Green Tea Benefits

by Steven Popec 1. June 2010 07:07

When it comes to making healthy life choices, people don't usually consider the type of tea they drink. But one of the best life choices you can ever make in your life is to try and include a healthy affinity for natural herbal teas. Herbal teas can aren't just for the body's health, but also the mind, --tea is relaxing or stimulating, depending on your variety of choice. People who are especially looking for a natural way to detoxify their bodies will take a particularly strong interest in herbal teas, --such as potent loose leaf varieties of green or white tea, --because of the various minerals and vitamins herbal teas have. Green tea is probably the most beneficial to a person's health.

So What Kind of Benefits Exactly?

We'll briefly review how green tea aids your health with these properties; we'd stake good money that once you hear all this awesome TRUE stuff about green tea, you'll be fascinated. Maybe a little miffed too, that the medical profession has kept green tea such a big secret. . Antioxidants are probably the best things we can currently supply our bodies with. In the war between the healthy cells in your body, against free radicals bouncing around and causing trouble in your body, you might get sick, --or worse, get a serious disease. The polyphenols found in loose leaf tea become antioxidants in your body; they aid the healthy cells by taking out and controlling free radicals. Sort of like the ride of a cavalry.  Antioxidants protect the body from various diseases, even cancer, the big C.

Green Tea Prevents More than Cancer

Once your body acquires the strength to fight against the dreadful free radicals that claim penetration, then the accumulation of mutated cells which turn into harmful cancer can be checked. Green tea also prevents your body from becoming susceptible to other illnesses, like inflammatory bowel disease, Chiron’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.  These diseases can make your life Hell; causing trouble eating, thus reducing the level of nutrient intake and causing even more health problems, even malnutrition. Green tea prevents them all.

Green Tea Is Good for the Heart Too

It also significantly improves essential cardiovascular health, which our whole body depends on; --it might actually make a difference between life and death. Green tea keeps blood from being pumped through the more unhealthy blood vessels, and also prevents heart attack and stroke. Conclusively, we can all agree that green tea can play a vital role in your daily and lifetime health issues. Accompanied with a regular multivitamin, green tea works wonders. Deep analysis on whether green tea helps you will always lead to a positive answer of yes, in more ways than one!

Hot Tea May Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk

by Elena Popec 31. May 2010 10:39

The esophagus is the muscular tube that carries food from out throat to the stomach. Based on current statistics, cancers of this tube kill more than half a million people worldwide every year. There are many factors that have been thought to trigger esophageal cancer; nutritional deficiencies, infections and dietary toxins. Despite the wide speculative belief that it's alcohol and tobacco that cause throat and esophagus cancer, other populations have also had a high rate of this disease; populations that do not drink or smoke. It is with a new study that a new risk has finally come to light. There has been a rise in esophageal cancer among countries where it is traditional to drink black tea above 70ºC (or 158ºF).

Testing & Studies in Temperature of Teas

Iranian researchers have found that drinking this hot tea can be linked to the increased odds of developing cancer of the esophagus and they have provided what most believe is the most conclusive research; the hypothesis that thermal injury can cause cancer. Northern Iran has one of the highest rates of the most common types of esophageal cancer. It is here that a team from the University of Tehran set up a case controlled study of a single area in northern Iran, the Golestan Province, to better understand the spread of esophageal cancer.

The team found that smoking tobacco products and drinking alcohol is an uncommon trait in this population but tea drinking is common. Past studies did not provide suitable data. It was difficult to distinguish whether the negative factors of tea drinking were because of drink temperature or type of beverage consumed. There was also insufficient evidence where the temperature of the tea was rated by the drinker without independent confirmation.

A Difficult Test Procedure Finally Pays Off


To address the issues of the previous studies, the researchers studied tens of thousands of people in the Golestan Province. The subjects of the study drank, on average, a liter of black tea per day each, and temperatures, along with the speed at which it is drunk, were measured. The study has now been printed in the BMJ (formerly The British Medical Journal). Professor Reza Malekzadeh, the leader of the researchers, explains that "Our results showed a noticeable increase in risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma associated with drinking hot tea." The team discovered that the tea itself did not constitute a risk of cancer, but as the temperature increases so does the risk.

