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Tea Production

Within all tea growing regions, merely a top leaf bud and the next two leaves, the youngest ones of a spout are picked. More mature leaves have an undesirable impact on the quality of the processed teas. In the mountains, therefore cooler regions, tea naturally matures slower. This lets the especially high-quality, aromatic characteristics to envelop. The actual cropping period also has a tremendous influence on the quality of the tea. The plucking necessitates a lot of proper care along with skills set and is commonly performed by women. The standard plucking volumes are roughly 35 to 53 lb of green leaves a day which produces 9 to 13 lb of processed tea. A few times per day, the green leaves are delivered to the manufacturing facility in the tea garden. The green leaves are still absolutely neutral in fragrance and initially will be handled in the tea production line, going through numerous production procedures, in order to generate a savory final product.


Processing


Tea gets processed on the plantations in the country of origin and after that, exports in its finished form. The most essential steps of the procedure with respect to orthodox tea production (which may be utilized for the manufacturing of any kind of tea desired in contrast to the subsequently described CTC production) are: withering, rolling, fermenting, drying and sorting into leaf and broken grades of different sizes.


Withering


When the freshly picked leaves arrive at the manufacturing facility, they are weighed and the quantity is documented. After that, the withering process is initiated where the moisture content of the leaves is diminished by approximately 30% in order to make them tender and workable for the following step - rolling. The withering takes place in a specific withering troughs 80 to 100 feet long that are usually stringed with a wire grid and ventilated by big fans. The leaves are distributed out on the grid. The air flow that moves through the ventilators can easily be heated up when needed due to greater moisture content of the leaves. The withering process requires 12 to 18 hours.


Rolling


Hereafter, the withered green leaves are thrown in the rolling equipment, which commonly consists of a pair of big, hefty metal plates that are spinning in opposition direction to each other and are bruising the leaves, opening their cells, providing the cellular juice into contact with the oxygen in the air flow. This process begins the fermentation step as well as the occurrence of the essential oils that then establish the aroma and the flavor of the teas. Now rolled tea will begin fermentation in a dedicated fermentation room. A lot of tea production facilities use so-called "rotor vane" equipment, a sort of shredder that further processes the leaves. The leaves move throughout a slowly spinning screw conveyor via a tube where presence of oxygen speeds up the fermentation process.


Fermentation


The fermentation is an oxidation and tanning process of the cellular essential oils, which are produced during the rolling process. Intended for the fermentation, the leaves are spread out on workstations in 4 inches layers. Advanced tea producing factories humidify the area where the fermentation takes place. During the fermentation, which usually takes 2 - 3 hours, tea leaves alter their color that progressively turns into a copper-red. This color is observed in infused tea leaves. The "tea maker" is required constantly measure the degree of oxidation, especially with regard to the aroma of the wet leaves. The superior quality of the end product depends on the accurate fermentation.


Drying


The fermentation is completed when the ideal grade of fermented product is achieved. In other words as soon as tea develops its typical fragrance and the copper-red color, the drying process begins. So-called tiered dryers are used. They are powered with wood or oil. Tea moves through the dryer on a conveyor belt. The beginning temperature is about 190 degrees that helps to bind the cellular oils solidly to the leaves. Towards the end of the 20 minutes long drying procedure, the temperature decreases to 100 degrees and the humidity content to approximately 6%. Later on, whenever tea is brewed, the essential oils that stuck to the dried leaves are dissolved in the hot water and produce the aromatic and stimulating beverage.


Sorting


The black tea produced via the drying process or the so-called raw tea, now will be sieved by a variety of shaking mechanical sieves with different sieve sizes, in which the typical leaf grades are separated  from each other.
Based on the sieve sizes, sorting typically yields the following grades: leaf tea, broken tea, fannings and dust. Typically, the smaller the leaf, the stronger the infusion.
Tea is a natural product, which is created by reducing its moisture content. It should be stored in a cool and dry area. Tea maintains its original flavor when kept in a tightly sealed container, away from powerfully smelling food items such as spices.


