What is tea?
Tea, being the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water, is derived from a single plant “Camellia sinensis”. The plant thrives in tropical and subtropical climates where the rainfall is plentiful and the soil rich, and in these conditions the plant can grow to an elevation of 30 feet if left unpruned. So as to allow for convenient plucking of tender leaves, the tea bushes are consistently pruned back to a height of three to five feet. As with most plants, pruning enables for the healthy growth of new young leaves or “flush”.
All tea, be it black, green, oolong, white, yellow or pu-erh tea originates from one of two subspecies: the Assam varietal (Camellis sinensis assamica) or the China varietal (Camellia sinensis chinensis). Grown in India, Sri Lanka and in other parts of the world, the Assam varietal produces larges, bold tasting leaves. The China varietal, cultivated in China, Taiwan, Japan and in parts of Darjeeling produces smaller leaves with a more delicate flavour profile.