Common Sense Might Just Save You from Cancer

Having tea  around 65ºC compared to consuming tea above 65ºC but below 70ºC increases odds of esophagus cancer twice, while consuming tea at over 70ºC increases the risk eight times over. The time in which the hot tea was drunk also plays a part. Drinking tea about four minutes after it's poured decreases the chances of developing esophagus cancer. This can be seen as using common sense and it should be taken to heart. It is best to allow five to ten minutes between making and pouring a hot beverage and this not only applies to tea, but any high temperature food or drink. Any hot beverage or food should be allowed to cool before drinking or eating to better protect your esophagus, and lessen the risk of cancer. Adding milk to hot drinks such as tea and coffee, as is common practice in the West, adequately cools the beverage enough to eliminate the risk.

Green Tea May Lower Risk of Lung Cancer in Smokers

by Steven Popec 28. May 2010 07:06

When it comes to the amount of speculation, experimentation, research, clinical studies, and proven benefits of green tea, --it's almost intimidating getting to know all the facts. The main conclusion here is that green tea is good for you; it has anti-aging qualities, and prevents various illnesses. One example, and possibly the most serious of these kinds of health problems, is cancer. Cancer is one of the leading causes of early death currently. According to statistics, around three hundred people die of cancer every day, --and those numbers just cover the United States.  But there's good news, because the antioxidants in green tea help prevent various kinds cancer, among other health problems.

Green Tea & Lung Cancer

Most forms of cancer are preventable, --not curable, but preventable, through clean living, not smoking, and basically, just keeping your body in good condition. And we all admit, that's easier said than done. Not everyone wants to wear sunscreen, even though it can prevent melanoma, and not everyone wants to quit smoking, --even though smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. As it turns out, green tea might even be able to help smokers protect themselves from lung cancer.

Research on Green Teas Preventative Qualities


The scientists at the Toxicology Research Center in Korea have studied the effect of green tea on the lungs; they've found that it may protect the delicate tissues of the lungs, even under the heavy damage done by smoking. The four groups tested in the study were smokers consuming green tea, smokers who consume coffee, non-smokers, and smokers who consumed neither green tea nor coffee; all the smoking participants had been smoking for around 13 years. Rest assured, they weren't working with people who had just bought their first pack of smokes.

The Results

After six months of drinking 2 or 3 cups of green tea every day, the smokers returned, along with the other groups, for evaluation. This group, showed about as much SCE, (sister chromatid exchange) as non-smokers, making a significant reduction. This was the stand-out result; the other three groups weren't as impressive. SCE, by the way, is a cell process that is linked to the growth of tumors. Obviously, if green tea reduces the growth of tumors in the lungs, it's going to start becoming a lot more popular with smokers.

How You Can Stay Healthy with Green Tea

The scientists conducting the study concluded the same thing; smart guys, aren't they, --that green tea was preventative of lung cancer, even among smokers. And drinking coffee has no real effect on SCE levels, --so if you were worried that coffee causes cancer, feel free to keep drinking it. On the other hand, you may want to switch to some high quality green tea instead. It has just become extremely important that smokers drink green tea, --but not just people who smoke. Everyone is at risk for various kinds of cancers, so if green tea can actually help us prevent cancer and keep our bodies in good shape, we need to be drinking more.

Loose Leaf Black Tea Benefits

by Elena Popec 27. May 2010 07:20

The beneficial qualities that tea brings to both mind and body have long been recognized by the vast majority of people around the world. However it’s always the green leaf variety that takes the plaudits with other varieties playing second fiddle at best, and often times ignored. We are constantly bombarded through the media and treated to information overload to the extraordinary attributes of the green tea variety. It is certainly then no surprise that it is to green tea that one’s thoughts first turn while looking for a healthy drink to refresh. Whilst it is certainly true that green tea does come packed with an incredible health-giving pedigree, the black tea variety, or ‘crimson’ as it is known in Chinese and languages influenced by Chinese, should most certainly not be ignored.

What's the Difference?