Green Tea Production


Green Tea differs from black tea merely by not being fermented, other words not altered by oxidation. The manufacturing process is generally the same until the end of the withering process. Throughout green tea production, tea tannins and enzymes are destroyed by steaming or roasting after the withering. Before the rolling starts, tea is "steamed” or "pan-fried" and then rolled and dried. This guarantees that the leaves will not change their color, they will remain olive-green. The color of infusion varies depending on the kind of green tea, cultivation region, and plucking period and can be anything from light yellow to dark green.


CTC-Production


This term means: crushing, tearing, curling.

This technique starts by withering the green leaves, then rolling them once before they are torn in the CTC machines in between thrones rollers. This method makes sure that the cells are broken up more extensively and rapidly compared to the orthodox tea production. CTC tea has the most intensive color and greater yielding. The stems and leaf ribs are removed, only the cut "flesh" of the green leaves is processed further. After this process, tea is delivered into the fermentation area. Depending on the preferred leaf size, this procedure is repeated numerous times.
During the CTC-Production, primarily fanning is made, no leaf teas and only very few broken teas. Therefore, CTC teas are very appropriate for tea bags. In the present day, 50% of tea produced in India and almost 100% in Kenya by using the CTC technique. In Darjeeling, however, only orthodox tea is manufactured.

The most essential grades are:
BP = Broken Pekoe
PF= Pekoe Fannings
PD = Pekoe Dust

What Is The Difference Between Tea In The Bag And Loose Leaf Tea

While we all find ourselves cornered by stresses of daily life, we do find time to enjoy subtle little pleasures, and that’s how you find yourself at the loose leaf tea blog. However, you ask yourself what’s the big difference between tea in the bag and loose teas; while both have their drawbacks they both have their benefits. The difference is convenience and tasteful experience.


When it comes to drinking tea, it is important to keep in mind that tea bags are recent invention compared to tea itself. While teabags went commercially around 1904, tea became a common drink during Qin Dynasty (around 200 BC). However, both teabags and tea have evolved since their origin.


Teabags


Teabags main advantage is their convenience compared to the loose leaf tea; the brewing, clean-up, and storage are all the highlights of teabags. And with today’s innovations teabags are made of different materials and come in different shapes allowing different properties to the brewing process. The reason for improvement in the design is due to flaws that teabags bring to the table and that is: due to size of the teabag only lower grade teas can be packed in them, flavor cannot flow evenly, and overall benefits of the loose leaf tea are lost in the tightly packed confines of a teabag.


Loose leaf teas


As the name suggests loose leaf tea has no confines. It gives the entire flavor of the tea leaf into the cup of delicious tea you are brewing. Loose leaf tea at this point is a tradition, and the flavor it brings to the table is unparalleled. While the tending to loose leaf tea might be seem difficult, it is what preserves its flavor and health benefits. It is important to understand that the loose leaf tea is minimally processed and preserves stronger/better aroma and taste unlike its tea bag counterpart.

Conclusion


While it might seem tough to decide between teabag and loose leaf teas, it is no brainer if you really want to submerge yourself in the world of teas; loose leaf teas all the way. While brewing process might expose few hurdles, it also allows greater control over quantity, aroma, color, and taste of the tea. Lastly today’s innovation make drinking loose leaf tea much easier than you might think there are plenty of devices such as Magic Tea Filter, and many others that allow you the benefit of loose leaf tea with easy clean up.

Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Tea

When it comes to tea preparation, this process is as important as the tea being brewed; you do not want to find yourself buying batch of premium teas and not enjoying a full potential of the tea.  The beauty of loose leaf tea is that it is such a delicate substance that in order to unlock all of its flavors you need to be methodical about the brewing process. Like everything amazing, a great cup of tea begins with the best ingredients: your favorite tea, right temperature and time it needs to be brewed in, and something most might overlook, water. After all, every cup of tea is composed primarily of water so it is imperative to use the right kind of water to steep your favor cup of green tea, black tea, herbal tea or many others.

