In the 1840 a Scotsman by the name of James Taylor read about the Jewel of an Island called Ceylon and the opportunities existing there for growing coffee. A few months later he moved to the Hill Country area and planted not only coffee but also some tea seeds from India. The "ugly little shrub" was grown next to his acres of coffee and provided large yields. It wasn't till a couple of seasons later that a virulent leaf disease devastated his whole plantation but the "ugly little shrub" was immune and the Tea Industry came into being. Soon the perilously steep mountainside of the hill country were carpeted with the vibrant green of tea bushes.
And Ceylon Tea became the worlds favorite beverage.
The origins of Tea was with the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung who was boiling water when the leaves from a nearby plant Camellia sinensis plant floated into the pot. The emperor drank the mixture and declared it gave one "vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose." Perhaps as testament to the emperor's assessment, tea the potion he unwittingly brewed that day today is second only to water in worldwide consumption.
The U.S. population is drinking its fair share of the brew; in 1994, Americans drank 2.25 billion gallons of tea in one form or another hot, iced, spiced, flavored, with or without sugar, honey, milk, cream, or lemon.
The Tea plant, Camellia Sinesis, is cultivated variety of the tree originating from the region between India and China. The tea leaves are mostly hand plucked. When the plant is plucked two leaves and a bud are cut.
An experienced plucker can pluck up to 30 kg tea leaves per day. To make one kg black tea, approximately 4 kg tea leaves are needed. One tea plant produces about 70 kg black tea a year.
In a warm climate the plant is plucked for the first time after 4 years and will produce tea for at least 50 years. A suitable climate for cultivation has a minimum annual rainfall of 45 to 50 inches (l, 140 to 1,270 millimeters). Tea soils must be acid; tea cannot be grown in alkaline soils. A desirable pH value is 5.8 to 5.4 or less.
Scented and spiced teas are made from black tea. "Scented teas look just like any other tea,"
says FDA chemist and tea expert Robert Dick, " because the scent is more or less sprayed on. They're flavored with just about anything peach, vanilla, cherry. The spiced teas, on the other hand, usually contain pieces of spices cinnamon or nutmeg or orange or lemon peel so you can see there's something in there.
"Black Tea BlendsLike coffee plants, tea likes hot days, cool nights and plenty of rain, and also like coffee, most high quality tea is grown in mountainous regions. During the growing season, tea is harvested every seven days. Only the two tender uppermost leaves and terminal buds are plucked by hand. After this gentle beginning, the leaves are left in a hot room to wither, then put into a machine that rolls the leaves and releases their juices. These juices react with the air (oxidation) giving black teas the color and flavor we love. The tea is then dried in ovens (fired) and graded according to size. (this grading process is what is responsible for all of those confusing letters:
OP (Orange Pekoe), BP (Broken Pekoe), and even FTGFOP (Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Pekoe). Generally the more initials the better the Tea.
Herbal Teas---Not tea at all.
Dried flowers, roots and bark have been brewed into a consumable hot liquid for many centuries as folk medicines throughout the Orient and Europe. The European tradition is to use only one main herb, such as Chamomile. Americans, on the other hand, traditionally concoct potions containing many different herbs and flowers such as Camomile,Valerian,Rose Petals,Peppermint leaves,Lemongrass,Scarlet Berry,Rosehips and Hibiscus.
To taste Pure Ceylon Tea and Oriental Herbal Infusions contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org