About Tea

Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring boiling hot water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world It has a cooling, slightly bitter, astringent flavour which many people enjoy. Consumption of tea is beneficial to health and longevity given its antioxidant, flavanols, flavonoids, polyphenols, and catechins content Tea catechins have known anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activities, help to regulate food intake, and have an affinity for cannabinoid receptors, which may suppress pain, nausea, and provide calming effects.

Consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of diseases that cause functional disability, such as "stroke, cognitive impairment, and osteoporosis" in the elderly.

Although single estate teas are available, almost all teas in bags and most other teas sold in are blends. The aim of blending is to obtain better taste, higher price, or both, as a more expensive, better-tasting tea may cover the inferior taste of cheaper varieties. THE COMPANIES DIRECTOR IS AN EXPERT TEA TASTER WITH AN UNBEATABLE

Tea plants are native to East and South Asia and probably originated around the point of confluence of the lands of northeast India, north Burma and southwest China. Although there are tales of tea's first use as a beverage, no one is sure of its exact origins. The first recorded drinking of tea is in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating back to the 10th century BC. It was already a common drink during the Qin Dynasty (3rd century BC) and became widely popular during the Tang Dynasty, when it was spread to Korea and Japan. Trade of tea by the Chinese to Western nations in the 19th century spread tea and the tea plant to numerous locations around the world.Tea was imported to Europe during the Portuguese expansion of the 16th century, at which time it was termed chá. In 1750, tea experts traveled from China to the Azores Islands, and planted tea, along with jasmines and mallows, to give the tea aroma and distinction. Both green tea and black tea continue to grow in the islands, which are the main suppliers to continental Portugal. Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, took the tea habit to Great Britain around 1660, but it was not until the 19th century that tea became as widely consumed in Britain as it is today. In Ireland, tea had become an everyday beverage for all levels of society by the late 19th century, but it was first consumed as a luxury item on special occasion such as religious festivals, wakes, and domestic work gatherings such as quiltings.IN INDIA NOW THE TEA HAS BEEN DECLARED AS NATIONAL DRINK......

Health effects
Tea leaves contain more than 700 chemicals, among which the compounds closely related to human health are flavonoids, amino acids, vitamins (C, E and K), caffeine and polysaccharides. Moreover, tea drinking has recently proven to be associated with cell-mediated immune function of the human body. Tea plays an important role in improving beneficial intestinal microflora, as well as providing immunity against intestinal disorders and in protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. Tea also prevents dental caries due to the presence of fluorine. The role of tea is well established in normalizing blood pressure, lipid depressing activity, prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing the blood-glucose activity. Tea also possesses germicidal and germistatic activities against various gram-positive and gram negative human pathogenic bacteria. Both green and black tea infusions contain a number of antioxidants, mainly catechins that have anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumoric properties.

Catechins in green tea possess anticancer properties against "cancer in various organs, including the colorectum and liver, and are known to exert anti-obesity, antidiabetic, and anti-inflammatory effects." "Branched-chain amino acids in green tea may prevent progressive hepatic failure in patients with chronic liver diseases, and might be effective for the suppression of obesity-related liver carcinogenesis."

Anticarcinogenic effects of tea polyphonols has been provided by numerous in vitro and experimental studies, which describe their action to “bind directly to carcinogens, induce Phase II enzymes such as UDP-glucuronosyl transferase and inhibit heterocyclic amine formation.” “Molecular mechanisms, including catechin-mediated induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, inhibition of transcription factors NF-?B and AP-1 and reduction of protein tyrosine kinase activity and c-jun mRNA expression have also been suggested as relevant chemopreventive pathways for tea.” Protective effects from tea consumption are observed less frequently in populations where intake of black tea predominates.

Numerous recent epidemiological studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of green tea consumption on the incidence of human cancers. These studies suggest significant protective effects of green tea against oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, prostate, digestive, urinary tract, pancreatic, bladder, skin, lung, colon, breast, and liver cancers, and lower risk for cancer metastasis and recurrence.

