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TEA


An ancient philosopher from distant past said, as he left the image of tea posterity: When I drink tea, I am conscious of peace, the cool breadth of heaven rises in my sleeves and blows my cares away.”


Tea is the most universally consumed beverage. It is thought that tea cultivation originated in China around 3000 B.C. and spread to Japan in about 780 AD. In Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka) the first tea estate was planted in 1867. It was not grown in India until 1840s. The beverage was brought to Europe in the 17th Century by the Dutch, and reached England in 1644. At first regarded primarily as a medicinal beverage, tea drinking soon became fashionable with the aristocracy and then popular at all levels of society. Today the principal tea producers are India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Indonesia, East Africa and Latin America.


There are two main varieties of tea plant, that of China and that of India, with numerous local variety and hybrids. The best teas are cultivated at an altitude of about 6500 feet (200 meters) and are picked in the Spring. Growing areas are situated at latitudes between 42N and 31S, in regions with a hot humid climate and winters that are neither too cold nor too dry. There are three types of teas, depending on the treatment of the leaves:


1) Green Tea
2) Black Tea and
3) Oolong Tea.


Green tea is a specialty of China and Japan and is produced by steaming fresh-picked leaves before heat drying. Black tea is produced by allowing picked tealeaves to completely ferment. Oolong teas are only partially fermented. Herbal teas (tisanes) contain no true tealeaves, but are created from a selection of herbs and spices such as tropical hibiscus, Oregon mint, cinnamon and more. They do not contain caffeine. These all-natural botanical ingredients are combined to create exciting flavors and aromas in a rainbow of colors from pale yellow to deep red.

 


There are more than 3000 varieties of tea, each has its own distinct character and is named for the area in which it is grown. For example, Assam in India, Formosa Oolong fro Taiwan, Ceylon from Sri Lanka, Darjeeling from India and so forth:


Ceylon (Sri Lanka):

 

Ceylon teas have aromatic amber liquor and a rich, full, astringent flavor. This tea is wonderful with a little cold milk and goes well with a sweet breakfast or afternoon pastry.

Keemun (China):

 

Keemun has a subtle orchid aroma and a bright red liquor. The flavor is mild with a hint of sweetness, which makes it a good evening tea.

Lapsang Souchong (China):

 

This tea is produced by withering the tea leaves over open fires of pine. Lapsang Souchong is an assertive dark tea with a smoky fragrance and flavor. It yields a red-brown liquor, and is a great accompaniment to salty and spicy dished and cheese.

Yunnan (China):

 

Yunnan is considered China’s “noble” varieties and is unique in that it combines aroma with strength, giving it a subtle rich taste. Nicknamed “the mocha of tea”, this tea produces a red-amber color inn the cup and is full-bodied with an illusive floral scent. Yunnan is great breakfast tea.

Assam (India):

 

Assam teas are bold with a strong malty taste and dark liquor, making them excellent morning teas. Bursting with rich, round flavor, it is oftentimes difficult to distinguish one garden from another. Assam teas are delicious with a drop of milk.

Darjeeling (India):

 

Darjeeling is the rarest and the most prestigious of black teas. Its excellent quality is the result of climate and elevation. Darjeeling teas have a distinctive taste depending upon the season.


·       First Flush Darjeeling: Referred to as “springtime teas”, Darjeeling First Flush is harvested from late February to mid-April and yields a light tea with a

      delicate aroma and a flowery taste. This tea is a connoisseur’s delight.
·       Second Flush Darjeeling: Referred to as “summer” tea, this tea is harvested in May and June before the monsoon, and produces a darker, more

       bodied cup.

Tisanes: These are fruit flavored teas (e.g. Cheery, Lemon, black currant, mandarin orange etc.) and teas with herbal infusions (e.g. Rosehip, peppermint, camomile, mint etc.)

Making of tea


·        Points to be kept in mind:
·       Heat the pot should to obtain maximum heat.
·       Measure dry tea and water exactly, (56.7 grams of tea for 4.54 litres of water)
·       Make sure that the water is boiling.
·       Add dry tea in the pot and pour the boiling water
·       Allow brewing for 3-4 minutes and removing leaves
·       Ensure that all the equipments is clean

 

Storage of tea


·       Tea should be stored
·       In well ventilated areas
·       Away from moisture
·       Away from strong smelling foods
·       In a dry clean and covered container.

Equipment required for service of tea


·       Teapot
·       Milk creamer
·       Sugar basin with tongs
·       A tea cup and saucer (capacity 6oz)
·       Teaspoon

Tea and Health:


The many beneficial qualities of tea have been recognized since ancient times. Green tea has a high content of vitamins and minerals. It contains ascorbic acid in amounts comparable to a lemon. Scientific studies have shown strong evidence that green tea may help reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease, and may also prevent some cancers. It stimulates the nervous system because of its caffeine. For 50 millennium and probably longer people have been drinking tea, growing tea, reading tea and sharing life around a steaming pot. According to a Japanese proverb, “ If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”

Someone said, “Great love affairs start with champagne and end with tisane...”

 

 

 

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