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TEA - Camellia sinensis. Family - Theaceae Genus - Camellia Species - sinensis. Related Plants. Ornamental Camellias. Groups of Tea. China type - C. sinensis var. sinensis Northern slope of the Himalayan Mts Elevated altitudes, semi-humid forest

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TEA - Camellia sinensis

Family - Theaceae

Genus - Camellia

Species - sinensis


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Related Plants

  • Ornamental Camellias

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Groups of Tea

  • China type - C. sinensis var. sinensis

    • Northern slope of the Himalayan Mts

    • Elevated altitudes, semi-humid forest

    • Bush with small erect leaves with many serrations

    • Flowers are borne singly

    • Greater tolerance to drought and low temp.

    • Main tea produced in China and Japan

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Groups of Tea

  • Assam type - C. sinensis var. assamica

    • Southern slopes of the Himalayan Mts

    • Found in humid dense forest

    • Tree

    • Leaves are larger with less serrations, less erect, and tend to droop at tips

    • Leaves lighter green color

    • Flower in clusters of 2-4

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Origin and Domestication of Tea

Assam

China

1833

1930s

Trade with Europe

1600s

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Tea Domestication

  • China type domesticated in south China

    • 4000 years ago?

    • Spread throughout China and Japan

  • Trading with Europe beginning in early 1600s

    • Earliest maritime explorations by the Portuguese and Dutch

    • England enters trade with East India Co in mid to late 1600s

  • East India Trade Co monopoly on tea trade ends in 1833

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Tea Domestication

  • Tea growing in India investigated

    • Seed of China type were planted various locations

    • Grew best in Assam, NE India - so developed plantations

    • Tea-like plants grew wild throughout forest in this area - these were the Assam type tea

    • Initial plantings were mixtures of China and Assam tea plants

      • Outcrossing plants

      • Seed propagation

      • Hybrid tea populations were developed

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Tea Domestication

  • Assam region initial area of domestication of Assam tea

    • Late 1800s

      • South India

      • Sri Lanka (esp. after rust destroyed the coffee industry)

      • Java and Indonesia

    • 1930s

      • Equatorial highlands of Central and East Africa

  • Current Assam tea is a hybrid type derived from the initial mixed plantings in NE India

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Origin and Domestication of Tea

Assam

China

1833

1930s

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Tea Production

Increasing

By weight 50% total production of coffee

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Tea Production

Much of production consumed locally

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Tea Importations

Much of production consumed locally

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The Tea Plant

Perennial evergreen bush/tree

Harvest young leaves

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The Tea Plant

  • Understorey trees

  • Adaptation

    • Temperature

      • 18-30°C

      • Leaf growth stops

        • Below 13°C

        • Above 35°C

        • Shoot replacement cycle related to temp.

      • Equatorial region

        • Grown in highlands (1000-3000 m)

        • At low latitude/altitude need shade for best growth (Assam type)

    • Rainfall

    • Soil type

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The Tea Plant

  • Understorey trees

  • Adaptation

    • Rainfall

      • 1150 mm if evenly distributed

    • Soil type

      • Acid soils (pH 4.0 to 5.6)

      • Good drainage

      • Good water holding capacity

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Tea Plant Propagation

  • Seed

    • Short period of viability

    • Germinate in sun and plant into pots once begin to emerge

    • 2-3 years before field planting size

    • Traditional approach to propagation

    • Seedlings are not uniform

  • Clonally

    • Single node cuttings

    • Ready for field in 1 year

    • Rooted cuttings are uniform

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Tea Planting

  • Density of planting

    • 10,000 to 15,000/ha

  • Use of shade

    • Initially all tea in Assam with shade

    • Now many areas without shade

      • Higher yields without shade

      • Greater response to fertilizer without shade

    • Some exceptions

      • High heat areas (lowlands of north India/Bangladesh)

      • Low input system, in highlands of Kenya, shaded system is equal or better than unshaded