Possibly most noteworthy are human intervention studies that find consumption of green tea cuts the risk of getting ovarian and endometrial cancers, and advanced prostate cancer by 50%.

Cholesterol and blood sugar levels are lowered significantly by drinking green tea.[39] Drinking green tea is negatively associated with diabetes, possibly due to moderated oxidative stress on fats, which may reduce insulin resistance[40]

Consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of diseases that cause functional disability, such as “stroke, cognitive impairment, and osteoporosis” in the elderly. Specific to mental function, researchers in 2010 found that people who consumed tea had significantly less cognitive decline than non-tea drinkers. The study used data on more than 4,800 men and women aged 65 and older to examine change in cognitive function over time.

L-theanine in tea may reduce stress by inducing a calm but alert, focused, and relatively productive (alpha wave dominant) mental state in humans. This mental state is also common to meditative practice.

MAKING OF In the West, water for black tea is usually added near the boiling point of water, at around 99 °C (210 °F). Many of the active substances in black tea do not develop at temperatures lower than 90 °C (194 °F). Lower temperatures are used for some more delicate teas. The temperature will have as large an effect on the final flavor as the type of tea used. The most common fault when making black tea is to use water at too low a temperature. Since boiling point drops with increasing altitude, it is difficult to brew black tea properly in mountainous areas. It is also recommended that the teapot be warmed before preparing tea, easily done by adding a small amount of boiling water to the pot, swirling briefly, before discarding. In the West, black teas are usually brewed for about 4 minutes and are usually not allowed to steep for less than 30 seconds or more than about five minutes (a process known as brewing or mashing in Britain). In many regions of the world, however, boiling water is used and the tea is often stewed. For example, in India black tea is often boiled for fifteen minutes or longer as a strong brew is preferred for making Masala chai. When the tea has brewed long enough to suit the tastes of the drinker, it should be strained while serving. The popular varieties of black (red) tea include Assam tea, Nepal tea, Darjeeling tea, Nilgiri tea, Turkish tea and Ceylon tea.

Water for green tea, according to regions of the world that prefer mild tea, should be around 80 to 85 °C (176 to 185 °F); the higher the quality of the leaves, the lower the temperature. Hotter water will produce a bitter taste. However, this is the method used in many regions of the world, such as North Africa or Central Asia where bitter tea is appreciated. For example, in Morocco green tea is steeped in boiling water for fifteen minutes. In the West and Far East a milder tea is appreciated. The container in which the tea is steeped, the mug, or teapot is often warmed beforehand so that the tea does not immediately cool down. High-quality green and white teas can have new water added as many as five or more times, depending on variety, at increasingly high temperatures.

The tea leaves are packaged loosely in a canister or other container. Rolled gunpowder tea leaves, which resist crumbling, are packed for freshness in aluminized packaging for storage and retail. The portions must be individually measured by the consumer for use in a cup, mug, or teapot. This allows greater flexibility, letting the consumer brew weaker or stronger tea as desired, but convenience is sacrificed. Strainers, "tea presses," filtered teapots, and infusion bags are available commercially to avoid having to drink the floating loose leaves and to prevent over-brewing. A more traditional, yet perhaps more efficient way around this problem is to use a three-piece lidded teacup, called a gaiwan. The lid of the gaiwan can be tilted to decant the leaves while pouring the tea into a different cup for consumption.

Tea leaves are packed into a small envelope (usually composed of paper) known as a tea bag. The use of tea bags is easy and convenient, making tea bags popular for many people today. However, the use of tea bags has negative aspects as well. The tea used in tea bags is commonly fannings or "dust", the waste product produced from the sorting of higher quality loose leaf tea. However, this is not true for all brands of tea; many high quality specialty teas are available in bag form.It is commonly held among tea aficionados that this method provides an inferior taste and experience. The paper used for the bag can also be tasted by many, which can detract from the tea's flavor. Because fannings and dust are a lower quality of the tea to begin with, the tea found in tea bags is less finicky when it comes to brewing time and temperature.