 Alright, so I preached the importance of every ingredient involved in the preparation of your favorite cup of tea, and water is the topic of our discussion. Before you worry about how difficult or special the water might have to be for your tea, I want you to take a sip or two of chamomile herb tea (it tastes best with hint of dandelion honey), please stick with me. These days we are surrounded with an immense variety of aqua, from its origin to pH levels and calcium levels; all this fine and dandy but when paired with spoonful of Silver Needles white tea, you do not want to make any mistakes.

So before you put that kettle on the stove make sure of few key steps to prevent from making your tea dull and flavorless. Firstly, make sure you are using the purest water available to you, it might sound silly but many different location have different quality coming out of its tap; if you are not 100% confident that your tap water is best then I would advise to use filtration system, and you do not need to install an enormous water purifier or buy dozen of gallons of filtered water, instead use a simple water filter that eliminates the chlorine, salt, calcium, and any other heavy particles in water; essentially you are trying to make your water as “soft” as possible. While boiling water helps for all those heavy minerals and particles to descend it does not eliminate them. So what is the ideal water for brewing tea? Well, most experts agree that spring water, because of its purity, freshness, and high oxygen level. However, it might be difficult to find your local well or natural spring source in the middle of NYC. So why not give all those bottled waters a try, right? Yes and no, many of the bottled waters might have minerals added to them, or in case of distilled water it's so purified that is considered dead water.

So to wrap this up, be cautious what you prepare your tea with, and if you looking for a safe bet and you can’t get your hands on natural spring water, then use your tap water just make sure to filter out all heavy minerals and others additives that are in it.

Chai Tea Pertaining To Your Digestive System

Legend, along with history, advocate that Chai Tea was in fact created by sovereign of India who held his recipe ingredients secret and sacred. Actually, chai tea is truly a remedy of Ayurveda, the knowledge of which goes as far back as five thousand years. The term chai doesn't relate to a specific kind of tea but the way in which it is actually made and served. As a rule, each and every household might have their very own recipe, ingredients such as, herbs and spices to combine with tea leaves. Chai recipes took its origin from obtainable ingredients on the market. This typically is a remarkably powerful combination which has countless therapeutic and wellness providing qualities. Among all these benefits associated with drinking chai frequently is to boost the digestion, calm and de-stress the digestive system, improve  toxins excretion, increase fat burning capacity, and reduce cravings.

Researcher, without a doubt, are discovering tea as the primary ingredient for Chai, it’s a superb resource of anti-oxidants, beneficial to the cardiovascular system, in addition to lowering blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, various herbs are blended with the tea leaves so it can have its authentic flavor as well as therapeutic properties. It's not one particular herb or spice that helps with digestive function but the mixture of several performing together.

Chai tea, just like the body system, is a homogenous combination of numerous ingredients performing and responding jointly in order to create tranquility. The constituents once steamed in water acquire and increase the flavors among each other right before fusing together to create one healthy and balanced decoction one can enjoy.
 
Chai reveals a unified mixture of all five tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy) identified by the taste buds which are always pleasing to the other senses.

As mentioned earlier, there are literally limitless combinations of herbs and spices that may be utilized to produce Chai. Of course, there are a number of basics widely used in most, from the family recipe to store acquired. A description of components in many chai teas and their holistic applications can explain why limitless combinations may be utilized as a remedy to various disorders and conditions, most particularly those connected to digestive function.

Black Pepper is one of the initial elements to help inducing the body since it works along with the taste buds in addition to their connection to the stomach. The taste buds signal the stomach to excrete hydrochloric acid that is required for digestion of proteins as well as other food components.  When food goes partly digested by the stomach this might remain inactive for several hours. This leads to symptoms associated with upset stomach and/or heartburns. Whenever undigested food proceeds into the intestinal tract it starts to rot. The intestines are designed for absorbing nutrients not digesting them. As the food begins to rot it results in intestines being an ideally suited place for gas generating, diarrhea causing, and even constipation triggering intestine bacteria. The external layer of the peppercorn aids activate metabolic process and even breaks down existing fat tissue.

