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The Story of Ceylon Tea

Varieties of Ceylon Tea
Ceylon Tea - How it is manufactured
Guidance on the Grades of Ceylon Tea
Tips on How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value of Ceylon Tea
More Tips on making that perfect cup of Ceylon Tea
History of Ceylon Tea

THE STORY OF CEYLON TEA

TEAS FROM THE ISLAND OF SRI LANKA

Areas of Tea Cultivation in Sri Lanka    

Teas from the highest region on the island are described as the ‘champagne’ of Ceylon teas.

Until the 1860’s THE MAIN CROP PRODUCED on the island of Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was coffee. But in 1869, the coffee-rust fungus, Hemileia vastatrix, killed the majority of of the coffee plants and estate owners had to diversify into other crops in order to avoid total ruin. The owners of Loolecondera Estate had been interested in tea since the late 1850’s and in 1866, James Taylor, a recently arrived Scot, was selected to be in charge of the first sowing of tea seeds in 1867, on 19 acres of land.

Taylor had acquired some basic knowledge of tea cultivation in North India and made some initial experiments in manufacture, using his bungalow verandah as the factory and rolling the leaf by hand on tables. Firing of the oxidized leaf was carried out on clay stoves over charcoal fires with the leaf on wire trays. His first teas were sold locally and were declared delicious. By 1872, Taylor had a fully equipped factory, and, in 1873, his first quality teas were sold for a very good price at the London auction. Through his dedication and determination, Taylor was largely responsible for the early success of the tea crop in Ceylon. Between 1873 and 1880, production rose from just 23 pounds to 81.3 tons, and by 1890, to 22,899.8 tons.

Most of the Ceylon tea gardens are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet in two areas of the southwestern part of the island, to the east of Colombo and in the Galle district on the southern point. In the hot, steamy plains and foothills, the tea bushes flush every seven or eight days and are picked all year round. The finest teas are gathered from late June to the end of August in eastern districts and from the beginning of February to mid-March in the western parts.

Until 1971, more than 80 percent of the island’s tea estates were owned and managed by British companies. In 1971, the Sri Lankan government introduced a Land Reform Act which gave the state control of the majority of the plantations (which also grow rubber and coconuts for export) leaving about one-third in private hands. Since 1990, a restructuring program has been going on to involve the private sector companies (both Sri Lankan and foreign) as Managing Agents of the state-owned plantations. The long-term aim is for the private managing companies to take on most, if not all, of the financial responsibility and control of the estates, with the government retaining ownership.

Tea Pickers are the backbone of the tea industry in Sri Lanka         A tea picker with her basket of tender tea leavesSelective picking of the tender leaves is a specialist task

Tea pickers gathering leaves into their baskets

Extreme political, industrial, and economic problems over the past years have meant that Sri Lanka has fallen from the position of number one producer in the world to number eight in 1993. Producers are having to face major decisions regarding production methods, product range, and export markets. Although the U.K was once Sri Lanka’s biggest customer, almost 70 percent of production now goes to Russia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Arab market used to prefer orthodox teas but consumers there are steadily moving towards European tastes and are demanding more tea in tea bags. Sri Lanka’s fine orthodox teas, considered by many to be among the best teas in the world, are not suitable for tea bags. Only 3 percent of production in 1993 was CTC and producers are having to decide whether to convert to CTC production in order to reach a wider market. Some manufacturers think that there will always be a market for the orthodox teas; others think that CTC is the best way forward. New customers are also being sought for the increasing range of packeted teas—in sachets, cartons, economy packs, reed ware, basket packs, soft wood boxes, tins, and canisters—that are now available. Products containing 100 percent Ceylon tea are now using the Lion logo, developed by the Ceylon Tea Board, that guarantees the country of origin and protects the image of Sri Lanka’s quality teas.

The Lion Logo of Ceylon Tea

Ceylon Tea's Lion Logo

Sri Lanka’s finest teas are produced mainly from bushes that grow above 4,000 feet. The bushes grow more slowly in the cooler, mistier climate, and are harder to harvest because of the steep angle of the slopes on which they are planted.

