Tea: types of tea|preparations

TEA

Tea is most popular non-alcoholic drinks, which is second most popular in the world after water. 18 to 20 billion cup (6 oz) are daily drunk on our planet.
All types of tea comes from "Camellia sinesis", sepecies that may grow up to 60 feet in the wild.
Types of tea
There are 3000 tea varities each have their own specific characteristic. Tea leaves have a oval shape and serrated edge. Younger the leaves, better the quality of the tea. Indian tea contains more tannin and Chinese tea contains less tannin than other varieties.

TYPES OF TEA:


The climate, soil conditions where the tea is grown, and how the tea is processed, determines the flavor characteristics of the tea.

BLACK TEA:

Types of tea

The leaves are withered and then rolled it till they become soft and massy. This is done to loose up the fiber and cell of the leaves, so that their extraction is easy. Then fermentation is done with tea leaves. During the fermentation process some of the acid in the leaves oxidize and is converted into less soluble forms while more essential oils develop. After completing the fermentation, the leaves are transfer in a drying machine. Some of the popular black teas are English breakfast, and Darjeeling.

GREEN TEA:

Types of tea

Skips the oxidizing step. It is simply withered and then dried. It has a more superior taste and is pale green /golden in color. The chief difference between black tea and green tea is the former is fermented while the latter is not. Since the purpose of fermentation is to make tannin less soluble, an infusion of green tea has more tannin in it, a stringer and slightly bitter to taste.

OOLONG TEA:

Types of tea

Oolong is popular in China, it is withered, partially oxidized, and dried. Oolong is a cross black and green tea in color and taste.

WHITE TEA:

Types of tea

White tea is the least processed. A very rare tea from China, white tea is not oxidized or rolled, but simply withered and dried by streaming.

STORAGE OF DRIED TEA:

1. Tea should be kept in a cool dry place, because it easily absorbs moisture and odors.
2. Tea must be kept away from sunlight and used in reasonable time. Because light breaks down the quality of tea.
3. Tea containers should be airtight.
4. Never store tea in glass containers.


PREPARATION OF TEA

Tea preparation (brewing) is an art that is simple to perform but which also requires some care to do well. Brewing of tea is done by adding boiling water to dry leaf, the quantity of leaves, temperature of the water and timing is of vital concern. The basic rule of thumb to start is 'one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup'.

1.Firstly warm the empty tea pot by filling it with hot water.
It will prevent the hot water from cooling rapidly when leaves are added.

2.Boil freshly drawn tap water. If the quality of your tap water is poor, try using filtered or bottled spring water.
Use the water when it comes to a boil for Black tea.
Water left boiling too long will de-aerate. This will result in a flat tasting tea. For green tea, the water should be heated to a lower temperature (usually approximately 80 degrees Celsius), which may vary from tea to tea.

3. Empty the hot water from your tea pot and add 2.25g or one rounded teaspoon of tea leaves for each cup of water (or one heaping teaspoon per mug),
placing the tea directly into the bottom of the pot or using a basket infuser.
Tea ball strainers, while convenient, often yield poorer tasting tea as they are often too small to allow all of the leaves to fully unravel its contents. If you do use a tea ball, be sure to use one that is sufficiently large to pack the tea loosely.

4. Add the freshly boiled water over the leaves in the tea pot.

5. Brew tea for the appropriate length of time. Time needed to brew tea varies depending on the leaves being used and the drinker's individual taste. Careful timing is essential for brewing tea. A very general rule to follow is the smaller the leaf, the less time required for brewing. Broken grades of tealeaves and most Darjeeling teas usually only need 3 minutes to brew. Whole-leaf teas often need 4-5 minutes. A teas, however, will become bitter due to higher tannin extraction if brewed for longer than 5 or 6 minutes. It is a common mistake to brew the tea until it looks a particular color or shade. The tea color is a poor indicator of the tea's taste.


6. If you use a basket infuser or a tea ball, remove these promptly when the brewing time has expired. If you pour the tea directly from the pot
 into the cups through a strainer to catch the leaves. In this instance, if you do not wish to serve your tea immediately, pour your tea through a strainer into another pre-heated tea pot.

7. Tea sometimes is brewed with spices like fresh ginger, dried ginger powder or cardoms to enrich the flavor.

Milk and sugar should be added according to individual taste. Adding of milk first or last does not make any significant difference in the taste of tea - but many people have their choice some like to add milk first and some afterwards. Sugar must be added last.

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