Black tea has as much to offer as the green leaf variety to those that choose to give it a try. A fact of which many people are not aware is that both black and green tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The larger leaves from the Assamese plant are used for the black variety, with the smaller leaves from the Chinese plants being used for green and also white tea too. Whilst much has been said of the health giving qualities of green tea, those benefits can be said to be present in black tea also as they are essentially derived from the same source. This is despite its more intense processing and consequently lower levels of antioxidant. There also tends to be more caffeine in black tea and hence black tea can be considered more stimulating.

It is often of a better flavor too as green tea tends to lose its flavor after a year or so, whilst black leaf tea can retain the flavor for many years more. It is due to this attribute of black tea that it has long been used a commodity for trading, and black tea bricks were even used as a form of currency in the 19th century in countries such as Mongolia, Tibet and Siberia. TF-2 is a compound present in black tea. It is an antioxidant and as such is very helpful to the human body in the fight against cancer, diseases of the heart and other inflammatory ailments.

Black Tea Research

Studies carried out in Europe spanning a decade have shown that drinking in excess of 2 cups of black leaf tea a day can cut in half the incidence of heart problems in males. The best method by far with which to imbibe tea is in its loose form, and in the authors opinion the bagged variety should be kept firmly on the shelf. It’s not just a great flavor from which you will benefit with black tea but also the extraordinary health-giving benefits that it will bring to your body. And there are of course many brands from which to choose with varied tastes and flavors. All without exception compete admirably with their green leaf counterparts in health properties and arguably make a more enjoyable and flavorsome drink.

Select Herbal Teas for Your Health

by Steven Popec 26. May 2010 08:02

It is well known that herbal teas promote overall health and well being. However there are lots of herbal teas out there and you might have a hard time choosing the right one to gain the most health benefits. You might be trying to make up your mind between Wuyi Cliff, Oolong or Wu-long, Pu-erh or Sencha teas. Well, wake up and smell the tea, because although you are not wrong, the answer is in the mix. To be specific, it is in the mix of herbal teas Wuyi Cliff, Pu-erh, Sencha and Oolong. By itself each of teas pack fantastic health benefits, then just imagine what the benefits would be when you combine all these teas. A few of the most important health benefits of this tea mix are in promoting healthy dieting, supplying your body with more natural energy, boosting your immune system and helping to calm the mind.

1. Healthy Dieting Solutions that Work:

Having a cup of the herbal tea mix made from mixing together the whole leaves of the different types of teas, rather than just having just a cup of tea with tea dust helps in ensuring quick and effective weight loss. Insulin is produced in your body, when you consume carbohydrates or sugary foods, which aids in storing fats in the body. The herbal tea mix works by reducing the amount of insulin produced and directly affects the amount of fat stored. Having a cup of herbal tea mix after each meal will work wonders by helping you stay off the calories effectively.

In addition to reducing the amount of fats stored in the body the tea also helps in speeding up the metabolism of the body. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns up calories, so consuming this tea regularly will help your body able to keep off the weight easily.  Also, the tea mix reduces food cravings and suppresses your appetite. Even with all these benefits, the tea mix does not have any side effects unlike diet pills and supplements available on the market.

2. Stronger Immune System

Immune system defense is the ability of your body to fight against external infections. Out of numerous important benefits of the herbal tea mix is that it boosts the natural ability your body has, of fighting off bacteria. Moreover, the tea mix increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.

3. More Pep in Your Step!

Feel energized and revitalized by just having a cup of the herbal tea mix! An important benefit of this herbal tea is that it helps to decrease harmful amounts of cholesterol, thus improving cardiac function. Lower cardiac function helps to noticeably energize, and increase your mobility, and desire to get out and move around more.

4. Soothes and Relaxes

Feel more relaxed and sleep better! Having a cup of this herbal tea mix will relax you, both mentally and physically. Given all the above benefits of having herbal tea, are you now convinced and ready to try this herbal tea mix?

