Learn about the world of Tea
The Process of Bush to Cup
The best teas are grown at high altitude where the stress of the environment cause the plant to produce leaves high in nutrients and flavour
The tea pickers are key in the early process, they hand pluck the top two leaves and unopened bud this flush of leaf will then re-grow every 7-10 days and be re-picked. The picked leaves are transported to the factory for processing
At the factory the leaves are laid out and exposed to air which helps soften them ready for
The leaves are then rolled sometimes by hand which can allow for different shapes such as twisting and long/flat
The rolled leaves are then exposed in a chamber to air which changes the composition and therefore taste of the leaves. Length of oxidation depends on the type of tea that is needed to be produced as some green teas are not oxidized at all
The oxidation is stopped by brief heating this is where characteristics can be introduced such as smokiness
To prevent further change the leaves are then dried and sorted by shaking to remove stems etc, the dust from this process is usually used for tea bags
Health Benefits of Tea
Tea has been used and favoured for its medicinal and healing properties for thousands of year but it is only within the last 20 years where research has been conducted into its effects.
Polyephenols & Flavanoids found in tea help prevent free radicals from damaging DNA.
Top Tea Facts!
The legend of tea is discussed and challenged even today but the story of how tea was first found is as enchanting as the drink itself. Legend has it that in 2737bc the Emperor Of China – Shen Nung was waiting for a bowl of hot water to cool when a few leaves fell from a nearby tree into the water and began to change its colour. Intrigued, the emperor took a sip and was captivated by its flavour!
The early imports and price of tea to England were so expensive that it really was the reserve of the rich but also led to a huge problem with smuggling for illegal gains
The only way to end the days of tea smuggling was to reduce the tax on tea which in 1784 stood at 119% and make it more readily available and this was enacted by William Pitt the younger who became prime minister in 1783. Overnight tea became accessible to the middle classes and began to take root in the whole English conscience.
It is however what tea did for England that is so interesting, initially tea could only be brought in from China but such was the cost in bullion that with the East India Companies instigation new areas were sought to try and grow tea for the empire and India was the key. After many aborted attempts and some truly amazing feats by men such as Robert Newton the first crop of Indian tea was produced.
All the worlds’ tea is derived from one plant, the Camelia Sinensis. Although it has many varietals such as the famed Assamica, the bush itself is the only plant that produces authentic tea leaves. A tea bush matures after 5 year and then will produce leafs at varying intervals or year round depending again on its varietal and care. A normal tea bush will produce tea for up to 30 years if well tended but there are some ancient tea bushes which are revered in Asia for the tea they still produce today.
Conditions for tea are also very important, with factors such as altitude, temperature and soil type playing key roles.