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Tea Training and Pruning

  • Training

    • Head back to 20 cm at planting

    • Next year to 40 cm

    • Final year at 60 cm to form a level “plucking table”

  • Pruning

    • Need to cut back periodically

    • Plucking table will slowly rise

    • Periodically need to rejuvenate

      • Prune below branches

      • Bring to bear again

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Tea Harvesting

  • Harvest - Most done by hand

    • Tips

      • Bud only gives best product

    • Fine plucking - most common

      • Bud plus 2 leaves

    • Coarse plucking

      • Bud plus 3 leaves

  • Important to begin processing quickly

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Tea Harvesting

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Types of Tea

  • Green Tea

    • Not “fermented”

    • Only China type tea

    • Mainly China and Japan

  • Oolong Tea

    • Semi “fermented”

    • Produced in Taiwan

  • Black Tea (highest production)

    • “Fermented”

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Tea Processing

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Black Tea Processing

  • Withering

    • Thin layers of leaves in trays

    • Leaves allowed to dry to lose turgidity

    • 18-24 hours

    • 50% weight loss

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Black Tea Processing

  • Rolling

    • Twists and breaks up leaf

    • Expresses leaf sap

      • Good contact with flavanols and polyphenol oxidase

    • Done 3-5 times

      • 1st roll = dhools, most tender parts of the leaves

      • 2nd and 3rd rolls = mahls and fines

      • Sticks left over = big bulk

    • Need to keep temp between 27 - 32 C

      • Mechanical heat

      • Heat generated by oxidation

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Black Tea Processing

  • Fermentation = oxidation

    • Begins with rollers, dhool stages

    • Flavor and aroma develops

    • Leaves turn dark

      • Flavanols >> colored theaflavins, thearubigins

    • Limit of 4-5 hours

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Black Tea Processing

  • Drying = stops oxidation

    • Time of fermentation

      • Subjective

      • Important in quality

    • In at 82 - 94 C and finish at 53 C

    • Moisture level

      • 54% to 3% moisture

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Black Tea Processing

  • Grading and Sorting

    • Broken Orange Pekoe (high % buds)

    • Broken Pekoe

    • Orange Pekoe (twisted tender stalk)

    • Pekoe - compact and dense

    • Souchong - compact and dense

    • Broken Orange Pekoe Fanning

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Green Tea Processing

  • Prevent “fermentation”

    • Initial heating to destroy polyphenol oxidase

    • Rolled at 90-100 C for 45-50 min - 50% moisture

    • Rolled without heat for 15 min

    • Dried at 50-60 C (30-40 min) - 30% moisture

    • Rolled on heated pan (80-90 C), 40 min.

    • Dried at 80 C - <6% moisture

    • Sieve to remove stems and debris

    • Final drying

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Quality Control

Use same weight of tea per cup

Allowed to steep in hot water same time

Grade indicated by cup placement

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Quality Control

Judge quality of tea samples

Ensure consistent flavor of blends

Tea judged better gets higher price

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Top Tea Varietals

  • Darjeeling

    • First flush, light almondy, flowery scent, puckery mouthfeel

    • Second flush, darker, more body, hints of muscat

  • Formosa Oolong

    • Champagne of teas, grown at lower altitudes

    • Aroma of peach blossoms, wisp of smokiness, almost no mouth pucker (astringency)

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Top Tea Varietals

  • Yunnan

    • Full body, rich, wispy smokiness, hint of pepperiness

  • Earl Grey

    • Flavored tea

    • Black tea with bergamot (citrus of Sicilian origin)

  • Ceylon

    • Clean, bright flavor

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Health Benefits of Tea

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Health Benefits of Tea

  • Reduce risk of Coronary Heart Disease

    • Epidemiological studies

    • Lowers blood levels of LDL cholesterol

  • Flavonoids are antioxidants

    • 95% polyphenols in tea are flavanoids

    • Higher anti oxidant activity than Vitamin A, C or E - but with less bioavailability

    • Combat free radicals >> reduce risk of cancer

  • Much of benefits not experimentally confirmed

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