Kerala Tea Plantations
Kerala Tea Plantations
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Kerala Tea Plantations - THE TEA PLANT

 

Tea or Chai is the most widely drunk beverage in the whole world. The tea plant, Camellia Sansis, is a cultivated variety of a tree that has its origins in an area between India and China. There are three main varieties of the tea plant - China, Assam, and Cambodia - and a number of hybrids between the varieties. The China variety grows as high as nine feet (2.75 metres). It is a hardy plant able to withstand cold winters and has an economic life of at least 100 years.

The Assam variety, a single-stem tree ranging from 20 to 60 feet (6 to 18 metres) in height. Regular pruning keeps its height to a more manageable 4 to 5 feet tall. It has an economic life of 40 years with regular pruning and plucking. When grown at an altitude near that of Darjeeling (Assam) or Munnar (Kerala), it produces teas with fascinating flavours , sought after around the globe

The Cambodia variety, a single-stem tree growing to about 16 feet (five metres) in height, is not cultivated but has been naturally crossed with other varieties.

TEA BAGS
The tea bag, the most popular form of tea in U.S., is a product of mass production and mass marketing. These handy sacks, no matter what shape or how fancy packaged, invariably hold inferior tea composed of leaf fannings and dust. Fannings are tiny leaf particles that break off when tea leaves are processed.

The tiny specks that remain when fannings are removed are called dust. The latter is used in the tea bags you find at your super-market. These invariably produce a dark cup of weak and bland-tasting tea. The fancy packaged tea bags you'll find in most restaurants, are genuinely better for they contain fannings and CTC. Yet these are a far cry from the abundance of flavor and intoxicating aroma found in a cup of fine full-leaf tea. When one brews a cup of tea and tastes the difference, then tea bags are bound to be consigned to the trash bin !

INSTANT TEA
Instant tea is produced from black tea by extracting the brew from processed leaves, tea wastes, or undried fermented leaves, The extract is concentrated under low pressure, and dried to a powder by either · freeze-drying, · spray-drying · vacuum-drying A low temperatures is used to minimize loss of flavour and aroma.

Instant green teas are produced by similar methods, but hot water is used to extract liquor from powdered leaves. All instant teas are stored in airtight containers or bottles, because they absorb moisture.

 
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