Tea the most consumed popular super - Beverage of the Millennium has and continues to play an important role in almost all world cultures and customs made to both regional & individual contrasting taste and preferences & moods …some make it sweet , some bitter, some stout, some mellow, some strong, some light, some make fragrant teas, some spicy , some with flavor & some simply black …Tea is a low calorie refreshing drink , now recognized for many health benefits & medicinal value
Tea an evergreen plant is a member of the Camellia Sinensis that is native to China, and northern India. There are two main varieties of the tea plant. The small leaf variety, known as Camellia sinensis, thrives in the cool, high mountain regions primarily of China, India, Sri Lanka and Japan. The broad leaf variety, known as Camellia assamica, grows best in the moist, tropical climates found in Northeast India and the Szechuan and Yunnan provinces of China.
Its oval-shaped leaves are smooth, shiny and pointed in appearance. If Left to grow wild the tea plant develops into a tree many meters high but under cultivation is kept to a height of approximately three feet enable for easy & efficient plucking. Tea ideally grows at a height of 2400m (8000 ft) above sea level in acidic soil, a warm, humid climate with at least 50 inches of well-distributed rain per annum & long sunlit days are the ideal conditions for it to flourish as a plantation crop. Tea’s flavor, quality and character are completely dependent on the region, plant variety, the altitude, soil conditions, the climate in which it is grown, method of cultivation followed & nature of shade.
India alone has 523,000* hectares of land under tea cultivation, employing over 1.25* million (The second largest employer after Indian Railways) directly under it’s over 12000* large tea estates & 1300* tea factories. India gave 27%* output of the worlds 3523* Million Kg production, exporting off 204* Million Kg. A big consumer of tea consuming 22%* of the worlds production where any time is Chai time.
*All figures as per 2006 estimates
The Tea industry is eco-friendly, providing a natural habitat for many plants, animals & birds to flourish in its vast green expanse in 33 major tea producing nations.
Tea has played a key role in altering the course of history ! In England, tea received royal patronage when King Charles II married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, who was an inveterate tea-drinker. The Boston Tea Party fracas led to the American Revolution and the declaration of American Independence in 1773.