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Questions About Tea

by Alan Hughes |

What is Tea? - Second only to water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Black, white, green, yellow, oolong and pu-erh, all they come from the same plant, camellia sinensis. The tea plant is native to Asia and can grow in tropical or subtropical climates, land with acid soils and heights of at least 1500 meters above the sea. Only under these conditions slow growth and plant care is achieved so that when the leaves are harvested acquire a better flavour. It depends on the time of collection, type of leaves, the process of drying, storage or origin, than tea for their different denominations, but outside of those teas that are made with sinensis camellia, all are herbal teas or fruit, including rooibos and yerba mate.

How Is Our Tea Blended? - Our tea is made under a complex process that begins craft carefully selected tea leaves that will collect, usually choosing buds and young leaves that are on the top of the bush. Our orthodox tea processing allows to unfold in its true dimension, resulting in aromas and full, deep and dynamic flavours that promote pleasure and enjoyment of who takes it.

The Tea Culture - Tea crops can be operated by local small families or large farms covering thousands of hectares fields. The best areas for cultivation are high, with steep slopes that allow the plant to develop an amazing taste nutritious addition to chemicals.

Harvesting - Every day during the harvest season, collectors come to the gardens craftsmen culture where carefully hand selected outbreaks and only the first two sheets, the newest plant. Then they place them in large baskets to transport them to the factories.

Withered - Already in the factory, the fresh leaves are placed in bamboo trays that rotate regularly so that exposure to air is uniform.This allows the sheets to soften and remain ready to be rolled.

Wound - The wound can be carefully calibrated manually or using rollers to mimic the movements of experienced craftsmen.

Oxidation - Rolled leaves are placed in special chambers oxidation. That gradually changes its chemical composition, changing its colour and enhancing the flavours that have tea. The oxidation time can vary according to the type of tea you are looking for.

Vapour or Roasted - The oxidation process is stopped either with a light dose of heat for toasting the leaves, or exposing to a steam source. This step has a dramatic impact on the final character of tea: it will acquire earthy notes, slightly smoky as Chinese teas (roasted tea), or result in a tea with vegetables and sweet attributes, like the Japanese (teas exposed steamed).

Drying - To prevent any future change in the character of the tea, the leaves are dried in large convection ovens reduce humidity to less than six percent. Thus, the blades can keep their qualities for many months, and in some cases, even years.

Selection - After drying, the leaves are mechanically selected using screens that move in a controlled manner. The aim of this process is to get the best tea leaves, those with better size, shape and colour to achieve incredible infusions.

Components of Tea - The tea has three primary components: caffeine, polyphenols and essential oils.

Caffeine - The caffeine found naturally in coffee, chocolate, tea and yerba mate, acts as a natural stimulant to increase alertness and eliminating drowsiness.

Polyphenols - Besides contributing to the great benefits to tea, as its anticancer power, polyphenols are responsible for the astringency and liveliness of its flavour.

Essential Oils - Provide and determine the rich aromas and flavours of tea.