History of Tea

Tea production

Brewing Method

White Tea

Green Tea

Black Tea

Oolong Tea

Puer Tea

Other Tea

History of Tea

Over the years, people have discovered many foods consumed as food or beverages, one of which is tea.

According to various sources and ancient writings, the history of tea begins about 5 thousand years ago. Some records indicate that tea leaves used to be used as food or medicine. According to one of the legends, tea was first tasted by one of the most important heroes of Chinese culture, the patron saint of agriculture and medicine, Shen-nong. One day during a trip, several tea tree leaves accidentally fell into a cauldron where water was boiling. The infusion turned out to be so rich in taste and invigorating that Shen-nong liked it very much and he began to drink such an infusion daily, after which many others began to use this drink.

The planting of tea trees for cultivation and processing in China began around 300 B.C. Initially, tea was served exclusively in the imperial and higher ranks, and later plants with tea leaves began to be grown more and more in various regions and the craft gradually took the form of mass production. So, tea ceremonies have become one of the traditional treasures of China and many people hold them regularly, as a ritual. Someone to heal and cleanse the body, and someone to raise the mood and cheerfulness of the spirit.

In Japan, the leaves of the tea tree came a little later sometime in the 800s, and in the 1200s the plants began to grow themselves. In the 18th century, tea was brought to Taiwan and the island of Java, where its mass production also began. Tea began to spread and gained worldwide fame. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Europeans learned about tea, and in India and Indonesia the first plants were already planted, which later turned into huge plantations of tea bushes. Tea was also discovered in England, South America and Russia, a little later tea began to be grown in the southern regions of Russia.

At the moment, tea has gained worldwide fame and it is drunk daily in many countries. The range of varieties has increased, new methods of processing and making tea have appeared, and the scale of production has moved to a new level. Natural tea has a large number of useful substances, due to which it has a positive effect on health, invigorates and lifts the mood, warms in the cold and cools in the heat, so its popularity only continues to grow.

    Tea production

    In modern society, tea is called hot and cold drinks prepared by brewing various plants and fruits. But let’s see what can really be called real tea.

    Real tea is a product produced from the leaves of a tea bush or tree, mainly Camellia sinensis (Camellia sinensis) or its varieties, which grows in an area with a warm climate and a sufficient level of humidity. These are mainly mountain slopes located in China, India and Africa, where most of the raw materials are produced, but also it is grown in Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, America and Russia.

    Tea leaves are collected and sorted by hand to collect as carefully as possible and not damage the leaves. For the highest varieties, only young buds and 3-4 upper leaves are collected. Mature leaves are used to make coarser tea of 2-3 varieties. To simplify production, in the 20th century a mechanized unit for collecting tea was created, but it never gained popularity, since the collected leaves were of poor quality. Therefore, tea masters still collect tea by hand.

    After collection, the process of making tea begins. It’s slightly different for each type of tea, but usually includes:

    • Drying the leaf to soften and remove excess moisture, which on average lasts about2 to 8 hours.
    • Twisting, stirring tea leaves, to isolate the juice. Done manually or with the help of special equipment. After which the oxidation (fermentation) process begins, thanks to which the tea acquires its unique smell and taste.
    • Drying, it stops the oxidation process of tea.
    • After sufficient drying, the leaves are cut, if it is not a whole-leaf variety of tea.
    • At one of the last stages, teas are sorted by size, if necessary, additional processing or adding components.
    • Finally, the tea is sealed in vacuum packages for storage and further sale.

      Tea is classified according to several characteristics.

      The first of these, like a tea plant. There are three varieties:

      • Chinese;
      • Assamese;
      • Cambodian;

      According to the degree of fermentation, tea is divided into 6 types:

      • Puer;
      • Black/Red;
      • Oolong;
      • Yellow;
      • Green;
      • White.

      These are the main types of classic tea made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, in the future we will analyze each separately.

