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Tea - the most well rounded beverage of our times !

June 08, 2012  by: ushakiran  Points: 12   Category: Food & Drinks  Earning $1.50   Views: 534

Tea is the most popular beverages ever known and Processing tea is considered the most important part and art of tea production. All the subtle tastes ,flavor ,body and the overall characters get created at this stage..

         

Tea is probably the most popular and well known beverage on earth other than its counterpart Coffee which is as popular.

Some Tea facts from around the world



Studies have shown that Tea can provide over 15 per cent of the minimum daily requirement of calcium , and as much as 10 per cent of Folic acid and a whopping 45 per cent of Manganese promoting healthy bones.

India is the largest tea producing country in the world. Known for its traditional style of tea producing methods , slowly India is now making a name for quality green tea,oolongs, and even whites from the exquisite high altitude tea estates of Darjeeling.

The best known Tea brands are from darjeeling and Assam.Darjeeling Tea especially is known as the Champagne of Tea !




Chinese Teas cover the widest range of all tea producing countries.China produces hundreds of varieties and styles of Teas and categorises them by leaf shape and size and the name of the district where it is grown.Normally, unlike Indian teas their Black teas are mild, sweet and has an essence of smokiness to it. The most popular ones are lapsang Souchang, Keemun and Yunan black.

Their Green Teas are Clean and has a range of essences from nutty to smoky. Some of the popular ones are Lung Ching, Dragon Well,Hubei silver yip , Sowmee and Hyson among others.The local Oolong teas are fragrant and fruity in flavor and there are any number of scented teas like jasmine, Chrysanthmum and other flower scented ones.

Srilanka is one of the largest tea exporters worldwide sending mostly black tea to Egypt , Iran and Syria. Ceylon black teas have a refreshing flavor with mild floral aromas.The more popular brands are Ceylons,Pekoe,Orange Pekoe,Broken Pekoe etc...

Japanese Tea production is one of the most efficient one and the country grows some of the worlds premium green teas.The essences are delicate and always look pale in the cup.The more popular brands are bancha,Sencha,Genmai Cha and Shizuoka.

Taiwan too has been growing many of the same teas that are grown in China and they are known for their exceptional oolongs and pouchongs variety of teas.Both the varieties are the best that one gets to taste anywhere in the world .

The art of Tea processing



Processing tea is considered the most important part and art of tea production. All the subtle tastes ,flavor ,body and the overall characters get created at this stage.In its most basic form, it is just taking the raw green leaves and deciding whether they are fit or not and how much of oxidation or fermentation should take place before drying them out.

Tea leaves have enzymes in their veins and when the leaves are broken,bruised or crushed the enzymes get exposed to the air resulting in oxidation.The amount of oxidation depends upon how much of the enzymes are exposed and for how long.The color and flavor are all dependent on this process.

According to experts the amount of time that the tea imbues determines its intensity. Different tyes of teas can be enjoyed at varying strengths. A particular variety of tea is brewed and tasted several times during the process until the tasters make note when the tea tastes best and then label the pack accordingly.

Some of the Popular varieties of Teas



Indian Black or Dark Tea - Black or Dark Tea is the most common variety consumed across the globe.They have the highest caffeine content but also some antioxidants, but not as much as the others.This is popular in UK, Europe and of course India.It is normally served with milk and sugar or with honey,lemon , ginger and mint, also with added spice. Masala Tea is very popular in India and is soon catching up elsewhere in the world too.The most popular and well known brands of black tea are Darjeeling,Assam and Ceylon..

Green Tea - This is mild and is non oxidized.Health benefits of Green tea is immense since they have very low caffeine content and have higher antioxidant levels.
After the tea leaves are plucked they are laid to wither for 10 - 24 hours or until most of the water content in the leaves evaporates.Then to neutralize the enzymes the leaves are steamed or pan fried.Then the tea leaves are rolled up tightly in various ways after which a final drying process takes place. Since no oxidation takes place the tea has more green like appearance. Some of the classic varieties of green tea are Jin Xian, Te Jian and Hojicha among others.



Oolong Tea -This is considered to be the most difficult tea to process as oolong tea leaves are partially oxidized. The leaves cannot be broken or crushed as full oxidation would occur, so they must only be bruised. Bruising tea for oolong usually is done by throwing the leaves in baskets so only the edges of the leaves are opened to air. Some of the oolongs can also look more like black tea while some resemble green tea depending on their processing.This tea is known to help those who want to lose weight and is also known to decrease the progression of wrinkles and aging of the skin.Some of the more popular brands of oolong tea are Formosa and Pouchong.

White Tea - This one is the least processed of all teas and often tastes like fresh leaves or grass ! This is a very young tea with very low amounts of caffeine and most likely the highest amount of Anti oxidant properties.
The tea is made from the tightly rolled buds , picked before they fully open and are covered with the white fuzzy hairs. In order to prevent any oxidation , the buds are immediately steamed or fired after they are let to whither for a short period of time.This is also one of the most expensive and revered brands of tea and produced in much smaller quantities than other varieties. The most popular brand is the Chinese Silver needle produced in the Fujian province .

Herbal Tea - Herbal teas are not really teas, but tea-like drinks made with processed flowers, fruits,herbs and roots. True herbal teas do not contain the tea leaves ( Camelia sinesis )most herbal teas have the ability to stimulate or relax the tea drinker.Popular Herbal teas include Chamomile,mint,lemon grass..There are also combinations available in the market where mildly processed tea leaves are added to the herbs.

According to Tea experts water temperature is the most critical element in preparing the perfect cup of tea.Heat the water until it reaches boiling point and then add the tea leaves. Switch of the fire and let it stand for a minute only before straining for that perfect cup of tea.This is especially important when preparing Green Tea or White tea which are delicate.Vey hot water and too much boiling can make the tea taste burnt and bitter.




Comment(s)
Author: Suny        
Posted Date: 06/17/2012    Points:1    

That was a great read. I would love to write some thing like that.

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