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CUL3093: Coffee, Tea and Non-Alcoholic Beverage Specialist (Buckley): Tea

History

  • It is thought that tea was first grown somewhere in the region of southwest China, Tibet, and northern India.
  • The Tang Dynasty (618-907) is created with the allowing widespread consumption of tea. 
  • It was during this time that tea became the official drink of China.
  • Buddhist monk, Lu Yu (733-804) composed the Ch'a Ching or Classic of Tea treatise.
  • This treatise described types of tea, its uses, as well as the preparation and benefits of drinking it.
  • Around the early 9th century, a Japanese Buddhist monk, Saichō, is credited with introducing tea to Japan. While studying in China, Saichō discovered tea and brought back seeds to grow at his monastery. 
  • A Portuguese missionary is attributed with bringing tea to Europe while caravanning back and forth between Portugal and China.
  • But it was not seriously traded until Dutch merchants entered the picture in 1610. That year, the first shipments of Japanese and Chinese tea arrived in Europe via ships charted by the Dutch East India Company.
  • Tea also flowed into Russia early on via camel trains that came from China on part of the famous Silk Road.
  • The popularity of tea rapidly spread to cities including Amsterdam, Paris, and London, although its high price limited consumption to royal and aristocratic classes.
  • In 1657, the first shop to sell tea in England opened, run by Thomas Garraway. The shop sold tea imported by the Dutch and contributed to the rise in its popularity in London's cafes and coffee houses.

  • By the early 1700s, the British East India Company established itself as the dominant trading power and would go on to monopolize the tea trade with China. 
  • Like Europe, tea initially came to America in the mid-1600s by way of the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. The colony was captured by England in 1664 and renamed New York, where the tea trade flourished amongst colonial women and wealthy colonists.
  • American clipper ships began importing tea directly from China in the 1850s.
  • Iced tea originated at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. In order to boost sales during the exceptionally hot day, a tea merchant asked a nearby ice cream vendor for some ice, which he dumped into the brewed tea-- creating iced tea.
  • Iced tea makes up around 80% of the entire U.S. tea market sales.

https://www.peets.com/learn/history-of-tea

types of tea

  • Black Tea

                 >Has a more robust and pronounced flavor

                 >Has a higher caffeine content than other teas

  • Dark Tea

                 >Contains probiotics and has a slightly sweet note to it

  • Oolong Tea

                 >Contains caffeine levels between that of black tea and green tea

                 >The flavor is not as robust as black tea or as subtle as green tea

                 >Often compared to the taste and aroma of fresh flowers or fresh fruit.

  • Green Tea

                 >Has less caffeine than black or oolong teas.

                 >More subtle flavors given that is has less oxidation than other varieties.

  • White Tea

                 >Most delicate of all teas because it is made using the youngest shoots of

                   the tea plant and undergoes no oxidation. 

                 >Comparable caffeine levels to other teas.

  • Puer Tea

                 >Contains medicinal properties and has an earthy flavor.

                 >Was illegal to import in the United States until 1995.

                 >The process of its production is a closely guarded state secret in China.

  • Yellow Tea

                 >Go through more oxidation than green tea.

                 >A longer, slower drying process.

                 > All yellow teas come from China. 

https://www.teasource.com/pages/types-of-tea

China and Japan

  • China is the largest exporter of tea in the world.
  • Both China and Japan are known for their green teas.
  • China introduced tea to Japan during the Tang dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.).
  • In China, tea was a popular beverage option.
  • In Japan, tea was used more for medicinal purposes.
  • Sen no Riikyu, a priest, popularized the tea ceremony in China in the late 16th century,
  • The tea ceremony became popular across Japanese society in the mid-1700s when the uji green tea processing method was invented  (before this, the tea ceremony was for the rich and royalty).

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/sri-lanka-tea-experiences/index.html

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2018/04/japanese-tea-ceremony-master-matcha-culture/

Basic chinese tea ceremony

Production

  • China variety:

                     >a multistemmed bush growing as high as 9 feet.

                     >a hardy plant able to withstand cold winters.

  • Assam variety:

                     >a single-stem tree ranging from 20 to 60 feet in

                       height and including several subvarieties.

  • Cambodia variety:

                    >a single-stem tree growing to about 16 feet in

                      height, is not cultivated but has been naturally

                      crossed with other varieties.

  • A suitable climate has a minimum annual rainfall of 45 to 50 inches.
  • Tea soils must be acid; tea cannot be grown in alkaline soils. 
  • Mechanical plucking has been tried but, because of its lack of selectivity, cannot replace hand plucking.

https://www.britannica.com/plant/tea-plant

Processing

  • Once the tea leaves are harvested, the leaves are laid out on fabric or bamboo mats, and left to wilt.
  • After the leaves are withered, they are rolled, twisted, and crushed (referred to as bruising) in order to break down cell walls in the leaf.
  • The leaves are then left to oxidize (turn brown).
  • Green tea does not go through the bruising and oxidation process, hence the reason why the leaves are still green in color.
  • Black tea is fully oxidized, hence the reason why the leaves are quite dark in color.
  • To stop the oxidation process, the tea leaf is heated. 
  • Black tea leaves are not heated.
  • Tea leaves can either to steamed or roasted, which produces different flavors.
  • Finally, all tea leaves are dried in order to remove an residual moisture. 
  • White tea is given a very gradual bake in order to replicate traditional sun drying.

https://redblossomtea.com/blogs/red-blossom-blog/the-6-steps-of-tea-processing

Taiwan

  • Tea tasting tours/tourism is popular in Taiwan.
  • Known for its oolong tea.
  • "Pristine high-elevation farmland, ample government support, and innovative processing methods all make Taiwan a standard-bearer in the global tea market."

https://www.saveur.com/taiwan-oolong-tea-trail/

Nepal

  • Known for its Orthodox tea. This method is more time-consuming than the CTC (Cut, Tear, Curl) mechanical harvesting and oxidation method.
  • Produces 23,000 tons of tea per year:

                      >4,300 tons are orthodox tea (80% is exported to Europe and

                        North America)

                     >200 tons are certified as organic

https://specialtyteaalliance.org/world-of-tea/organic-orthodox-nepali-tea/

India

  • Known for Black teas, including Assam, Darjeeling, and Nilgiri.
  • India is the 4th largest exporter of tea in the world.
  • Known for its chai (black tea, milk, sugar and spices). Spices commonly include cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/teas-of-india-764590

Vietnam

  • Known for it's wild tea trees. Many ethnic groups migrated around the country and planted tea trees along the way. These trees are now found in forests along the China/Vietnam border.
  • Produces a lot of oolong tea, with the help of Taiwanese companies.
  • Also produce black and green teas, which are used primarily to make tea blends.

https://specialtyteaalliance.org/world-of-tea/vietnamese-tea-production-history/

Sri Lanka

  • Known for Ceylon tea (also know as Sri Lankan tea).
  • Sri Lanka used to be named Ceylon.
  • Ceylon tea is a type of black tea that can be served iced or hot.
  • Given the enormous range in elevation of Sri Lanka, the flavors of the teas produced there vary greatly. 

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ceylon-tea-sri-lankan-tea-765685

japanese tea ceremony