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Botanical Name of Tea

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Botanical Name of Tea: Introduction

Tea is the morning queen of all households, especially in India. And, it runs throughout the day if it is winter season as people love it when they are actually shivering due to cold. Tea beverage is prepared by using freshly boiled water and further putting leaf buds and young leaves into it. The leaves used might be unfermented or fermented. So, your will be able to keep this love freshened up as it is a part of your biology coursebook. Already feeling excited to get to know about all of this magical beverage. Then, what about starting with its history itself, isn’t it a wonderful idea? Of course, it is! So, let's start with the historical background of tea.


Historical Journey of Tea

As per the factual data, tea is known to be present in China since 2700 BCE somewhere. For millennia, this was used as a medicinal beverage prepared with the process of boiling fresh tea leaves in the water. Then, somewhere around CE (3rd Century), this turned out to be an everyday drink. From here onwards, the people began to cultivate and process tea. In 350 CE, the first publishing appeared that discussed the methods of the plantation, processing as well as the drinking of this magical beverage. After this, Japan also got its seeds around 800, and the formal establishment of its cultivation was done in the 13th century. From Amoy, China brought the tea plantation to Formosa (Taiwan) island in 1810. In Java, the cultivation of tea started under the supervision of the Dutch as they got the seeds from Japan in 1826.


By 1824, tea cultivation also began in the Burma frontier and Indian State Assam (which is primarily known for tea plantation today). They were Britishers who coined the concept of tea in India in 1823 and after this India started with tea plantations an year. Initially, India used Chinese seeds but later Assam plants were used.


Tea is a drink prepared with freshly boiled water and leaf buds of the tea. The origin of tea is in China. It is grown in mainly tropical regions. Tea leaves that are used in production and process are either fermented or unfermented tea. Some people wonder what the scientific name of the tea is. The botanical name of the tea is Camellia sinensis. The common feature of botanical names of tea and coffee, Camellia sinensis and Coffea Arabica, is that they both need cool temperatures to grow. There are two regions where tea leaves are mainly grown, China and Assam. The two members of the botanical name of tea and family are C. Sinensis Sinensis and C. Sinensis assamica.

Botanical Description for Tea

Tea is a beverage that is classified according to the region of its origin. The central areas where tea is grown and produced are China, Japan, Indonesia, Africa, India and Sri Lanka. There are various members in the botanical family of tea. The botanical name for tea found in China is known as the C. Sinensis Sinensis. In the region of China, the tea that is mainly grown is green tea. Other areas grow green tea like Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia. The tea that is produced in Assam is known as Black tea. However, the botanical name for tea grown in Assam is C. Sinensis assamica. It is one of the central regions that make black tea. There are other tea family members, like the Oolong tea and pouchong tea, which are mainly produced in Southern China and Taiwan.


Processing the Tea Leaf

When it comes to tea manufacturing, the leaves go through all the processes of withering, rolling, fermentation, and drying. There are two reasons for this:

  • To dry out the leaf

  • To allow the leaf's chemical constituents to produce whatever quality is specific to each tea leaf type.

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  1. Withering: The most well-known constituent of tea is caffeine. Caffeine gives the beverage its character or stimulation but gives only a little bit of aroma, flavour, and colour. In fresh leaves, only about 4% of the solids there is caffeine. There are 60 to 90 milligrams of caffeine if taken in one teacup of this beverage. The essential chemical components of tea are the tannins, also called polyphenols. They are bitter-tasting and colourless substances that give tea its astringent characteristic. An enzyme called polyphenol oxidase acts on it. The polyphenols get a reddish colour, which forms the flavouring compounds of tea. Other certain volatile oils also add to the aroma of tea, and that, contributing to the quality of the beverage are amino acids and various sugars. Note that only black tea has to go through all the manufacturing process's stages. When it comes to oolong and green tea, they acquire various qualities through different variations in the most vital fermentation stage.

