What is tea?

Tea (from the Chinese word: 茶) is a non-alcoholic drink that is made through boiling or infusing of processed and fermented tea bush leaves (Camellia sinensis). It is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Tea has a refreshing, slightly bitter and astringent flavour. There are 6 main varieties of tea - white, yellow, green, oolong, black and Pu-erh. Most common among these are the white, green, oolong and black tea. All varieties are made from the same plant, although sometimes different sorts are used, the main difference being the way the leaves are processed. I the case of white tea there also peculiarities in the growing of the plants. The word tea is also used to name the beverages made of the different parts of other plants (blossoms, leaves, fruit). We call that beverage herbal tea when the plant in question provides medicinal benefits.

Preparing of Tea

When tea is being prepared it is important to correctly combine the amount of tea, the water temperature and the duration of the infusing. The quantity of dry tea used to prepare one cup depends to a great extent on the personal tastes of the consumers. This beverage is prepared to be stronger or weaker through the quantity of tea used, not through the duration of infusing. The temperature of the water that is poured over the tea leaves is determined by their level of fermentation. The pre-boiled water is left to cool until it reaches a temperature suitable for a certain kind of tea. For semi-fermented or unfermented tea, the temperature is lower in order to preserve the antioxidants. The temperature of infusing is higher for the fermented kinds of tea in order to extract the compound polyphenol molecules.
Preparing of tea

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