There are six main tea-producing areas. Galle, to the south of the island; Ratnapura, about 55 miles east of the capital Colombo; Kandy, the low region near the ancient royal capital; Nuwara Eliya, the highest area that produces the finest teas; Dimbula, west of the central mountains; and Uva, located east of Dimbula.

The teas produced in each region have their own individual characteristics of flavor, aroma, and color. Low-grown teas, produced at 1,500 to 1,800 feet, are of good quality and give good color and strength but lack the distinctive flavor and bright fresh taste of the higher-grown teas and are usually used in blending. Mid-grown teas, grown between 1,800 and 3,500 feet, are rich in flavor and give good color. High-grown teas, from heights of between 3,500 and 7,500 feet, are the very best that Sti Lanka produces, giving a beautiful golden liquor and an intense powerful flavor As well as the wonderful black teas, some estates also produce silver tip white tea that gives a very pale straw-colored liquor and should be drunk without milk All Sri Lanka’s black teas are best drunk with a little milk.

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DIMBULA

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

Like Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula is drenched by the monsoon during August and September and produces its best teas during the dry months of January and February. The teas are noted for their body and strength, and a powerful aroma.

Characteristics: Long wiry beautiful leaves that give an exquisite taste, almost oaky, with body and strength.

Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 3-4 minutes.

Drinking recommendations: Drink with milk as an afternoon tea.

GALLE

This area, in the south of the island, specializes in Flowery Orange Pekoes and Orange Pekoes that have well-produced, regular-size leaf and give an amber golden liquor with a scented aroma and a fine, gentle, subtle taste.

Characteristics: Beautiful leaf that gives a smooth, perfumed liquor.

Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 3-4 minutes.

Drinking recommendations: Drink with milk as an afternoon tea.

 

NUWARA ELLYA

Teas from the highest region on the island are often described as the “champagne” of Ceylon teas. The leaf is gathered all year round, but the finest teas are made from that plucked in January and February. The best teas of the area give a rich, golden, excellent quality liquor that is smooth, bright, and delicately perfumed.

Characteristics: Bright brisk flavour and wonderful perfume.

Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 3-4 minutes.

Drinking recommendations: Good at any time of the day with a little milk.

RATNAPURA

Ratnapura produces low-grown teas that are mainly used in blends, but also drink well alone with a little milk.

Characterisitcs: Long-leafed tea that gives a slightly sweet aroma and a gentle smooth taste.

Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 3-4 minutes.

Drink with milk as an afternoon tea.

UVA

Uva, on the eastern slopes of the central mountains, produces teas with a distinctive mellow flavor whose reputation stretches world-wide. The best teas are plucked between June and September The dry wind that blows towards Uva during this period gives the teas their fine taste and aroma.

Charateristics: Copper-colored infusion with a very smooth, pronounced taste and wonderful aroma.

Brewing hints: Brew 1 teaspoon in a scant 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 3-4 minutes 

Drinking recommendations: A breakfast or day-time tea. Drink with milk.

CEYLON BLENDS

Following a tradition that was established at the end of the nineteenth century by Sir Thomas Lipton, several companies still market blended Ceylon teas as Ceylon Orange Pekoe or Ceylon BOP sometimes also by estate name, sometimes not. A good blend will give a bright, rich, coppery liquor with a brisk fresh flavor. In order to be sure of buying 100 percent Ceylon blended teas when buying pre-packed teas, look for the Ceylon Tea Board Lion logo.

The principal production of tea in Ceylon (Sri Lanka, but the tea is referred to as Ceylon) is of black or fully oxidized tea. It is produced throughout the year, but the finest pluckings are in February and March, and again in August and September. The larger yield, though lower in quality, occurs during April, May, and June and again in October, November and December. In January the quality drops dramatically.

Ceylon teas are divided into high, medium, and low grown. Of these, the high grown are of the very best quality and when coupled with the specific times of year (above paragraph) they can be stunning. Low to medium grown Ceylons  have no particular distinction as far as leaf style is concerned but they do show (dependent upon leaf grade) good cup strength and color. The high grown leaf picked at peak times of the year also have these characteristics but there is much more delicacy in their flavor.

