What is Tea?
Tea is the most popular drink in the world. No one knows for sure how tea came to be, but what we do know is that this ancient remedy has rich history. Tea is believed to have originated in China. Over 2,000 years ago, only the highest members of society such as emperors were allowed to drink it. Tea did not arrive in England until the 17th century.
Tea spread like wildfire, taking over Japan, England, Korea, and many other countries. Eventually, the entire world knew how precious this beverage was. Today, any member of society is welcome to drink tea, but how is it made?
The fact is that all types and varieties of tea are made from the same leaves called Camellia sinensis. Asia was the first country to grow this plant, but now it is grown by farmers worldwide. The leaves used for tea are very tiny, and it takes thousands to make a mere pound. After farmers pluck the herbs, the leaves are left out in the sun so they may dry.
Next, the leaves are crushed to get the flavor and juices out of the plant’s cells. After this is done, the leaves are once again left out in order to oxidize. Oxidation is when air reacts with chemical in the plant. In this case, the substance is the juice from the tea leaves. Since all tea is different, the time for the oxidation process differs depending on the type of tea being made.
Lastly, the farmers remove most of the moisture from the leaves. After that the “firing” process begins. During firing, the leaves are heated quickly to stop the oxidation process. After these steps are completed, the tea is packaged and sent around the world. This long process is worth it, given the fact that tea is runner up for the most consumed beverage in the world. The demand for this product makes all the work worthwhile.