Cinnamon is contemplated to be one of the most recognized spices on the planet. There was a period when it was in fact looked at as such a commodity that it was used as a sort of currency. It is discovered in almost every Chai blend. Cinnamon helps digestive function by simply soothing the stomach, combating bacteria and infection. It has been demonstrated to improve production of blood insulin and offering anti-nausea and diarrhea properties.  Cinnamon additionally improves the benefits of other herbs and connects the gap between flavors.

Fennel has also been well recognized for hundreds of years by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Eastern civilizations for its culinary and healing properties. It is one of those super foods as it provides Vitamin C & B, promotes liver, gall bladder, and spleen function, as well as supporting  food digestion by scattering flatulence producing bacteria.  Fennel is also an excellent source of fiber, therefore it aids to maintain the large intestine and colon healthy.

Ginger is the only root utilized in remedies as well as cooking. It possesses a mild, fresh flavor that assists settle the stomach. The gingerols and shogaols discovered in Ginger root have been demonstrated to relieve the effects of motion sickness.

Cloves are usually found in a variety of Chai Teas. They are highly regarded for their capability to stimulate the digestive fire. Cloves are also beneficial for soothing the throat and mouth and are often included into oral sprays for such purposes.
 
Chai can be served hot or cold. Usually it is offered with milk and honey. The milk softens the taste of the various robust herbs and the honey balances the spices.

Japanese Tea Ceremony and Zen Buddhism Are Inseparable

“Chanoyu should be made with the heart,
Not with the hand.
Make it without making it,
In the stillness of your mind.”

- Hamamoto Soshun -

Japanese tea ceremony is a central point of the concept of attitude, which the Japanese call “cha-no-yu”. Being the basis of the whole aesthetic doctrine itself “chanoyu” roots in Zen Buddhism. Perhaps, the initial period of a tea ceremony in Japan was religious in nature.


No one knows exactly when tea attained Japan. For centuries, Buddhist monks included tea in their spiritual practice to stay awake during meditation. Tea makes the mind fresh and alert, not intoxicated. Perhaps, the monks were the first who brought it to Japan. Natural tea ceremonies are practiced in Zen Buddhist monasteries, stands apart from the art, which is now in fashion.


Zen and tea ceremonies combine the constant striving for simplification. Zen eliminates everything that is unnecessary on the way to acknowledgement of ultimate reality; tea ceremonies manifest simplicity in real life and in the tearoom. Tea ceremonies celebrate aestheticism of primitive purity, finds perfection in the imperfect, embraces the discordance in order to achieve concordance… The idea is unifying with nature. Tea ceremonies embody its ideal in a small room, which however, decorated and furnished tastefully. Zen also seeks to strip off all the husks of artificiality, which humanity used to disguise itself to seem perfect. 

Tea ceremonies symbolize the simplification in the tea room built, for example, under an old pine tree as a part of nature, rather than creation of human hands. The key principle of the ceremony is the perfect obedience of the original idea of eliminating the unnecessary.

Tea ceremonies are closely related to Zen, not only in its practical development, but mainly in the preservation of the spirit in which it is impregnated. It’s more than an elaborated ritual. There are four basic principles of the philosophy of tea: harmony, respect, purity and tranquility (wa, kei, sei, jaku).They had become the embodiment of tea ceremony as a whole procedure:  its meaning, spirit and enthusiasm, as well as its separate components, down to the smallest detail. Each of the four principles can be in the abstract and philosophical sense, as well as in the concrete and practical.

Harmony – tea ceremony is the way of leading oneself into harmony with nature;


Respect – is a polite, cordial relationship with others;


Purity – is purity of the mind, heart and intentions. This state of purity can be reached through five senses: hearing , when hearing the sound of water; sense of sight, when see the beauty of flowers; sense of touch, when touching the utensils; sense of smell when smelling the fragrance of the flowers and sense of taste when sipping tea.


Tranquility – is the apogee of all three preceding principles. Tranquility is a harmony of the moment, acceptance of the surrounding, respect for people and things with purity of intentions, peace of mind and appreciation of nature.


From the perspective of Zen Buddhism, the Japanese tea ceremony can be viewed as a way to achieve satori - enlightenment associated with awareness of the triviality and unimportance of worldly vanity.