CEYLON GREEN

Ceylon is known, on the whole, for tea which has undergone the process which produces black tea (that is, fully oxidized). In recent years, the tea factories and tea estates have experimented with the production of Oolong and Green teas which are simply a style or process.  Both the estates and factories had to gain the experience necessary to produce these styles of tea since Oolong and Green processed tea were primarily the domain of China and thus also the manufacturing know-how or experience.  As the tea factory masters gained experience in the manufacture of Green-processed tea, their expertise improved dramatically.  Therefore, in Sri Lanka during the first years samples of green teas were rejected because they (the tea masters) did not have the necessary expertise.  However the investment in time and effort in learning the new process was well worth in that now a Ceylon Green from the Central Highlands pluck  produces the very finest of the Ceylons.

  Tea leaves.    Tea leaves nurtured by the sun  A dew drop falling off the tip of a tea leaf in the morning

The black, brown or green tea you enjoy in a cup is derived from this plant called the Camellia Senesis or Sinesis or Sansis

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Ceylon Tea

How it's manufactured

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

Everyday around 300,000 estate workers pluck several million tea leaves by hand. This is the first step in the manufacture of quality Ceylon tea.

Only the bud and the two youngest leaves are plucked, for it is only these leaves that have the flavour and aroma. In other parts of the world plucking is done by machines. These machines pluck the bud, the young leaf, a lot of coarse leaf and few twigs as well. Coarse leaf and and twigs just add bulk and not flavour to the tea.

The plucked tea leaf is then brought to the muster sheds where they are wheighed in, and first quality inspection is made. The leaf is then moved to the factory where they are withered using large blowers.

The next step in the manufacturing process involves, cutting the leaves. This brings out the juices and begins the fermentation process. Fermentation is the critical step. The humidity, temperature and fermentation time has to be well controled or the flavour is lost.

After fermentation is completed, the leaf is fired, to lock in the flavour, to dry it and to improve the keeping qualities. Absoloutely no preservative or artificial flavouring are added in the manufacture of pure Ceylon tea.

The final step is the separation of the product according the color and the particle size. Here strignent quality control is done and anything that does not measure upto the standards is rejected.

The finished product is shipped in bulk to mainly to europe, the middle-east, Australia, and North America. Only the best tea is exported. Unfortunately once it leaves Sri Lanka it is mixed with lower quality and cheaper produce from the African countries and India.

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A GUIDANCE NOTE ON HOW TO  SELECT THE BEST CEYLON TEA, AND HOW TO ENJOY A CUP OF CEYLON TEA

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

The Island of Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka) is world renowned for its high quality teas. Today, Sri Lanka is the world’s second biggest tea exporter. More than 25% of the value of all Sri Lanka’s exports are accounted for by tea. Tea cultivation is scientifically managed and skillfully produces the world’s finest, fragrant blends. This ensures consistency in the flavour, aroma and colour of Ceylon teas that are marketed.

Tea cultivation was established, in Sri Lanka, over a century ago and is now produced year round in the central highlands and southern regions of this beautiful tropical island. Based on the altitude at which it is grown tea is classified as high, medium or low grown teas.

The unique climatic conditions that prevail in the central highlands of Sri Lanka produces the exquisite high grown Nuwara Eliya and Uva blends, which are renowned for their taste and aroma. The medium grown teas provide a bold colour that is in demand by the consumers in North America. Lower grown tea plantations produce the leafy grades of tea from the tip of the unopened tea shoot.

Until recently the tea produced in Sri Lanka was shipped in bulk and repacked in the major tea consuming countries. Our company now has modern machinery and technology for tea bagging and packing to expeditiously meet the needs of wholesale or retail customers and food service companies in any part of the world.

Some of the advantages of packing tea in Sri Lanka are:

The freshness of quality Ceylon blends is retained when purchased by the consumer.

The authorized government lion symbol of the Sri Lanka Tea Board guarantees that only quality Ceylon tea of     specified blends are contained in the package.

The product could be obtained at competitive prices.

by the consumers in North America. Lower grown tea plantations produce the leafy grades of tea from the tip of the unopened tea shoot.

The Grading of Ceylon Tea

The grade names which follow are an indication of size and/or appearance of Ceylon Teas (Sri Lanka, but the name Ceylon still applies to the tea of that island nation) and NOT of its quality. The Tea Research Institute of Ceylon points out that “there is a lack of uniformity in the market grades today which makes it difficult to describe them with any accuracy.” Briefly, however, Ceylon teas are divided into two groups: (1) the Leaf grades such as were originally made by the Ceylon pioneers, and (2) the smaller Broken grades which are in style today.