  2. Rolling: This is the second stage in the production of tea. Rolling is when the tea leaves are distorted, and it requires a distinctive twist of the finished tea. In the process of rolling, the leaf cells are burst. When tea leaves burst, it leads to the mixing of enzymes with polyphenols. In the traditional method, many tea leaves are rolled by hand on a table till it is twisted. 

  3. Fermentation: After the rolling process, there's a process of fermentation. When the leaf cells are broken during the rolling process, it is spread on tables under controlled temperatures, humidity, and aeration. Even Though the process is called fermentation, it is a set of chemical reactions. During fermentation, there's oxidation by polyphenols, which combine with other compounds to form orange-red compounds. The newly formed orange-red compounds are known as theaflavins. When the theaflavins react with more units, they form Thearubigins. The Thearubigins transform the tea leaf from orange-red to dark brown or coppery colour. 

  4. Drying: After the process of fermentation, the process of drying starts. It is when the heat inactivates the polyphenol enzymes and dries the leaf to moisture content. In drying, there is the caramelisation of sugar which adds flavour to the tea leaves. The drying process leaves the tea leaves in black colour. In the modern way of production, the leaves are dried on the hot air dryers where hot air is supplied separately for the leaves to be fed and moved from one end to the other over a perforated plate in a liquid fashion. 

Vedantu tutors have well-explained the entire cycle related to tea processing. They have explained stepwise as it is done in the hills of Assam or Kerala (Munnar). After collecting data about the processing done in these states, Vedantu has brought the processing in front of our students. This is certainly not the end as you can further raise your questions in case you are not getting any point regarding the history, botanical name or the processing method for tea.  We are available round the clock to serve our students and provide maximum satisfaction to them regarding their study experience. Thus, we are famous for our top-notch educational experience.

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FAQs on Botanical Name of Tea

1. What are the Various Stages While Processing Tea Leaves?

Several stages come while processing tea leaves, each of which is equally important. The first stage is withering, which is, in simple words, removing the moisture that is present in the tea leaves. The second stage is rolling, wherein the leaves are pressed between two metal plates. In this stage, the tea gets its aroma and flavour. The third stage is fermentation, where the fluid produced during rolling is put to use. The next stage is the drying of the leaves, almost at the consumable stage. Lastly, we sort the tea leaves into whichever type of tea they may be according to the sieve used to sort them.

2. What are the Different Kinds of Tea?

There are plenty of different kinds of tea. Firstly, the most basic types of tea are the ones that are formed when we are sorting the tea. It can be either leaf tea (entire leaves, broken tea (where plates are broken), fannings tea (coarse tea) and dust tea (complete powder). While these are only the classifications of the tea as what they look like after sorting, the following are the types of tea we can find available in the market: Green tea, Black tea, Oolong tea, Matcha green tea, Herbal tea, White tea, Yellow tea, Dark tea, Pu Erh tea.

3. How can we differentiate between fermented and unfermented tea?

The fermented tea is influenced by the fermentation process such as taste, appearance, and aroma. On the other hand, unfermented tea does only have a fragrance of vegetal (in terms of aroma). The tea that has been fermented partially remains light in floral aroma. Plus, if it is fully fermented then it will provide sugar or ripe fruit fragrance. Black tea is an example of fully fermented tea while green tea is minimally fermented, oolong is partially fermented and white tea remains unfermented.

4. Is it true that tea history is rooted with China?

Yes, it is China from where tea has its original roots. They used it as a medicinal beverage or morning tea for refreshing purposes. From China, this beverage reached Japan and further Britishers introduced tea in India in the year 1823. After the introduction, India started its plantation within a year. Initially, the seed was coming from China but afterwards India started using its own plants. Thus, this is how the tea history is rooted in China and further it evolved to different countries of the world. Today, it is a world-famous beverage.

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If you are looking for a cost-effective online portal to take biology classes, then try Vedantu classes. Vedantu has brought all the resources that are required to make it a success. Started with a few students, Vedantu is offering tuitions all across the world. The best part is that you can get the study material for free just by registering with Vedantu. From online sessions to practical experiments, all are done under the strict supervision of our tutors. Just rely once and you will be regular with us for more classes and you will also invite your friends.