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Legend says that tea was discovered by the Chinese Emperor, Shan Nong, in 2737 B.C. The Emperor had a habit of boiling his drinking water. One day, while the Emperor boil water in his garden, a few tea leaves fell by chance into his boiling water. Right after the water gave off a rich aroma. The Emperor taste the aromatic water and discovered that it is refreshing and energizing. The usage of tea as a beverage was first recorded in China in 10th century BC. It was already a common drink during around 200 BC and became widely popular when it was spread to Korea and Japan. Trade of tea by the Chinese to Western nations in the 19th century spread tea and the tea plant to numerous locations around the world.

The tea plant is an evergreen of the Camellia family that is native to China, Tibet and northern India. There are two main types of the tea plant. The small leaf type, known as Camellia sinensis, blooming in the cool, high mountain regions of central China and Japan. The broad leaf type, known as Camellia assamica, grows best in the moist, tropical climates found in Northeast India and the Szechuan and Yunnan provinces of China. The plant produces dark green, shiny leaves and small, white blossoms.

Picking the leaves (Harvesting): The picking should start at exactly the right time, to assure that the leaves are large enough, but not too old. Just the top two leaves and the bud are picked for the best black and green teas. Only the buds are picked for some very special teas. Withering: After picking, the green leaves are spread out to wither between 12 to 18 hours. During the withering process, the leaves lose most of their moisture, becoming soft and pliable. This

allows the leaves to be rolled without tearing.

Rolling: Rolling breaks the leaves releasing the natural juices to collect on the surface of the leaf. After rolling, the leaves are brought into large, cool, humid rooms to ferment. *** If we stop here we will get green tea. For producing black tea - tea has to be subjected to one more operation that is called fermentation.

Fermentation and drying: The fermentation process produces essential oils from the natural juices. The essential oils give each black tea its characteristic aroma and flavor. The fermentation process must be stopped at the point where the aroma and flavor of the tea have fully developed. This is done by firing the leaves in large ovens. The essential oils dry on the surface of the leaves and remain relatively stable until exposed to boiling water during infusion. Sorting (Grading): In the last step of production, the leaves must be sorted by size. During the production process, approximately 80% of tea leaves are broken or crushed so that the finished tea consists of full leaves, broken leaves and smaller particles (fannings) and tea dust. Since the necessary steeping time increases with the size of the leaf, the tea must be sorted into lots of equal leaf size. The large leaves, 20% of the tea, is the best grade, the small broken leaves are the next grade, the fannings and tea dust is used in tea bags.

There are four main types of tea: green tea, black tea, oolong tea and white tea. All tea comes from the same plant. White tea is a lightly oxidized tea that comes from the delicate buds and younger leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. These buds and leaves are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing. Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Green tea is made solely with the leaves of Chinese Camellia that have undergone minimal oxidation during the process. Green tea has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan and South Korea to the Middle East and recently It has become more widespread in the West. There are Many varieties of green tea that can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time. Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process including withering under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. The degree of fermentation can range from 8% to 85%, depending on the variety and production style.

The possible beneficial effects of tea consumption in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases have been demonstrated in animal models and suggested by many studies. Similar beneficial effects, however, have not been convincingly demonstrated in humans: beneficial effects have been demonstrated in some studies but not in others. If such beneficial effects do exist in humans, they are likely to be mild, depending on many other lifestyle-related factors . Although there is no scientific evidence, it has traditionally been customary to believe that tea has health effects. It is customary to offer sick people , that suffers from flu or a cooling, to drink lots of tea. This rise up from the belief that drinking a lot of tea will expedite the recovery.

* Recommendation only! No alternative to medical treatment under any circumstances!

Relief of nausea - Ginger tea, chamomile tea Abdominal pain - Chamomile tea, sage tea Gas problem - tea with cinnamon, mint tea, chamomile tea Fever - Ginger tea or chamomile tea Sore throat - Chamomile tea, tea with honey and lemon With high blood pressure - Green Tea Lowering cholesterol - Cinnamon Tea For insomniacs - Chamomile tea Relief of cough - Cinnamon Tea Cooling relief - Green Tea

Tea culture in Israel was developing in recent years. Israel, as it built on the ingathering of the exiles, many tend to drink different types of tea especially immediately after meals. Green tea is becoming very popular in recent years, mainly due to the belief that it contributes to health. The most popular tea ceremony in Israel is the tea after dinner on Friday. According to the Jewish tradition Jewish people don’t mix dairy with meat. Friday dinner is a special meal and important in Judaism. Usually a meat meal, after reciting the Kiddush. After dinner, as the Jewish can not drink milk they encourage the tea. All the family moves from the dining table into the living room, where tea is served, especially preferred tea with mint, And enjoying the tea effect of relief after a heavy Shabbat meat meal.

Tea is a customary drink worldwide. In Asian countries, drinking tea is an ancient tradition accompanied by a highly developed tea-based culture which is tied to art and local customs. China - The Original Tea Ceremony The Chinese tea ceremony is the most ancient ceremony and plays a central role in Chinese culture. The tea is the heart of the ceremony: the host and ceremony participants smell the tea, taste it and enjoy the many layers of taste discovered with every mouthful. The tea ceremony reflects the search for beauty in every object of the world, in accordance with the Chinese Tao philosophy. The tea ceremony is conducted for various purposes: anything from expressing appreciation or asking forgiveness, to creating goodwill among the guests of family reunions or wedding celebrations.

Japan - Motifs of Harmony and Aesthetics According to a common belief, the Buddhist monks brought tea from China to Japan during the sixth century. Every detail of the Japanese tea ceremony demands strict attention and is regarded with much importance and takes a great deal of time. The Japanese tea ceremony was designed in the spirit of the Zen doctrine, according to which spiritual elevation is achieved by engrossing oneself in the small details of daily life. The tea ceremony is conducted in the "tearoom", which every traditional Japanese house has. The tearoom is considered to be an island of tranquility and purity, allowing The modern Japanese culture considers tea to be a social drink and gives it a central role in their lifestyle, but the traditional tea ceremony is almost never conducted any longer in daily life guests to leave the outside world behind and relax.

Russia - Samovar And Strong Tea At the beginning of the 17th century, the Chinese Emperor presented the Russian Czar with a gift of tea. Tea culture is an integral part of Russian culture and is referred to in works of art and literature. The samovar, a metal container for heating water, can be found in almost every home and is part of the Russian cultural icons. The Russians tend to prepare a strong, bitter concentrate of black tea which is kept in a small teapot next to the samovar. The concentrate is diluted with boiling water to prepare tea according to the drinker's preferred strength.

India - Mass Production And Tea Stock Markets The Indian tea industry began flourishing only during the 19th century. At this time, the British trade giant "The East India Trade Company" controlled the importation of tea from the Eastern countries in general and from India in particular. Today, the Indian tea industry is one of the most flourishing and influential branches of the Indian economy. India produces about 900,000 tons of tea per year. In the Indian tea stock market, the tea is traded among the growers, traders and marketers. The Indians customarily drink black tea with milk, an English custom which remained as a testimony to the British colonial rule over India.

Great Britain - Tea With Milk The British are among the world's most massive tea consumers. Perhaps it is possible to understand the importance of tea in British culture if we recall Sir Winston Churchill's declaration during the Second World War that: "Tea is more important to the soldiers than munitions". Black tea was very common in Britain during the 18th century and the British founded the tradition of adding milk to black tea. Another common British tea tradition is the Afternoon tea.

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