      Also, tea is distinguished by the form (appearance):

      • Loose tea. It is the most familiar and popular, which is individual leaves or parts of them;
      • Pressed. This type of tea is acquired by pressing tea leaves under pressure. This process gives the tea a certain strong shape in the form of bricks, pancakes, etc.;
      • Connected. This form is considered a more decorative way of decorating tea. Basically, tea leaves are used for such tea and various flowers are placed inside, which bloom amazingly during the brewing process;
      • Powdered tea. This is a dry extract of natural tea, which is completely soluble in water. In appearance, it is a colored gunpowder or granules.

      White Tea

      White tea is considered the most valuable and expensive, since young buds (tips) and 2-3 young upper leaves are used for its production, which are subjected to weak fermentation, about 5-7%.

      In China, there are 4 main types of white tea:

      • Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needles) – It is an elite variety and is considered one of the best, as it consists exclusively of selected young buds.
      • Bai Mu Dan (White Peony) This is the second harvest, which is also of the highest quality. A kidney and 1-2 upper leaves are used for production.
      • Shou Mei (Eyebrows of an old man) Is made from buds, upper and mature leaves of the second harvest.
      • Gong Mei (Eyebrows, Offerings e) A simple white tea mainly contains ordinary leaves and a small number of buds.

      The more kidneys contained in tea, the better it is considered. The best varieties contain only buds and no leaves. In addition to these species, there are some new varieties produced in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand. However, the presented are the main types.

      One of the main ideas of white tea is to preserve tea leaves, in particular tips, covered with a light white pile, in their original form. Therefore, for the manufacture of tea, a minimum of processing stages is used, usually it is littering, drying and sorting.

      Raw materials for the manufacture of tea begin to be collected in early spring. When young buds and the first leaves appear on tea bushes, covered with white pile to protect against the cold of early spring.

      After collection, the raw materials are withered and dried under the sun, and if necessary, additionally dried in the oven. In conclusion, tea leaves and buds are sorted into 4 main types, from elite to ordinary varieties of white tea.

      Brewed tea has an exceptional light aroma of freshness and a transparent infusion from pale yellow to gentle honey color. The taste of white tea is soft and refreshing, saturated with various shades: honey, flowers, fruits and berries.

      White tea is also referred to as an elite expensive variety, because it has the greatest number of nutrients and medicinal properties, and the amount of caffeine in it is less than in other types of tea.


      • Tannins (catechins, polyphenols, tannin and others).
      • Alkaloids, namely caffeine (in tea it is theine), which has a mild tonic effect on the work of the cardiovascular and central nervous system.
      • Essential oils that affect the taste and aromatic characteristics of tea.
      • A large number of antioxidants.
      • Amino acids, including L-ascorbic acid.
      • Vitamins: Groups B, A, C, PP, which have a positive effect on the health of hair and skin, on the work of the circulatory, nervous and digestive systems. Strengthen blood vessels and maintain oral health.
      • Minerals such as potassium, calcium, fluorine, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and sodium.
      • The smallest amount of caffeine than other types of tea. Therefore, white tea does not have a strong stimulating effect on the nervous system and is rather a calming drink.

      Due to the high content of nutrients in the composition of white tea, we can conclude that it is a very useful and in its own way an exceptional drink. Despite the large list of positive qualities, white tea also has some contraindications.

      Green tea

      The Chinese call green tea a real tea, since in China it is considered to be the most popular m and useful m than black tea (which is mainly sent for import to other countries).

      Green tea differs from black tea and undergoes minimal fermentation, during the processing of tea either exclude oxidation or reduce the duration to two days. After that, the fermentation process is stopped by heating. Due to the low fermentation of up to 12%, the tea infusion has a color from pale yellow to greenish. The aroma of the drink is mainly herbal or floral, and the taste can be varied. Most often a little tart, but not bitter, with sweet and floral shades.

      It is known that green tea has a long origin and the Chinese have been consuming it for many centuries, one of the evidence found indicates that the tea was drunk by emperors during the Han Dynasty, about 300 years BC. Presumably, tea leaves have been used before as a medicine, but there is no evidence of this yet.