Leaf grades are usually divided into:

Broken grades are divided into:

The grades may be described as follows:

In addition, there are various “Flowery” variants of the main grades (e.g., F.O.P and F.B.O.P.) the nature of which I will describe slightly farther down.

Only a small quantity of the Leaf and Flowery grades is produced in Ceylon. They find their chief market in North America and a few European countries. Few of the Up-country Ceylons make these grades at all, their stable lines being B.O.P. and B.O.P.F. such as are so dominant in the U.K., Australia and (less so) in South Africa. The demand appears to be for ever smaller and smaller leaf, and a great deal of cutting or milling is resorted to today both in countries of origin and by the packers.

“Tippy” or “Flowery” teas (such grades as Flowery Orange Pekoe) are still made in Ceylon and fetch high prices in most Western tea markets. They are extremely more expensive to produce than the run-of-the-mill grades, since they involve sorting out the tip by hand. The below article regarding “Flowery” Ceylon tea appeared in a London newspaper, THE PALL MALL GAZETTE dated 13 March, 1891:

“Unusual excitement prevailed on Tuesday in Mincing Lane (the London Tea Auction Houses were/are located there), on the offering by Messrs. Gow Wilson and Stanton, tea-brokers, in public auction, of a small lot of Ceylon tea from the Gartmore estate in Maskeliya (Mr. T.C. Anderson). This tea possesses extraordinary quality in liquor, and is composed almost entirely of small “golden tips,” which are the extreme ends of the small succulent shoots of the plant, and the preparation of such tea is, of course, most costly. Competition was of a very keen description.

“The bidding, which was pretty general to start with, commenced with an offer of 1 pound, 1 shilling per pound of tea; as the price advanced to 8 pounds per pound of tea many buyers dropped out, and at this price about five wholesale dealers were willing to purchase. Offers where then made up to about 9 pounds, 9 shillings per pound of tea by three of the leading houses, the tea being ultimately knocked down to the “Mazawattee Ceylon Tea Company” at the most extraordinary and unprecedented price of 10 pounds 12 shillings 6 pence per pound of tea.”

THIS WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY PRICE IN 1891. It still fetches an extraordinary price on the market and to the consumer BUT what a magnificent tea it is indeed.

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Tea Tips

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

How You Make a great cup of Ceylon Tea

The quantity of tea leaves used will vary according to taste. Generaly 10g of tea makes 4 cups. Experiment till you get it just right. Adding sugar and warm milk will reduce the effects of over brewing.

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A dew drop falling off the tip of a lea leaf

      Nutrition

        A Cup of Tea, A Cup of Health

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

Tea has really moved into the mainstream. Years ago one of the few places to find green tea was in a Japanese restaurant. Now green or black tea is everywhere; served hot or iced, at chic restaurants, supermarkets, or in elegant department stores.

New research has shown that sipping a relaxing cup of tea, especially green tea, may provide a number of health benefits. Studies from the United States of Agriculture have shown that tea may pack as powerful a punch of health as one serving of many vegetables or fruits.

It is green or black tea from the evergreen tree known as the camellia sinesis that has been found to possess many healing properties. These teas contain powerful substances that are classified as phytochemicals.

There are hundreds of phytochemicals found only in plant foods that are starting a new era in nutrition. Examples of a phytochemicals are carotenoids found in carrots, capsicum in red chili peppers and flavonoids in tomatoes. You can see these substances clearly in the brilliant orange and red colors of these vegetables.

Green or black tea contains a phytochemical known as epigallocatechin gallate, that is often called EGCG for short. Emerging research shows that this substance contains strong antioxidant potential.

Antioxidants help protect the body against the damage of free radicals. Free radicals are natural by-products of metabolization, but may also be formed in the body as a result of smoking, air pollution and exposure to sunlight. Free radicals are highly reactive substances that can, if not controlled, damage cells in some people's bodies.

