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Green Tea Tips & Tricks

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Top 10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

TEA BRANDS
A
Ayataka

B
Barry's Tea
Benoist (tea)
Betjeman & Barton
BOH Plantations
Brisk (beverage)
Brooke Bond
Bushell's

C
Cafédirect
Capital Teas
Celestial Seasonings
Chase & Sanborn
Chatime

D
Dai Pai Dong (restaurant)
Dilmah

E
EasyWay (outlet)
Establecimiento Las Marías

F
Fuze Beverage

G
Glengettie
Good Earth Tea

H
Harmless Harvest
Harney & Sons
Horniman's Tea

J
JEMČA

K
Kericho Gold
K cont.
Ketepa
Kusmi Tea

L
Lipton
Little Miss Barber
Luzianne
Lyons Tea (Ireland)

M
Mariage Frères
Matte Leão
Matthew Algie
Mazawattee Tea Company
Mighty Leaf Tea

N
Nambarrie
Numi Organic Tea

O
Orange Field Tea Factory

P
Peet's Coffee & Tea
PG Tips
Pickwick (brand)
Punjana

R
Rakura tea
Red Diamond
Red Rose Tea
The Republic of Tea
Ringtons Tea
Rooibee Red Tea

S
Salada tea
S cont.
Sariwangi
Scottish Blend
SoBe
Stash Tea Company

T
Tanganda Tea
Tavalon Tea
Tea Forté
Teadirect
TeaGschwendner
Teany
Teavana
Teh botol
Ten Ren Tea
Tetley
Tetley Tea Folk
Twinings
Two Leaves and a Bud (Tea Company)
Typhoo

U
Upton Tea Imports

W
Wissotzky Tea

Y
Yogi Tea
Yorkshire Tea

Z
Zealong

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Photo

Steeping tea

The traditional method of preparing tea is to place loose tea leaves directly (or in a tea infuser) into a tea pot or teacup, pour freshly boiled water over the leaves, and allow the infused liquid to steep (or "brew"). After a few minutes, the infuser is removed, or the tea is poured through a strainer while serving. Strength should be varied by the amount of tea leaves used, not changing the steeping time.

Most green teas should be allowed two or three minutes, although other types may vary between thirty seconds and ten minutes.

Quantity also varies by tea type, with a basic recipe calling for one slightly heaped teaspoon (about 5 ml) for each teacup of water (200–240 ml) (7–8 oz). Stronger teas to be drunk with milk (such as Assam) are often prepared more heavily, while more delicate high-grown varieties (such as a Darjeeling) more lightly.

Optimum brewing temperature depends on tea type. Camellia sinensis naturally contains tannins having bitter properties accentuated by both temperature and steeping time. These tannins are enhanced by oxidation during processing. Teas with little or no oxidation, such as a green or white, are best at lower temperatures between 65 and 85 °C (149 and 185 °F), while more oxiduzed teas require 100 °C (212 °F) to extract their large, complex, flavourful phenolic molecules.

In addition, boiling reduces the dissolved oxygen content of water, which would otherwise react with phenolic molecules to degrade them.

Type Water temp. Steep time Infusions
White tea 65 to 70 °C (149 to 158 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Yellow tea 70 to 75 °C (158 to 167 °F) 1–2 minutes 3
Green tea 75 to 80 °C (167 to 176 °F) 1–2 minutes 4–6
Oolong tea 80 to 85 °C (176 to 185 °F) 2–3 minutes 4–6
Black tea 99 °C (210 °F) 2–3 minutes 2–3
Flowering tea 100 °C (212 °F) 2–3 minutes 4–5
Pu'er tea 95 to 100 °C (203 to 212 °F) Limitless Several
Tisanes 99 °C (210 °F) 3–6 minutes Varied
Some tea sorts are often brewed several times using the same leaves. Historically in China, tea is divided into a number of infusions. The first is immediately poured out to wash the tea, and then the second and further infusions are drunk. The third through fifth are nearly always considered the best, although different teas open up differently and may require more infusions to produce the best flavour.

One way to taste a tea throughout its entire process is to add hot water to a cup containing the leaves and sample it every 30 seconds. As the tea leaves unfold (known as "The Agony of the Leaves") the taste evolves.

A tea cosy is often used to keep the temperature of the tea in a teapot constant over periods of 20–60 minutes.

Origin and history

Tea plants are native to East and South Asia, and probably originated around the meeting points of the lands of north Burma and southwest China. Statistical cluster analysis, chromosome number, easy hybridization, and various types of intermediate hybrids and spontaneous polyploids indicate that likely a single place of origin exists for Camellia sinensis, an area including the northern part of Burma, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China. Tea drinking likely began during the Shang Dynasty in China, when it was used for medicinal purposes. It is believed that, soon after, "for the first time, people began to boil tea leaves for consumption into a concentrated liquid without the addition of other leaves or herbs, thereby using tea as a bitter yet stimulating drink, rather than as a medicinal concoction."