Green Tea May Fight Off Eye Ailments

by Steven Popec 23. May 2010 00:30

Westerners have recently rediscovered the green tea. It has its origin in China; the Chinese believe that green tea has the ability to prevent many hazardous diseases, and even treat symptoms of others. This belief has now passed on to the western world, through word of mouth, and of course, the most well-known promotional tool in the world: the Internet. The west is now slowly adapting to the taste of green tea instead of black tea; not everyone likes the idea of 'green' tea, but the color is paler, not green, and the flavor is crisper. Green tea is made from a leaf called Camellia Sinensis, most commonly. These leaves do not require a high amount of oxidation and which makes green tea a good source of the antioxidants known as “Catechins”.

Antioxidants & Catechins

Antioxidants are agents that fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage and a number of other diseases, --free radicals, are abnormal foreign agents, in some cases, and they are linked to the development of various kinds of cancer. Catechin in green tea is what gives it the strong taste and smell. Catechin also has the capability to move up to infiltrate our body's natural digestive system. It once absorbed by our digestive system, it’s filtered through the blood, where it eventually, reaches our retina, and eyes. The catechins then protect the eyes and reduce the occurrence of eye diseases. Research has been done on whether or not green tea can prevent glaucoma; the findings are pretty amazing. Glaucoma is a disease that can cause loss of eyesight, visual impairment, and even permanent blindness.

How it Works

An experiment was conducted on mice to prove that green tea can fight eye ailments. The tiny animals were fed green tea orally on a regular basis, and then their eye tissues were analyzed. The analysis revealed that the retina absorbed the highest number of catechins. The antioxidant lowered the harmful oxidative pressure in the eye and the effect lasted for about twenty hours. Many people are also aware of green tea's effect on weight loss; everyone seems to be jumping on some kind of green tea fad diet. Well, these diets aren't just trendy, 'here today, gone tomorrow', weight loss schemes. When used in your regular diet program and health regime it is extremely beneficial. People who replaced coffee for green tea rarely come back to coffee.

Add Green Tea for a Healthier Future!

Because of its medicinal values in the last few years Green tea has become an important subject of scientific research and analysis. These studies have proven that green tea also has other medicinal effects and benefits that help in reducing or preventing some hazardous diseases like cancer. Even more studies have proven that green tea may be effective in the treatment of joint diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, or impaired immune disease and other serious illnesses associated with the liver. A cup of green tea is a good refresher and pumps in a high amount of energy in to the system, --and don't forget, it tastes great too!

The Most Healthy Teas - What Can Tea Do For You?

by ESP Tea Lover 18. May 2010 23:51

Whether you’re an avid tea drinker with a cup board filled with exotic smells which fill the air each time you swing open the door, or you just enjoy the occasional cup of tea. It’s important that you understand the health benefits that certain teas can provide.

The big misconception is that tea often is viewed as just another beverage. However this is far from the truth, throughout the ages tea has been used as both a direct and preventative medicine.

Now we have study after study coming out all proclaiming a new health benefit of tea, but which tea’s are the healthiest? We will study the teas group by group so you understand the implications and benefits of all the different varieties.

White, Black, Green & Oolong - Camellia Sinensis

The first group of teas are clumped together because they are all found off of the same tree - Camellia Sinensis. The great thing about all these teas is that they are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols.

What do antioxidants do? Well, antioxidants basically help your body eliminate unwanted bacteria and chemicals which it cannot process on it’s own.

Some of the cited benefits of having enough antioxidants? Less heart attacks, lower cancer rates, longer living and the list goes on.

Keep in mind, that all these teas have an antioxidant count so high that they will match or beat most plants on the ORAC scale, a test which measures the antioxidant potential within plants and fruits.

Since they all come from the same tree, the only actual difference between these teas is when they are picked. To achieve the different colors, tastes and variants of tea. They are all harvested at different times throughout the year, but all with basically the same benefits.

Herbal Teas - Are They Any Good?

The first thing you’ve got to know about herbal teas is that most do NOT contain any health benefits. This is because they are usually an infusion of plants, berries and leaves put together to achieve a particular flavor or brew, but not provide health benefits.

Because most herbal teas substitute the Camellia plant with Tisane (a homogenous root to Africa) they do not contain antioxidants to the same extent. However other benefits such as relaxation have been cited. Further research is still required before we can completely discredit or confirm the health benefits of herbal teas.