      Varieties of green tea differ in the way they are grown and processed. However, the composition of tea always retains the maximum amount of nutrients that also affect the taste and aroma of tea.

      Usually for the production of quality tea, the collection takes place manually. Sometimes, up to four times a year, and the best tea is collected in the spring (April-May). Tea leaves taken in subsequent collections are less saturated and rich than during the spring harvest, but still contain a number of useful substances.

      Green tea contains:

      • Alkaloids, namely caffeine (in tea it is theine), which has a mild tonic effect on the work of the cardiovascular and central nervous system.
      • Antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system, heart and nervous system, as well as eliminate free radicals.
      • 20 types of amino acids, including glutamic acid, which helps restore the nervous system and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which stimulates brain activity.
      • Minerals: chromium, selen, manganese, zinc, fluorine, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron. Accelerate metabolic processes, improve blood composition and strengthen the heart muscle.
      • Vitamins: A, C, B, P, F, K, which have a positive effect on the health of hair and skin, on the work of the circulatory, nervous and digestive systems. Strengthen blood vessels and maintain oral health.

      Green tea is able to cheer up, fill the body with energy and increase efficiency. It improves mood and has a beneficial effect on health, but nevertheless, it is necessary to drink tea in moderation, and also take into account possible harm to the body and contraindications. The recommended rate is not more than 3 cups per day.

      Black/Red Tea

      Let’s start with the most popular and familiar in Europe as a traditional black tea, although in China it is called red, thanks to the color of the infusion. It is considered the most common and well-known. It is highly fermented (oxidized) 80–90%. Due to this, the tea receives a brown or black color of dry leaves and a dark red or orange color of the infusion. The taste of black tea is rich and slightly tart, but mild. In some varieties it is multifaceted, with many shades: nuts, honey, flowers and spices.

      Various impurities are also added to black tea to make the variety peculiar. These are: rose flowers, jasmine, mint, as well as bergamot or various dried fruits and berries that give a more colorful look to tea and fill it with exquisite taste and aroma.

      Black tea has gained its popularity, as it has many useful qualities. It is able to have a beneficial effect on health, brain activity, performance, and much more, depending on the specific variety. Tea has a rich and rather complex composition, which includes a large number of different substances, vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

      Tea contains:

      • One of the main elements are alkaloids, namely caffeine (in tea it is theine), which has a tonic and invigorating effect on the body.
      • Tannins (tannin, polyphenols, catechins), which give strength and astringency to tea, have a positive effect on the work of the intestine and have anti-inflammatory properties.
      • Vitamins A, B, C, K, P, PP.
      • Many minerals such as: potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, fluorine and phosphorus.
      • Carotene, which helps to improve the condition of the skin and hair.
      • Essential oils that give tea a unique aroma.
      • Antioxidants that can strengthen the immune system, heart, and nervous system, as well as eliminate free radicals.

      Thus, having in its composition a large assortment of useful properties, tea is able to favorably affect the body and help in the treatment of certain diseases. But also do not forget about the possible harm and contraindications, do not abuse tea.

      Oolong tea

      In China, this tea is also known as “Turquoise Tea”. This is a semi-fermented tea, passed a special processing. According to the degree of oxidation, oolong is located between green and red tea, which on average is 30-50%. Due to the large number of useful qualities and a beneficial effect on the body, some even call tea the “elixir of youth”.

      Unlike white varieties, where young tea leaves and unopened buds are used, oolongs are made only from whole juicy leaves. As a rule, for light (weakly fermented) oolongs, younger and fresher leaves of spring collection are used, and for dark (strongly fermented) oolongs, mature leaves collected in the autumn period are better suited, they give not such a rich aroma, but a brighter and deeper taste.

