing conditions . There are so many genera and strains of teas and so many possible blends, that we are presenting only the basic division of the teas. These are:

white tea
yellow tea
green tea
red tea
black tea
aromatic tea