Caffeinated Vs. Decaffeinated - The Choice?

A lot of people get antsy about the amount of caffeine they consume and worry about going over the limit. You can rest easy knowing the caffeine count in most teas is about half that you’d get from the same size cup of coffee.

However for those of you who prefer to drink decaf tea keep this in mind. So far it’s uncertain whether the de-caffeination process removes the beneficial antioxidants or keeps them untouched.

So our advice to you?

If you’re looking for tea with health benefits make sure that you pick a variety which originates from the Camellia plant.

Also to receive the full benefits brew your tea for 3-5 minutes allowing the water to absorb up the plant matter, antioxidants and taste.

It’s important you brew your tea properly otherwise you won’t receive the health benefits. Ideally you should be drinking anywhere from 3-6 cups spread out throughout your day.

Always remember to know what you’re drinking but most importantly enjoy what you’re drinking. Enjoy your tea and take care!

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Vitamins and Minerals In Tea

by Elena Popec 17. May 2010 07:31

Due to the variety of minerals, vitamins and other elements contained in tea, this drink improves health, relieves fatigue, strengthens the immune system and has an overall tonic effect on the body.

Mineral substances contain in green tea leaf and in finished products, it constitutes about 5-6% of dry matter. Among them are the following: potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, manganese, fluoride and others. With the aging of the plant total number of minerals increases, while the most valuable part of the soluble reduces. Only the components of relatively small molecular weights which are infused with hot water give a specific accent to the tea infusion. Between the quality of tea and the content therein of soluble mineral substances there is a direct link.

The potassium content in the tea leaf is 50-60% of all mineral substances and depends on the mineral nutrition of plants. This compound plays a very important role in the livelihood of tea tree; it is given a great importance in the synthesis of carbohydrates and proteins, and in the general metabolism. Potassium is very important to the human body; it prevents muscle cramps and regulates fluid and electrolyte balance.

Another important mineral is located in the tea - phosphorus. Its content ranges from 15-20% of weight of all mineral substances in tea. The properties of the finished product depend on its quantity. The two top leaves and a bud have higher content of phosphorus compare to the lower coarse tea leaves and stems. It is known fact that phosphorus is needed for the human body for normal functioning, as part of the nervous, brain tissue and bones.

Despite the slight content, copper and iron play an important role in plant’s life. They are part of some physiologically important organic compounds, such as enzymes. Another, small in content, but necessary for redox processes, is manganese. Its share is approximately 1-4%. Due to the iron content, tea has a beneficial effect on the human blood, as well as a good means for the prevention of various vascular diseases. In addition, the body needs iron to transport oxygen.

The complex experiments revealed effects of the duration of brewing tea and the quantity of the tea leaves on the degree of content in the drinks of various trace elements. Adding citric acid increased the yield of all elements, except copper. In the end, it was found that  a tea drink satisfies the daily requirement of zinc, copper and manganese at 1, 2 and 50% respectively.

Now let us turn to vitamins contained in tea. This is mainly vitamins B complex and C. The tea shoot has the following B complex vitamins: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3, and B5 (PP), B6, B12 and P. Since these compounds are very stable, in the processing they are almost completely transformed into finished products. Content of vitamin B1 is small - an average of 0.3 - 10 mg per 1 kg of dry tea leaves. In the body this vitamin (B1) regulates metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, has versatile affect on the function of the cardiovascular, endocrine and central nervous system. Vitamin B2 has positive effect on the skin and mucous membranes, the health of the liver. The most important is the presence in tea of vitamin P. One of its most important properties is the strengthening of the capillaries of the plant. During the technological processing of raw material quality and quantity of the vitamin are undergoing significant changes. Its content is reduced from 20-25% in green tea to 8-15% in the final. Along with others, the tea contains vitamin PP that is important for normalizing the higher nervous activity, the functions of the digestive system. It also affects the cardiovascular system, in particular, expanding the small vessels.

