Words on tea from author and tea aficionado, Shona Patel —

Tea Buddy


ASSAM TEA IS BLACK TEA. There are two  kinds: Orthodox and CTC, both named after the manufacturing process used to create them. (You can read more  about how tea is made HERE) The leaf used from the bush (Camelia Sinesis) is the same in both cases. Quality leaf makes quality tea.There is no way around that. Quality leaf is determined by the pedigree and health of the tea bush and by careful hand-plucking. But like wine, tea manufacture is a fine art involving years of experience, in-depth know-how and often closely guarded secrets. The crucial step in making black tea is to allow the juices in the rolled fresh leaves to darken from contact with the air. Tea makers call this process “fermentation,” although, technically, it is “oxidation.” A similar process occurs when a cut apple turns brown. The dark substances that form while the tea leaves…

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