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.