How many tea plants are there? Many people would be surprised to find out that there is only one!
Each kind of tea, no mater if it is black or green, is made from Camellia Sinensis – the Chinese tea plant. China is the motherland of tea.
Chinese monks and European traders spread the plant in Japan, Sri Lanka and other countries. Today there are more than three thousands kinds of tea, each with its individual character. Often the tea is named after the region where it is grown.
The tea plants
The basic tea plants are:Thea sinensis и Thea assamica
Thea assamica is a tropical plant that needs a lot of heat to grow. If they are not regularly trimmed its bushes could reach 12-15 m of height. The tea leaves are 10-12 cm long. Thea sinensis is more resistible to chill and if it is not trimmed it can reach 5-6 m of height. The leafs are 5-6 cm long. Today the hybrid Asam – a cross between the two basic tea plants - is at the basis of most tea crops in the World. The small leafs of Camellia sinensis are used for green tea production because their taste is softer and less sour.
As a whole the height of the tea bush should be up to the waist. The bush should be frequently trimmed in order to keep it in its vegetation phase without blossom and fruit.
By courtesy of German Tea Association, Hamburg/Germany - http://www.teeverband.de
"mit freundlicher Genehmigung des Deutschen Teeverband e.V., Hamburg/Deutschland - http://www.teeverband.de
The good quality of the water and the fixed time of infusion together with the quality of the tea itself are important for making tasty aromatic tea. Here are some advices on how to make good tea.
- Warm the tea cup or the pot that you will use for making the tea. You could just rinse them with warm water.
- Use about 2 g tea (1tea spoonful)for each cup
Quality of the water
- Always use fresh, cold water for tea making.
- If possible, use soft water with no lime or chlorine
- Let the water boil briefly but don’t overboil it – thus you risk to lose the oxygen that is important for extracting of the special taste of the tea.
- It should be made of glass or ceramic but not of metal
- Clean it only with water without using detergents
• For black tea, the water should be boiling. For green tea the water should be about 75 C, for white tea – 60-80 C.
• Infuse the leaves 3-5 minutes for black tea , and no longer than 3 minutes for green and white tea-.
Black tea: 3 - 5 minutes
Green tea: 2 - 3 minutes
White tea:1 - 3 minutes
Fruit tea: 8 - 10 minutes
Herbal tea: 8 - 10 minutes
Roibos tea: 6 - 8 minutes
The best proportion between caffeine and tannin is made after 4 minutes of infusion.
Enjoy the tea immediately afterits preparation, when it’s fresh and hot; the flavor vanishes easily.
Important note about making fruit, roibos and herbal tea: always use boiling water and infuse itfor a minimum of 6-8 minutes. This way you will prepare a reliable food product.