How Tea is Made. From Plant to Cup.
A very simplified view of how tea is made:
While the simple act of brewing and making a cup of tea in the comfort of your own kitchen is relatively quick, how tea is made is a bit more complicated. When the tea has processed the leaves from the Camellia Sinensis, or the tea plant, are then dried to undergo the change from the succulent, green plant into the dried leaves that we all know and use for brewing tea.
Native to Southern Asia, the Camellia sinensis is a species of small trees or shrubs that grow best in tropical and subtropical climates. This evergreen plant’s leaf buds and leaves are used to make most caffeinated teas including black, white, green and oolong tea amongst others. With glossy green leaves that are serrated at the edges, only the top leaves can be plucked, meaning that the plant must be harvested by hand, and during the warmer months when the plant is at its strongest. The Camellia sinensis grows best in a bright and sheltered position which offers some partial shade. Blooming in autumn, the plant flourishes in ericaceous soil with plenty of water and balanced nutrients.
It generally takes around three years before the plant is ready to be processed into tea, and once harvested, the leaves are then transported to nearby tea factories for production. In the factories, they can then be dried, oxidized, withered, fired or shaped depending on the desired type of tea. Black teas, for instance, are created through a process of oxidation, whereas leaves for white tea are simply dried in the sun or steamed. Once oxidized and dried, the tea is ready to be stored, sorted and packaged for transportation and sale.
So, next time you take a sip of your tea, consider the amount of time and effort that has gone from getting your tea from plant to cup, sit back and relax and we are sure your appreciation will be so much more. It is amazing how a humble plant that was accidentally discovered when its leaves fell into a bowl of warm water (according to legend) has come over the ages and we are proud to deliver tea directly to your doorstep for your enjoyment.