Chinese legends attribute the invention of tea to Shennong in 2737 BC.A Chinese inventor was the first person to invent a tea shredder.The first recorded drinking of tea is in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating to the 10th century BC.Another early credible record of tea drinking dates to the third century AD, in a medical text by Hua Tuo, who stated, "to drink bitter t'u constantly makes one think better." Another early reference to tea is found in a letter written by the Qin Dynasty general Liu Kun.It was already a common drink during the Qin Dynasty (third century BC) and became widely popular during the Tang Dynasty, when it was spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. In India, it has been drunk for medicinal purposes for a long but uncertain period, but apart from the Himalayan region seems not to have been used as a beverage until the British introduced Chinese tea there.


Tea-weighing station north of Batumi, Russian Empire before 1915
Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century, at which time it was termed chá. The first record in English is from Peter Mundy an East India Company agent writing to Macao requesting "the best sort of chaw" in 1615. In 1750, tea experts travelled from China to the Azores, and planted tea, along with jasmine and mallow, to give it aroma and distinction. Both green and black tea continue to grow on the islands, which are the main suppliers to continental Portugal. Catherine of Braganza, wife of King Charles II of England, took the tea habit to Great Britain around 1660 when it was tasted by Samuel Pepys, but tea was not widely consumed in Britain until the 18th century, and remained expensive until the latter part of that period. Tea smuggling during the 18th century led to Britain’s masses being able to afford and consume tea, and its importance eventually influenced the Boston Tea Party. The British government eventually eradicated the tax on tea, thereby eliminating the smuggling trade by 1785. In Britain and Ireland, tea had become an everyday beverage for all levels of society by the late 19th century, but at first it was consumed as a luxury item on special occasions, such as religious festivals, wakes, and domestic work gatherings such as quiltings.The price in Europe fell steadily during the 19th century, especially after Indian tea began to arrive in large quantities.

The first European to successfully transplant tea to the Himalayas, Robert Fortune, was sent by the East India Company on a mission to China in 1848 to bring the tea plant back to Great Britain. He began his journey in high secrecy as his mission occurred in the lull between the Anglo-Chinese First Opium War (1839–1842) and Second Opium War (1856–1860), at a time when westerners were not held in high regard.

Tea was introduced into India by the British, in an attempt to break the Chinese monopoly on it. The British brought Chinese seeds into Northeast India, but the plants failed; they later discovered that a different variety of tea was endemic to Assam and the northeast region of India and that it was used by local tribes. Using the Chinese planting and cultivation techniques, the British launched a tea industry by offering land in Assam to any European who agreed to cultivate it for export. Tea was originally consumed only by anglicized Indians; it became widely popular in India in the 1950s because of a successful advertising campaign by the India Tea Board.

Cultivation and harvesting


A tea plantation, Bandung in Indonesia
Camellia sinensis is an evergreen plant that grows mainly in tropical and subtropical climates.Some varieties can also tolerate marine climates and are cultivated as far north as Cornwall in the United Kingdom, Washington state in the United States,Vancouver Island in Canada, and experimentally in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and as far south as Hobart in Australia.


Leaves of Camellia sinensis, the tea plant
Tea plants are propagated from seed and cuttings about 4 to 12 years are needed for a plant to bear seed and about three years before a new plant is ready for harvesting.In addition to a zone 8 climate or warmer, tea plants require at least 127 cm (50 in) of rainfall a year and prefer acidic soils. Many high-quality tea plants are cultivated at elevations of up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft) above sea level. While at these heights the plants grow more slowly, they acquire a better flavour.[35]

Two principal varieties are used: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis, which is used for most Chinese, Formosan and Japanese teas, and C. s. var. assamica, used in Pu-erh and most Indian teas (but not Darjeeling). Within these botanical varieties, many strains and modern clonal varieties are known. Leaf size is the chief criterion for the classification of tea plants, with three primary classifications being,[36] Assam type, characterised by the largest leaves; China type, characterised by the smallest leaves; and Cambodian type, characterised by leaves of intermediate size.

A tea plant will grow into a tree of up to 16 m (52 ft) if left undisturbed,[28] but cultivated plants are generally pruned to waist height for ease of plucking. Also, the short plants bear more new shoots which provide new and tender leaves and increase the quality of the tea.

Only the top 1–2 in of the mature plant are picked. These buds and leaves are called 'flushes'. A plant will grow a new flush every seven to 15 days during the growing season. Leaves that are slow in development tend to produce better-flavoured teas. Pests of tea include mosquito bugs of the genus Helopeltis (which are true bugs that must not be confused with the dipteran) that can tatter leaves, so they may be sprayed with insecticides.
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