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Tea A lesson in Agriscience and Horticulture Using Southern Sweet Tea Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office Catrina Kennedy and Dr. Frank Flanders January 2006 Objectives: Students will be able to: Define terms associated with tea Describe the tea production process

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A lesson in Agriscience and Horticulture Using Southern Sweet Tea

Georgia Agriculture Education Curriculum Office

Catrina Kennedy and Dr. Frank Flanders

January 2006



  • Students will be able to:
  • Define terms associated with tea
  • Describe the tea production process
  • Describe different types of tea
  • Describe tannins in tea
  • Understand how solutes dissolve
  • Identify the genus and species of tea and other related plants


Solution-process of forming a mixture

Saturated Solution-when something can no longer be dissolved

Suspension-mixture which is finely divided that it does not easily settle out

Oxidation-gain of oxygen

Tannins-naturally in tea leaves, over boiling causes a bitter taste

Steep-soaking in water to release flavor

Adhesion-when things bond together

Surface Tension-property of liquids from molecular cohesive forces


Different Types of Tea

Black Tea- normally what we drink, it has been oxidized longer, tends to have more caffeine and a stronger flavor

Green Tea- least amount of oxidation, can be found in the local grocery store

Oolong Tea- the in-between tea, it is brewed strong and bitter but leaves a sweet aftertaste


How tea is made

  • Tea leaves are harvested
  • Placed on racks in a climate controlled room where a process known as withering takes place
  • The withering process removes all the water from the leaves and gives them a leathery feel
  • The leaves are placed on rollers. This breaks up the leaves and allows the release of juices

How tea is made

  • The leaves are then taken to a oxidation room which contains cement or glass tables. This room has a cool damp atmosphere
  • The leaves will turn a copper color
  • Leaves are then placed in iron boxes where they are introduced to bursts of hot air

*This is generally the process that black tea goes through



Tannins are a chemical found in many plants. They are important to the production of some items such as wine. However, tannins are not necessarily a good thing when it comes to tea. If you boil your tea for too long it will have a bitter taste. This is because of the natural tannins in tea. In making tea, it should be brought to a boil and immediately removed from the heat.


An interesting fact about Tannins

Have you ever wondered why water is clear in some areas but dark in others? The reason is because of Tannins. Rivers in North Georgia are fast moving so the organic matter doesn’t have time to decay. In South Georgia the water is slower moving so plant material has more time to decay.


Camellia sinensis v. Camellia japonica

Camellia sinensis is what is used to make tea

Camellia japonica is what is generally used in landscaping. The only difference between the two is the species.


Making Sweet Tea

Step 1 Gather materials and equipment


*Tea Pitcher


*Tea Bags





Making Sweet Tea

Step 2 Cooking the tea (based on 1 gal)

*Place 2 family sized tea bags in a pot of cold water


Making Sweet Tea

Step 3 Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Allow it to steep for approximately 1 minute. Remove tea bags.


Making Sweet Tea

Step 4 Add 2 cups of sugar to a pitcher.


Making Sweet Tea

Step 5 Add the HOT tea to the sugar and allow the sugar to dissolve.


Making Sweet Tea

Step 6 Fill the remainder of the pitcher with water and stir.


Making Sweet Tea

Step 7 Put ice into a glass and add tea


Making Sweet Tea

Step 8 Enjoy!

* This recipe should yield enough tea for 2 southerners or 137 northerners!


Making Sweet Tea-Cost per gallon

Tea Bags $.33

Bag of Sugar $.72

Total $1.05 per gal


Making Sweet Tea-Quiz

1. What is the plant name that tea comes from?

A. Daisy B. Bonsai Tree C. Camellia D. Eucalyptus

2. There are three types of tea, green, black and ______.

A. Purple B. Brassy C. Bold D. Oolong

3. Which tea requires the least amount of oxidation?

A. Green B. Black C. Oolong D. Brassy

4. How many years has tea been around?

A. More than 3000 B. Less than 100 C. 10 D. 500

5. What part of the plant is used to make tea?

A. Stem B. Leaves C. Roots D. Flowers

6. What is the relationship between the Camellia plant that is used in landscaping and the one that is used for making tea?

A. Same plant B. Taste C. Species D. Size

7. The only state that produces tea is _______.

A. South Carolina B. Texas C. Maine D. Georgia

8. The type of tea that is most likely found and bought most often in the grocery store is _____.

A. Orange B. Green C. Oolong D. Black

9. What is the last step is the tea production?

A. Harvesting B. Drying C. Cutting D. Growing

10. Why should you not over boil tea?

A. Tea shrinks B. Color change C. Bitter Taste D. Won’t dissolve sugar


Making Sweet Tea-Quiz


11. Solution a. gain of oxygen

12. Saturated Solution b. soaking in water to release flavors

13. Suspension c. process of forming a mixture

14. Oxidation d. when something can no longer be dissolved

15. Tannins e. property of liquids from molecular cohesive forces

16. Steep f. mixture is finely divided that it does not easily settle

17. Adhesion g. over boiling causes better taste because of

18. Surface Tension h. when things bond together