What is tea?

What is Tea, normally the most people think that which leaves from any plant are steeped in water calling tea. Actually, it is not the real tea at all.  Beause of thar, which plant has to be from Camellia Sinensis specie is tea.  And any other plant which material steeped into hot water, they call it is herbal or tisane

What is Tea - Camellia sinensis var. Sinensis

How many variaties of Camellia Sinenis?

There are around 200 species of Camellia around the world. But only one, Camellia Sinenis is used to produce tea. And it has 3 mains of variety: Camellia Sinenis var. Sinensis, Camellia sinenis var. Assamica and Camellia Sinenis var. Cambodiensis. But they just only use Camellia Sinenis var. Sinensis, Camellia sinenis var. Assamica to make tea.

Processing

Đồi trà ô Long Bảo Lộc - hái trà

  1. Plucking: harvest with one bud and two young tea leaves normally.
  2. Withering: make the leaves to be softer. It depends on the types of tea making, the producer will wither by many ways. There are some ways like wither under the sun, pan or boil in hot water.
  3. Rolling: to macerate the tea leaves by hand rolling or use rolling machine. So this step will make the different shapes of dried tea leaves (fishook, round,…)
  4. Oxidating: this is the nature step begins from plucking fresh tea leaves to during the time withering, rolling and steeping. Furthermore, enzym will effect to oxygen processing. And depending on the type being made, the producer can controll the level of oxidation. Beside of that, this step also creates the special aroma.
  5. Drying: make tea leaves shelf stable and enhance their flavor.

How many types?

Because of the percent of oxidation during processing time, most Chinese tea experts recognize the following six types.

The tea processing chart from “The user’s guide” – Tony Gebely

Chemical Composition

The are many chemicals inside the tea leaves. But the most important compounds in fresh leaves are polyphenols, amino acids, enzymes, pigments, carbohydrates, methylxanthines, minerals and many volatile flavor and aroma compounds.

Tea of the world

Although tea history appeared in thousands of year and effected deeply in Asian culture. But each Asia country has the special type. There are some popular types from famous countries:
  1. China: red tea and Pu-erh tea
  2. Japan: matcha and sencha
  3. Taiwan: high mountain tea or gaoshan oolong tea
  4. India: Chai tea
  5. Europe and Nothern America: black tea
  6. Viet Nam: green tea

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