Where does tea come from?

Tea was first cultivated and brewed in China , and many of the best varieties still come from China . Some of the finest oolongs in the world are grown in Taiwan. Japan also produces a considerable amount of green tea, most of which is consumed domestically.

After the British took up tea drinking, they began cultivating the plants native to India in order to have more control over the trade. India , Sri Lanka , and other South Asian countries produce a large portion of the world harvest.

Indonesia (primarily in Java and Sumatra ) produces a considerable harvest each year, most of which is exported for use in blends. Tea is also grown commercially in Turkey, Russia, Africa (notably Kenya ) and South America.

Can I grow tea plants myself?

As its botanical name suggests, the tea plant is a variety of camellia, and like other camellias it can be cultivated in a home garden. It is not well suited to indoor cultivation, though. It grows best outdoors in climates like its native ones: temperate, with warm summers and cool (not cold) winters

Large nurseries, particularly those that specialize in camellias, may be able to provide interested gardeners with tea plants ready for home growing.

How should I store tea?

Tea should be stored in an airtight, opaque container in a cool, dry place. Many tea retailers sell tea in metal tins that close tightly. Clear glass jars are acceptable only if you can keep them in a closed cupboard away from light. If you reuse containers, avoid using materials that retain odours, as the tea will pick them up.

The refrigerator is not a good place. The cold encourages water condensation, which can ruin the tea.

What are herbal teas?

Hundreds of different herbs have been used in beverages. These are sometimes called herbal teas. Tea professionals and connoisseurs usually prefer to restrict the name ‘tea’ to real tea, so you may see the following names used as well:

Herbal Infusion: means a drink made by steeping herbs in hot water.

Tisane: [pronounced tee-ZAHN], which in French means any herbal beverage.

Some common ingredients that are used as tisanes are peppermint, chamomile, rose hips, lemongrass and licorice root

What are the different kinds of tea?

The main categories of tea are green, black, and oolong. White tea is now becoming more popular and readily available. All are made from the same Camellia sinensis plant species. The processing methods that tea undergoes determines which category it will fit into. Black teas undergo several hours of oxidation in their preparation for market; oolongs receive less oxidation, and green teas are not oxidized at all.

Across the globe, more than 3000 different teas are made from different varieties of the Camella sinensis. Like wine, variation in flavour occurs due to the altitude, soil, and other environmental conditions. The variability in processing also leads to the many tea varieties.

What is Tea?

Tea is a drink made by infusing leaves of the tea plant Camellia sinensis or Thea sinensis in hot water.