Tea leaves are rich in Vitamin C. Gentle leaves contain approximately 2-3 times more of this vitamin than the coarse. In the process of refining its amount is sharply reduced, especially during the fermentation and drying. This vitamin is essential for strengthening the immunity of a person, it reduces the risk of infections, but also useful for the prevention of osteoporosis and periodontitis (inflammation of the periodontal tissue, i.e. tissue surrounding the tooth root). Tea fluoride also provides the beneficial effect on teeth. This element exists in tea leaf as anion. Fluoride anion produces various fluoride compounds and covers the surface of teeth to prevent bacterial attack. Just wanted to point out that tea is very useful for vision, because it contained β-carotene and other elements, strengthens blood vessels.

 

Darjeeling: The Champagne of all teas

by Steven Popec 13. May 2010 00:16

 

Darjeeling is the Chinese variations of the Camelia sinensis tea grown on Indian plantations in the province of Darjeeling and considered one of the most exquisite and expensive teas in the world. By the methods of cultivation and production, Darjeeling is closer to the Chinese teas rather than to the Indian teas. This is a small leaf tea, with slightly astringent taste and rich delicate floral aroma. Although Darjeeling is marketed commercially as "black tea", almost all of them have incomplete oxidation (<90%), so they are technically more Oolongs than black teas.
 
This tea has a delicate taste due to the unique natural conditions of the region where it grows: cold and humid climate, high altitude location of plantations and the characteristics of the soil. Depending on the location and time of collecting, the taste, aroma and characteristics of Darjeeling are highly different. The most significant impact on tea quality has seasonal factors. Not everyone will be able to distinguish the differences, for example, between Darjeeling Makaibari and Darjeeling Lingia. The difference between a drink obtained from the leaves collected in the spring, versus leaves from the same plantation, but harvested in early summer, will be obvious. The best varieties of Darjeeling is consider the "champagne of teas". The methods of processing tea leaves are very traditional, it includes withering, rolling, fermentation and drying, which is why this tea is so highly valued. 
 
First of all, today there are only 86 existing plantations of Darjeeling with a total area of about 19.000 hectare. Annual production on average is 11-12 thousand tons. This is about 1% of the total cultivated tea in India. It should be be noted that it would be impossible to obtain the taste qualities if Darjeeling if cultivated outside this region, therefore, making it an exclusive beverage. 
 
The labor on plantations is very tedious and demanding, the normal requires a production force of  about 52 thousand people that are constantly engaged. While in the tea harvesting season, which lasts from March to November, an additional 15 thousand workers are hired. More than 60% of workers in the tea gardens are women.
 
The collection of tea leaves takes place 4 times per year. The first harvest is the so-called Easter (March-May) begins immediately after the winter lull. Leaves collected at this time are light-green color. The characteristics of a good First Flush Darjeeling are a lively fresh, delightful flowery aroma and a honey color infusion. The connoisseurs of Darjeeling tea compare the first collection to tasteful green grapes "muscatel." Perhaps, that is why Darjeeling is called “champagne of teas”. Tea mixture of the first collection is very highly regarded by experts; it consists only of the upper leaves and buds that give this tea such exquisite taste. First Flush Darjeeling is sold at auctions, and prices are several times higher than the subsequent harvest from the same plantation.
 
The second collection takes place during the months of a May - June. Tea leaves collected during this period have a reddish color. Infusion is softer, intense, featuring a bright amber color. Because this tea is collected in the last month of spring and early summer, it has a light fruity aroma and a peculiar aftertaste. Darjeeling from the second collection, also called "In-Between", is considered a tea of high quality and is recommended as an afternoon tea. The leaves and the infusion are already turning darker and the diversity of the flavors varies from full-bodied to slightly aromatic. The "In-Between" is often used as a profitable blend, due to the high demand, the prices are not as cheap.
 
The summer collection takes place from June - July. During this period, the properties of the tea leaves are changing, along with the nature of the infusion. It becomes more robust, but it retains all the traditional characteristics of Darjeeling. The taste is a full-bodied, with a distinctive nutmeg note. The third collection is no less interesting and appreciated by connoisseurs, sometimes higher than the first crop.
 
The last collection, "Autumnal", is October - November. The infusion obtained from the leaves of the autumn collection, has a unique characteristic, the leaves are a light-copper color and has a somewhat milder taste. 
 
