ORIGIN OF TEA
Tea is a major part of our day-to-day routine. But ever thought how it was discovered? Though today India is amongst the largest producer of teas, Tea originated in China. As per history, in 2732 B.C., Emperor Shen Nung, was sitting under a tree and boiling water when few leaves accidentally fell into the pot. These leaves gave the water a different color and a beautiful fragrance. This interested the emperor, and out of curiosity, he had some. The Emperor researched on these leaves further and found that these have medicinal properties. That’s how the first cup of tea was discovered!
DIFFERENT TYPES OF TEA
There are various types of Teas that are available today, but there are some primary teas, that are the base teas that are further used to make different variations. Primary teas include the black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, etc. Most of the teas are derived from the plant Camellia sinensis. If you are new to teas, you must read this to know the types available and which one is for you.
Black tea is the most popular tea. The leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are withered, rolled, oxidized/fermented, and dried to produce a strong, full-bodied flavor. The process Is called oxidization. The taste of black tea varies based on the region it is procured from. As compared to other tea types, Black teas are relatively high in caffeine because of the oxidization process.
Green tea is the second most popular tea after black tea. The leaves of the Camellia sinensis are harvested, dried, and treated in heat to prevent oxidation. Stopping oxidation soon after harvest preserves their bright green color. The tea leaves are further rolled/pressed into their final shape. As compared to black tea, green teas have lesser caffeine.
The lesser-known white tea are also made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. To process white tea, tea leaves are plucked before they are fully open. Leaves are dried as soon as it is picked in order to avoid oxidization. White tea has very little caffeine.
Rooibos tea is an herbal tea that comes from the South African Red Bush. The leaves of this bush are first ground and bruised and later fermented and dried. Rooibos tea is also known as red tea. This tea is a caffeine-free tea.
Oolong tea is semi-oxidized tea that is somewhere in between black tea and green tea. The leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant but are bruised after harvesting by being tossed or shaken in baskets, which changes the oxidation process. They are heat-treated to stop the oxidation. This process can vary based on region and to create different flavors.
Herbal teas are the teas that are made with herbs, spices, flowers, fruits, etc. These are not made with Camellia Sinensis plant. All herbal teas are caffeine free teas. There are a wide variety of herbal teas available like chamomile tea, mint tea, hibiscus tea, etc.
Pu-erh or pu-er tea is a fermented chinese tea. The leaves of Wild Old Tree are wilted below a certain restricted amount of sunlight. Then it is tightly compressed with other leaves to create dark-colored bricks.