Tea leaves steeping in a zhong čaj 05
Tea leaves steeping in a Chinese gaiwan.

Tea is a drink that is popular all over the world. It is made by soaking the dried leaves or flowers of the plant Camellia sinensis in hot water. Tea can have other herbs, spices, or fruit flavours in it, like lemon. All teas are made from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Sometimes the word "tea" is used for other drinks that have been made by soaking fruit or herbs in hot water, like "rosehip tea" or "camomile tea".

Types of tea

There are two main types of tea: black tea and green tea.

To make black tea, workers take the leaves and spread them out on shelves where they can dry. Next they are rolled and broken into pieces and put into a room where they absorb oxygen. Chemical reactions change the taste and style of the tea. Finally the leaves are dried with hot air until they turn brown or black. Most black tea comes from Sri Lanka, Indonesia and eastern Africa. When black tea leaves are brewed in boiling water, the tea made from them looks deep dark red, so another name used for black tea, especially in China, is red tea.

Green tea is made by putting freshly picked leaves into a steamer. This keeps them green. Then they are crushed and dried in ovens. India is the biggest maker and user of green tea.

Tea is mainly grown in China, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan, Nepal, Australia, Argentina and Kenya.

The word tea can also be used as another word for an afternoon meal (mostly in the Commonwealth countries), as in "I am having tea in a short while." The word also applies to "afternoon tea", a small snack meal served sometimes, usually featuring sandwiches, cakes and tea. This small snack meal is also called "tea time".

Brewing

Green tea must steep for 2–3 minutes in water at 175 °F (79 °C). Black tea must steep for 3–5 minutes in boiling water.

Blends

  • Earl Grey is black tea with bergamot oil.
  • English breakfast is a full-bodied, robust blend that is made to go well with milk and sugar.
  • English afternoon tea is medium-bodied, bright and refreshing. Strong Assamese and Kenyan teas are blended with Ceylonese teas which adds a light, brisk quality to the blend.

Japan

Shizuoka is Japan's top producer of tea. Japanese tea have a lot of kind of tea.

Images


Tea for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.