It is thought that this damage can set off a chain of biological events that can lead to the progression of some cancers and heart disease. Numerous research studies have shown that antioxidants help protect the body against this detrimental effect and can also reduce the risk of these deadly diseases.

In a study of the antioxidant activity of various fruits and vegetables, USDA researchers found that black and green tea have a greater antioxidant effect than individual servings of many vegetables such as carrots and broccoli or fruits including apples, grapes, kiwi and grapefruit. While tea is not a substitute for a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables it can certainly play a part in a healthy lifestyle.

Another interesting fact is that tea is one of the few natural sources of the mineral fluoride. Fluoride is the most successful agent against tooth decay found to date and has changed the face of modern dentistry. Tea has been shown to have a positive effect on preventing tooth decay and gum disease. However, this applies to drinking tea in moderation. Excessive amounts may not be beneficial.

Scientific research is just beginning to explore the connection between drinking tea and it's effects on maintaining the body's homeostasis and balance. In other words, tea is thought to be rejuvenating. Tea is enjoyed worldwide because while it is calming it is also reviving and uplifting. It is also thought that the act of sipping tea in itself has restorative powers. Maybe this is one of the reasons why tea has become such a hit.

Tea has even been becoming more and more popular at coffee bars. Starbucks offers a popular Chai Tea (which I love!), which is a spicy black tea served sweet and creamy. For latte lovers it is just the right choice. Increasingly people are ordering tea instead of coffee, as it is recommended for its energizing and cleansing properties.

I live in a suburb of New York in Westchester County. Wouldn't you know that a very cozy, warm and inviting tea shoppe opened for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea? I took my daughter and her friend (both six years old) with their respective American Girl Dolls for an afternoon tea break.

The truth is that nothing will replace my super strong cup of coffee. In my house we refer to it as rocket fuel. I find that tea, however, is becoming a great alternative. Sometimes you can have one cup of coffee too many. There are so many different varieties and blends of tea that it's difficult to know where to begin. You may want to try something exotic or just a good old-fashioned American tea blend. Here's to your good health!

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More Tips For Making Tea

Here's how You Make a Really Good Cup of Tea for Your Guest.
Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

TeaCups
HOW MANY CUPS....
Did you know that as many as 375 to 425 cups of tea could be prepared from a kilogram of tea?

STORAGE
There are very important rules to observe in regard to storage of tea.

 

  • Always store tea in a clean, dry airtight container free of foreign odorous.
  • Remember to use a dry spoon, always, and to close the container tightly after use to retain aroma and flavor.
  • Do not store tea along with other pungent grocery and toilet items such as oils, soaps, dried fish and spices.
  • Always take out the small quantity of balance tea in a container before replenishing stocks. Place this small quantity on top of the fresh stock so it will be used up first. Otherwise the remaining tea at the bottom will become stale and flat and could affect fresh stocks introduced.

TEA BREWING
A good cup of tea and the pleasure you derive from it depends entirely on the method of brewing.

 

  • Use freshly drawn water which should be brought to boil as possible. DO NOT USE previously boiled water that has been continuously on the boil.
  • Rinse the teapot first with hot water to help retain the heat of boiling water used for brewing. Bring the tea pot to the kettle as soon as the water commences boiling vigorously. Hold the spout of the kettle close to the mouth of the pot to minimize loss of heat.
  • Allow the tea to infuse for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain the tea out into cups thereafter. Use a "Tea cosy" to keep the pot warm should there be a delay in serving.

SUGAR
Always use refined sugar as raw sugar gives a distinctly different flavor to the tea.

MILK
Fresh cow's milk for a good cup of tea. Besides it is easily stored under refrigeration in any quantity.

SERVICE
Use tea pots, tea cups and saucers, sugar bowls, milk jars and teaspoons which are spotlessly clean, free from discoloration, cracks and chipping.

Place one teaspoon in the sugar bowl for the sugar to be spooned out and a separate teaspoon for every cup and saucer.