All this together ensures the highest quality of the famous Darjeeling. Because of its exclusivity and small production volumes, forgery of this tea was very popular. It is a big problem for world trade, the number of Darjeeling sold each year is more than 45 thousand tons, despite the fact that its official production is only about 11-12 thousand tons. The falsification and blending of tea has led to a drop in prices for real Darjeeling, resulting in considerable losses for the Indian economy. To prevent further tampering, the Tea Board of India jointly with the Darjeeling Tea Association have agreed that only 86 tea plantations, with special certificates, will be entitled to call their tea "Darjeeling".

Tea: The Essence Of The Fragrance

by Steven Popec 29. April 2010 20:37

The fragrance of tea depends on the essential oils and tar substances that are contained in plants. Essential oils are complex mixture of substances that belong to the most diverse class of compounds which are soluble in organic solvents and possessing the ability to escape from water vapor. Overall the total content of essential oil is minimal; it is determined by only hundredths of a percent. For example, aromatic black tea contains about 0.02% of oil. Pure essential oil of fresh tea leaf is a green color with a strong fragrance of fresh greens. In the technological processing of tea leaf occurs the formation of a new aromatic substances that contribute to the specific flavor of the finished product. Thus, the composition of essential oil of green plants is different from the finished black tea. The substances that make up the oils can be divided into 4 main classes of compounds: acids, carbonyl compounds, alcohols and phenols. These volatile compounds found in tea are trace amounts - 0.01% of dry matter, but their role in the establishment of the tea flavor is tremendous. 
 
Some parts of the plant contain different amounts of volatile compounds, which, in turn, differ in their compositions. The maximum concentration of essential oil found in the tender stems and leaves. The top leaf with the growing bud and two next leaves are equivalent to the content of essential oil. Further down the stem, as general coarsening occurs, oil content decreases. Which explains why the top three leaves are the most vaulable for high quality tea. 
 
In the formation of the aroma of tea, the main role is played by aromatic aldehydes (Organic compound that has OH-group in its structure. They are used in organic synthesis as fragrances). In the composition of essential tea oils are vanilla, lavender, cinnamon aldehydes, etc. During the processing of tea leaves into black tea, the various fractions of volatile compounds undergo significant changes. The total content of these compounds increases most radically in the early stages of rolling. In the process of withering the relative content of components with higher boiling point reduces and low-boiling point, on the contrary, increases. 
 
Along with essential oils important role in creating a tea aroma played by various resinous substances - carriers of flavor. They are in a close chemical relation with essential oils and are a complex mixture of different classes of organic compounds. 
 
The content of tarry substances in tea leaves ranges on average from 3% to 6%. These substances are separated by several fractions, the most valuable of which is a neutral faction. It has a pleasant sweet floral aroma. In the process of technological treatment , the amount of this fraction in tea leaves increases by 40%. 
 
During the processing of tea leaves, the content of resinous substances decreases, indicating the result of oxidation. I.e. ratio: fresh leaves – 3.48%, withered leaves – 3.27%, after two hours of curling – 2.92%, semi-finished product – 2.35%. 
 
Through fragrance of tea, all the deficiencies that have arisen as a result of violations of technological regimens or improper storage of products, can easily be found. Disadvantages may include: acidity, mustiness, smell of the green, smoke and other uncharacteristic for tea scents. Most difficult to improve defect is acidity, which results in a violation of the fermentation process. Since in the processing of tea leaves, especially during the fermentation, occurs a reduction of Tannin. Therefore, the tea produced in violation of this process turns out with a bitter flavor and pale color of infusion. The cause of the smell of greenery is an infringement of withering, rolling, and fermentation. Such a tea has a mild flavor that the brew is a greenish color in the cup with a greenish ring on the surface and instead of the characteristic astringent taste; this product has a bitter taste. If there is excessive moisture in semi-finished product (more than 7.5%) tea is aging much faster. For extended storage. it gets the smell of dampness and can come in unsuitable conditions for consumption. 
 
In addition, it is worth noting that different varieties of tea, as well as different ways of brewing, have an imprint on the final quality of the drink

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