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Tea is a beverage, produced by boiling the leaves of tea buds either in hot water or milk and sweeteners are added as per the individual wish. Two varieties of tea buds are used one is from China and another is from Assam and also hybrid variety of both the tea buds are also widely around the globe.

History of Tea

Tea is popularly known in China around 2700 BCE. Initially it was used for medicinal purpose. Later around 3000 BCE people started to brew it as a daily drink, where starts the cultivation and processing of tea and Chinese consumed for more than 1000 years.

Likewise, tea cultivation started spreading over Japan in 13th century and in Taiwan from 18th century. Later around 18th century British introduced commercial real production to India. This paved way for the tea introduction and production in India. In order to compete with China it was introduced to India though.

Tea plantation in India

China was hesitant to provide tea to all over the globe and this happened before the war also. This made British to think of alternatives to get the tea. The climatic conditions of Northern India paved way for British to cultivate tea while they were ruling India. Later, India became the best tea cultivators, but lacked in the processing of tea. Robert fortune, a Scottish botanist is sent as spy to get the knowledge of tea processing from China. This made Indians to get well versed even in processing of team. That’s how the tea plantation, processing started in Northern part of India (Assam).

Classification of Tea

The most important classification of tea is based on its process. 1. Fermented (Black) 2. Unfermented (Green) 3. Semi fermented (oolong or pouchong).

  1. Fermented Tea (Black tea)

Fermented Tea undergo various artificial fermentation process from months to many years. The tea is exposed to various process, humidity and oxygen. This leads to endo-oxidation and exo-oxidation. This makes the tea, and its liquor to get darker shade while boiling. It also has a significant impact on its taste.

  1. Unfermented Tea (Green tea)

The natural way of fermenting the tea is known as unfermented tea.  After the long natural fermentation process, unfermented tea tends to acts as fermented tea over a period of 5 – 8 years. It is mostly produced in China, Japan, Indonesia, and in some extent of Malaysia and while brewing produces darker shade of yellow and brown.

  1. Semi fermented Tea (oolong or pouchong)

Tea which undergoes 10 – 80% of fermentation process are relatively known as Semi fermented Tea. Tea which are brewed from Semi fermented leaves have light yellow to brown hue with subtle aroma.

Varieties of Tea

There are about six varieties of tea available in India and all over the world.

  1. Black tea

Black is a type of tea which is more oxidized and fermented compared to green and oolong tea. It also has strong flavor than others and also retains its flavors for many years.

  1. Green tea

Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis which undergoes minimal oxidizing and processing. Many varieties of green tea are created in the market and each has its own benefits and flavor, aroma.

  1. White tea

It is mainly grown in China which is lightly oxidized. Nowadays, it is also grown in Taiwan, India, Thailand and Nepal. The name white is derived from the silvery white hairs on unopened buds of tea plant which add whitish appearance to the plant. 

  1. Yellow tea

Yellow tea undergoes the same process as green tea but with a slow drying phase. The damp tea are allowed to sit and yellow. 

  1. Oolong tea

It is a traditional Chinese tea which undergoes special processing, withering under the sun and oxidization is also done before curling and twisting.

  1. Post fermented tea

This type of tea undergoes fermentation process for several months to years. The exposure of tea to humidity, oxygen in the air produces oxidative enzymes in the tea. This alters the smell and taste of the tea, and typically mellows its taste, turning previously astringent or bitter teas into products

Processing of Tea

The processing method which we follow is of six different types and as same as originated from China. And six types of processing are growing, withering, bruising, oxidizing, fixing, and drying. Each and every process is handled and maintained and controlled carefully.

Packaging of Tea

After the long process of processing and in order to maintain the flavor, aroma and freshness for the long period of time packaging of tea is done with utmost care. Most common tea packaging materials are cardboard boxes, metal tins and stand-up pouches. In which tea is packaged and sealed.

How to prepare a tea?

There are various methods on brewing the tea. One method is using the tea bags. Pour hot water to the cup and add infused tea bag and add sweetener according to the taste. Another one is using tea leaves. Add water to the bowl, once it started to boil add the tea leaves and let it brew for 2 minutes in medium flame. Later, strain it and have with the sweetener.

Tea is the most popular beverage consumed by most of the people all over the world and which is the cheapest beverage to consume by all types of people. Since the ancient times it was believed that consuming tea helps to increase the health condition in good way.

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