Welcome to the tea party of this blog! In this section I will write about tea and share my knowledge and thoughts. There is a lot more to tea than some people might think and I love to research and learn more about one of my favorite beverages.
Maybe you would not expect it but tea is still one of the most consumed beverages by 2/3 of the world’s population. It is estimated that on an average, about 6 g of tea is consumed per day by a 60 kg human being. Even though a lot of people enjoy their daily cup of tea, the definition of tea is not common knowledge for most. Taking a random plant’s leaves and poor hot water on them does not actually make “tea”. If you make tea, you brew it from the leaves or other parts of Camellia sinensis or “tea plant”. So, the word tea refers to (brewed) leaves from the tea plant and “tea” brewed from parts of other plants and flowers is referred to as “herbal tea”.
The history of tea began in Ancient China. Consumption of this beverage is a very ancient habit and legends from China and India indicate that it was initiated about 5 000 years ago. Archaeological research reported by Jelinek in 1978 suggests that the infusion of leaves from different wild plants and also from the tea plant was probably already practiced more than 500 000 years ago. Traditionally, tea was drunk to improve blood flow, eliminate toxins, and to improve resistance to diseases. In this day and age tea is still known to have these abilities, but now we have the possibility to actually explain and verify them.
There is a wide variety of tea available all over the world. A lot of people are familiar with these different types of tea, depending on where you live some will be more known to you than others. The 3 major types are black tea, green tea and oolong tea. All these types origin from the same plant. The difference between them lies in the way of processing, the fermentation or oxidation processes. Because these processes change the chemical structure of the compounds found in tea, it will look different, smell different and taste different. Besides that, those 3 types can be divided into many different kinds too. More than 300 different kinds of tea are produced from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. These differences can be caused by smaller modifications in the manufacturing process or because the leaves were harvested in another country: under different circumstances.
In the Tea Party menu there will be more topics and articles about tea, so join my tea party and take this nice cup of tea! Enjoy!