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   GRAM GUIDE         100gms - Approx.  40cups

                                         250gms - Approx. 100cups

 

  CAMELLIA SINENSIS - THE MOTHER OF ALL TEA

All true tea comes from the same plant Camillia sinensis.  There are three main varietals of which two are used for tea production.  Camellia sinensis sinensis, a small leaf varietal native to China and Camellia sinensis assamica, a large leaf varietal native to Assam, India.

In its unhedged natural state, the Camellia sinensis is a tree which can grow in excess of 5 metres with some ancient trees reaching over 30 metres.

Beverages made from plant material other than the Camellia sinensis are not "true" tea.  Examples such as peppermint, chamomile, raspberry leaf, fruit and spices etc are herbal or fruit tisanes.

 

  THE MOTHER HAS OVER 10,000 OFFSPRING

There are more than 10,000 teas available globally. How can so many teas come from the one genus of plant?

From the Camellia sinensis, six primary categories of tea are produced depending on the processing method... White, Green, Yellow, Oolong, Black and Pu-er.

Similar to wine, the taste of tea is determined by many contributing factors including the cultivar used, the growing conditions (altitude, soil, climate, seasons), harvesting and processing, flavours infused during processing (e.g. Buddhas Tears, Lapsang Souchong) and post manufacturing blending and flavouring.

 

  TEA FAMILY HISTORY

Tea has a long and rich history.  Legend has it that Emporer Shen Nung of China (2737BC) drank boiled water that leaves from a Camellia sinensis tree had drifted into and he felt restored and refreshed.  From those beginnings, tea has weaved its way through history, countries, economies, spiritual ism, social customs and is second only to water as the most consumed beverage in the world.

 

  ROUGH GUIDE TO THE FAMILY TREE

Single Estate Tea:  Tea that is grown, harvested and processed within one tea estate (plantation) such as Margherita Estate, Assam.

Single Origin Tea:  Teas that are made from the harvest of leaves from a single country or region within that country.

Seasonal Tea:  Teas plucked and harvested in a particular season.

1st and 2nd Flush Tea:  In regions where there are defined growing seasons, the very first growth of that season is plucked, harvested, processed and becomes a 1st Flush tea and the next flush of growth becomes a 2nd Flush tea.

Blended Tea:  Tea that is made from blending processed leaf from a number of countries.  A classic is the ever favourite English Breakfast Tea which is a blend of teas from Sri Lanka and Assam, India.

Flavoured Tea:  Tea is an incredible flavour absorber!  If it is stored incorrectly next to the washing powder for instance, your tea will eventually taste like suds!  Infusing essence, flavour and aromas into tea leaves has been done for many centuries with Earl Grey being one of the most well known and enduring flavoured teas.

Tea purests shudder at the practice of flavouring tea and certainly there a lot of low quality teas flavoured with overpowering artificial flavours on the market.  If it is your way of tea to enjoy a flavoured cup then do so. Look for good quality tea flavoured with natural essences.  You will know from the first sip if it is of good quality.  The flavour will be in balance with and will not overpower the tea. The true character of the tea will be evident and the flavours will be tantalizing rather than overpowering. 

Our teas are quality leaf, naturally flavoured and contain no preservatives.