      After harvesting and withering briefly in the sun, the leaves are subjected to an oxidation process with regular stirring and kneading. This leads to partial (uneven) fermentation, which is a key feature of oolongs. When the desired degree of fermentation is reached, the leaves are dried by heat, thereby stopping the oxidation process. After the first short drying, the leaves are twisted, giving an exceptional appearance, and then dried to completely stop fermentation.

      The color of the infusion varies depending on the type of tea, weakly fermented oolongs have a yellow, light green or almost transparent color. For dark oolongs, the amber, yellow-brown or honey color of the infusion is characteristic. Taste and aromatic qualities are also very diverse and unique, due to the content of a large number of essential oils. In light oolongs, the aroma is full and bright, floral, fruity notes with creamy and honey shades predominate, and the taste is soft and deep, with herbaceous shades. Dark oolongs have a full and rich taste with hints of honey, chocolate, berries and fruits. The aroma can be multifaceted, it contains light notes of spices, flowers, honey or berries.

      Tea contains:

      • Polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
      • Koffein, which together with tannin has a mild tonic effect on the work of the cardiovascular and central nervous system.
      • A large number of essential oils.
      • Vitamins A, C, D, E, K, PP, group B.
      • Minerals such as: calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, iodine.

      Due to the content of these nutrients, tea is able to normalize many important processes in the body, tone and charge with energy, as well as stimulate the brain and even slow down the aging process. But do not abuse the drink, the recommended rate is not more than 3-4 cups per day.

      Puer tea

      For many centuries, puer tea has managed to gain popularity around the world, due to its unusual appearance, many useful properties and exceptional taste characteristics that distinguish it from all other types of tea.

      Pu-erh is a aged, post-fermented tea that ripens in a ready-made pressed form. The difference between puer and other types of tea is in the technology of its manufacture, when tea leaves undergo a process of microbial fermentation under the action of mold fungi. Among other things, puer is divided into two types, depending on the method of oxidation.

      The first species is shen puer (also called raw or green), which appeared many centuries ago. It undergoes a long natural fermentation and is considered more expensive. Over the years, the value of such tea only increases, as the useful and taste qualities improve. The best tea is considered to be “settled” for at least 10 years. Older specimens are very rare and cost much more.

      The second type, shu puer (mature or black) is a young type of pu-erh, since its manufacture began in the 70s of the 20th century. Thanks to the development of infrastructure and faster transportation, puer did not have time to ferment to the desired level. As a result, tea masters changed the production technology and began to subject tea to artificial (accelerated) fermentation, which significantly reduced the production time of pu-erh. Due to this, tea turns out to be similar to shen puer, but its manufacture takes less money and therefore it is more affordable.

      Pu-erh comes in several forms. Basically, it is pressed pu-erh in the form of bricks, pancakes, pumpkins or small tocha. But there is also loose pu-erh, which is slightly less common, but it is also already common around the world.

      Pu-erh tea, regardless of the method of fermentation or form of release, has many positive properties and is an adjuvant for healing the body. It is believed that pu-erh is able to tone and invigorate better than other types of tea, but in contrast to this it can have a calming effect and clarify consciousness.


      • Polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants. They have an anti-inflammatory effect and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
      • Alkaloids. Theine, theobromine and theophylline, which have a mild tonic effect on the cardiovascular and central nervous system.
      • Vitamins A, C, E, P. Slow down the aging process, strengthen the immune system, have a positive effect on the condition of the skin and hair.
      • Minerals such as: potassium, calcium, fluorine, chromium, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and others.
      • Amino acids (proteins).
      • Saccharides. They help reduce the level of excess fat, normalize metabolism, and remove toxins from the body.

      Before drinking tea, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the possible health risks and contraindications. It is recommended to drink tea in moderation, no more than 3-4 cups per day.

      Other teas. Tisane

      There are many other drinks that are also called tea, due to a similar method of preparation, brewing herbal ingredients in hot water. Such teas are tisans and are made from various herbs, flowers, berries and fruits.

      These herbal collections have many interesting stories. Some of whom say that herbal drinks have been consumed several thousand years ago. And the main thing in these stories is that since ancient times people have learned to determine not only the taste qualities, but also the healing properties of selected plants.