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History of Ceylon Tea

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

In the 1840 a Scotsman by the name of James Taylor read about the Jewel of an Island called Ceylon A typical tea estate in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and the opportunities existing there for growing coffee. A few months later he moved to the Hill Country area and planted not only coffee but also some tea seeds from India. The "ugly little shrub" was grown next to his acres of coffee and provided large yields. It wasn't till a couple of seasons later that a virulent leaf disease devastated his whole plantation but the "ugly little shrub" was immune and the Tea Industry came into being. Soon the perilously steep mountainside of the hill country were carpeted with the vibrant green of tea bushes. And Ceylon Tea became the worlds favorite beverage.
The origins of Tea was with the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung who was boiling water when the leaves from a nearby plant Camellia sinensis plant floated into the pot. The emperor drank the mixture and declared it gave one "vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose." Perhaps as testament to the emperor's assessment, tea the potion he unwittingly brewed that day today is second only to water in worldwide consumption. The U.S. population is drinking its fair share of the brew; in 1994, Americans drank 2.25 billion gallons of tea in one form or another hot, iced, spiced, flavored, with or without sugar, honey, milk, cream, or lemon.

Cultivation
The Tea plant, Camellia Sansis, is cultivated variety of the tree originating from the region between India and China. A Tea Factory against the background of the beautiful highlands of Sri Lanka The tea leaves are mostly hand plucked. When the plant is plucked two leaves and a bud are cut. An experienced plucker can pluck up to 30 kg tea leaves per day. To make one kg black tea, approximately 4 kg tea leaves are needed. One tea plant produces about 70 kg black tea a year. In a warm climate the plant is plucked for the first time after 4 years and will produce tea for at least 50 years. A suitable climate for cultivation has a minimum annual rainfall of 45 to 50 inches (l, 140 to 1,270 millimeters). Tea soils must be acid; tea cannot be grown in alkaline soils. A desirable pH value is 5.8 to 5.4 or less.
Scented and spiced teas are made from black tea. "Scented teas look just like any other tea," says FDA chemist and tea expert Robert Dick, " because the scent is more or less sprayed on. They're flavored with just about anything peach, vanilla, cherry. The spiced teas, on the other hand, usually contain pieces of spices cinnamon or nutmeg or orange or lemon peel so you can see there's something in there."

Black Tea Blends
Like coffee plants, tea likes hot days, cool nights and plenty of rain, and also like coffee, most high quality tea is grown in mountainous regions. During the growing season, tea is harvested every seven days. Only  the two tender uppermost leaves and terminal buds are plucked by hand. After this gentle beginning, the leaves are left in a hot room to wither, then put into a machine that rolls the leaves and releases their juices. These juices react with the air (oxidation) giving black teas the color and flavor we love. The tea is then dried in ovens (fired) and graded according to size. (this grading process is what is responsible for all of those confusing letters: OP (Orange Pekoe), BP (Broken Pekoe), and even FTGFOP (Fancy Tippy Golden Flowery Pekoe). Generally the more initials the better the Tea.

Herbal Teas
Not tea at all. Dried flowers, roots and bark have been brewed into a consumable hot liquid for many centuries as folk medicines throughout the Orient and Europe. The European tradition is to use only one main herb, such as Chamomile. Americans, on the other hand, traditionally concoct potions containing many different herbs and flowers such as Rosehips and Hibiscus.


The Correct Way to Make Tea


Pre-heat the pot by pouring boiling water into it. This will raise the temperature of the pot to 180  degrees Farenheit. Discard the water and add tea to the pot. This water has served its purpose: now use fresh boiling water. Pour boiling water over the Tea. This saturates the tea making for perfect extraction of flavor. Taking hot water to the table and then pouring it over tea will lower the water temperature too much and result in poor tea. For black teas steep a full five minutes, three for green teas. Good tea needs at least this much time to develop its full flavor. Decant the tea.

Medicinal Effects Of Tea
The extracts of tea contains polyphenols called catechins which are synergestic with vitamins E and C. Protective against digestive and respiratory infections and can reduce the cancer-promoting actions of carcinogens and ultraviolet light. The extracts can reduce cholesterol levels, and can also reduce high blood pressure . They are also helpful with the following with the following conditions:
· Aging
· Cancer
· Colds and Infections
· Heart Disease
· Hypertension
· Immunodepression

Varieties of Ceylon Tea How it is manufactured Grading  of Ceylon Tea How to Make that Perfect Cuppa
Nutritional Value  of Tea More on making that perfect cup  History of Ceylon Tea Top of Page

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