Interesting facts

Black and green teas

Black and green teas differ by the way the tea leaves are processed. The most important in black tea extraction is to expose the tea tree leaves to the fermentation process. That is, oxidation with the help of enzymes that are extracted from the leaves whereby they get a typical brown to black colour. Unlike black tea, green tea is not fermented and thus keeps its typical green colour. 

Where does tea come from?

The origin of tea is shrouded in various legends. According to them it came from China or India some five millennia ago. However, tea was brought to Europe relatively late; only in the 17th century. First it was available only for the court and the aristocracy. That the tea became a constituent part of the English breakfast, where it replaced beer, great thanks must go to a great tea enthusiast, the wife of the King Charles II, the Infanta Catherine of Braganza.

In the second half of the 17th century the tea first made its debut in coffee shops. Not long after that drinking tea became a constituent part of social life. Employers even introduced tea breaks. The so-called tea gardens were also very popular where they offered pastry and tea – tea at five – that brightened the time between lunch and dinner. A special addition to afternoon tea was also the adornment of small pieces of bread, conceived by the Earl of Sandwich, which later got their name (sandwiches) from him.

The basis for all types of teas are the shoots and leaves of the tea bush (Camellia sinensis Linaeus O. Kuntze). There is only one mother plant of the tea in botanical sense. The following factors influence the quality and type of teas: climate, location, altitude, composition of the soil and method of processing.

When you pour boiling water over tea, it releases phenolic substances that give that specific scent and taste to tea as well as caffeine that acts as a stimulant. The tannins (ergastic substances) are the most important among the phenolic substances and have a soothing effect on the digestive tract. Then there are flavones and flavonoids that are antioxidants.

Did you know?

  • No more than 24 hours can pass from picking tea to packaging in bags and boxes since the tea loses two thirds of its flavour in 12 hours after picking?
  • Teas were the first tea beverages to which they added flavours – flavoured teas. The oldest and nowadays still popular flavoured tea was Earl Gray whose date of birth goes back to the 1830s.

1001 CVET teas