      To prepare these teas, not only herbs or fruits are used, but also roots, seeds or tree bark. Now on the market you can find both pure preparations from only one specific ingredient, and mixtures of various herbs, flowers and fruits, which are also very popular.

      Tisanes include such well-known teas as rooibos, hibiscus and mate. They are also often mixed with various additives to provide a variety of flavor profiles for tea lovers.

      Despite the fact that tisanes are radically different from teas made from tea leaves, each of them has its own beneficial and healing properties. In addition to this, almost all tisanes do not contain caffeine and are suitable for a wider range of consumers.

      Such herbal mixtures from herbs, flowers, fruits and berries have many positive effects. Due to the high content of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, tisanes:

      • Considered to be antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.

      • Can help with digestive problems and cleanse the body of waste and toxins.

      • Help relieve stress, relax and improve sleep quality.

      • Tones and energizes the body for a long time.

      • They keep you warm during the cold season, and also refresh and quench your thirst in hot weather, since many of them can be prepared cold.

      • They improve overall health and strengthen the immune system

      Tisanes are wonderful, pleasant and healthy drinks. However, it is important to remember that in large quantities, even such good products can be harmful to health. Therefore, it is necessary to observe moderation and not abuse these drinks. The recommended amount is no more than 3-4 cups per day.

        Brewing Method

        To get the maximum benefit from drinking tea, it must be properly prepared, since with improper brewing, even good elite tea can be spoiled. The quality of the finished drink is affected by dishes, water and, of course, the temperature of boiling water, chosen for brewing tea. Therefore, some rules should also be observed here.

        To prepare a tea drink, it is recommended to use only pure water (bottled or filtered), with the lowest content of various impurities and minerals. This will help to convey the true taste and aroma of tea.

        The best for brewing tea, is considered to be dishes made of Isin clay and porcelain, but glass and ceramic dishes of high quality are also well suited.

        The temperature for cooking can also vary depending on the type of tea and the specific variety. But there are basic guidelines here.

        • Green, white and yellow tea is brewed at a temperature of 70-85 ° C, since boiling water can kill all the useful properties of these types of tea.
        • Red/black and oolong – 80–95°С.
        • Puer – 100°С.

        According to the Chinese tea tradition, the first brew must be immediately drained, thereby the tea is washed from possible dust and dirt. Dishes should also be doused with boiling water to warm up and disinfect. After following these simple recommendations, you can proceed to the process of brewing tea.

        There are two known ways to make tea:

        1. A more familiar method to Europeans, by the method of insistence.
        2. The traditional Chinese way of brewing ¬is by strait.

        Brewing tea by insisting

        For brewing by insisting, less tea is required, but the cooking time increases. Many people are familiar with this method, it is necessary to add the necessary amount of tea to the teapot and pour boiling water. Depending on the variety and volume of water, on average, about 3-4 grams of tea per 250 ml of water are used. The infusion time depends on individual preferences, usually it is 2-3 minutes. To obtain a stronger drink, you should increase the infusion time or use a larger amount of tea for brewing. When you reach the desired infusion, tea is poured into each other. cups or bowls. The procedure can be repeated 2-4 times, increasing the infusion time.

        Brewing tea by spilling

        This method is suitable mainly for Chinese large-leaf varieties of tea. From the method of infusion, it is distinguished by the possibility of repeated brewing of tea from 5 to 10 times. For cooking, use a teapot or gaiwan. The proportions of tea for brewing by spill are approximately 3-5 grams of tea per 150 ml of water. Cooking time begins with 10-20 seconds and can reach 1-2 minutes, since with each subsequent time the brewing time increases by 5-10 seconds. Achieving the desired concentration of the drink is also regulated by the cooking time and the amount of tea for brewing.

        Now you are familiar with the basic information about Chinese teas and can confidently conduct your tea ceremonies. Have a nice tea party!