All tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub. Different types of tea are produced by altering the shape and making of the leaf, termed as ‘manufacturing’ or ‘processing’.
- Has anti-viral properties
- Helps protect heart health.
- Reduces the risk of prostate problems
Grades of tea available
BOPSM / BP / OF / PD / DUST / BP1 / OF1 / PD1
Two principal varieties of the species are used, the small-leaved Chinese variety plant aka C. Sinensis var. sinensis, used for most types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant aka C. Sinensis var. assamica, which is traditionally mainly used for black tea.
For making tea, the leaves have to undergo a basic five-step process; some teams don’t utilize all of these steps, while other teas repeat them several times.
Basic processing is :
Plucking which is gathering leaves from the plant,
Withering which allows the leaves to wilt and soften,
Rolling which helps shape the leaves and extract the juices from them, Oxidising allows the leaves to decompose and, Firing which is nothing but drying.
The most important part, what defines the categories of tea, is Oxidising. Oxidation occurs when the enzymes in the tea leaf interact with oxygen after the cell walls are broken apart. This can happen quickly, through rolling, cutting or crushing, or more slowly through the natural decomposition of the leaf. It’s just like how fruits react when exposed to oxygen. For example, a banana will start to turn brown after a while, that process is nothing but oxidation.
“Oxidation” is still referred to by some in the tea industry as “fermentation” based on how similar the process is to that of preparing liquor from grapes. Everyone knows this is actually oxidation, but because of its long history, fermentation is still used. In India, the term is commonly used by many tea experts.