Interesting facts

Cultivation of tea: an art of a special variety

When you take your time in good company and sensually sip your tea, it probably rarely occurs that you would ask yourself where the taste comes from? A taste which gradually but certainly brightens our minds and being. However, it is good to know where the quality that enriches our moments comes from.

Growing tea is a special art that significantly influences the type and quality of the most popular drink in the world. How is it carried out? It is a natural yet complex process with which young shoots of the tea tree are processed into dried whole or crushed leaves.

High-lying locations – better quality

The tea tree is an evergreen shrub like plant, the close relative of camellia with a Latin name Camellia sinensis, from which originates tea. It does not grow taller than two metres. It thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, on the mountainous slopes on both sides of the equator. White and pink flowers are similar to that of the Jasmine shrub. Otherwise the tea plant needs for its growth deep soil rich in humus layers and slightly acidic. However, the quality of the tea depends on the climate even more than on the quality of the soil. Monsoons in the Far East and elsewhere where they produce tea ensure the required humidity and temperature, even though the tea tree also thrives in more moderate climates and even endures temperatures to –3 °C. Thus it is also grown at altitudes of 2000 to 3000 metres, e.g. under the Himalayas where the famous tea gardens of Darjeeling grow. In the lowlands the tea trees are bushier. However, the higher the altitude of the tea plantations the better the quality of tea.

From picking with a touch of aesthetics to filtering with finesse

The tea tree leaves that are later dried are picked three times a year: in April, start of summer and then in the middle of autumn. To transport leaves to the processing facilities, the pickers use big baskets that add a special aesthetic to the whole picture of picking tea in the blossoming green plantations. If the leaves of the tea tree are not dried quickly after having been picked, they soon start to wilt and oxidise. Drying is performed by gently blowing air through the layers of tea shoots for approximately 14 hours keeping the leaves soft and tender. This is followed by two further stages of processing: for tea that will be used in the form of crushed leaves, the leaves are rolled up gently. On the other hand, for the tea that will be packed in tea bags the tea tree leaves are torn and crushed in order to get tiny grains. Rolling and tearing gives the same result: the cells of the leaf burst and the process of oxidation starts. This gives tea its characteristic colour and taste. Tea is then dried at high temperatures so that the right flavour is obtained. The process of processing is continued with the separation of some tissues and stalks that are separated from the leaves when drying the tea mixtures in bulk. The processing of tea for bags is continued so that tea passes through multiple different sorting filters – from the biggest to the finest since only in this way can you get tea fine enough for bags. Because of the complexity of the procedure some tea flavour is lost, therefore the tea in filter bags is of a slightly lesser quality than the simply crushed tea.

4 main types of tea

According to the procedure of processing we divide four main types of tea that are distinguished by the rate of oxidation of leaves.

  • Black tea: the leaves are highly oxidised, this is also the most common tea in Western countries
  • Green tea: the procedure of oxidation is continued with heat treatment
  • Oolong tea: oxidation lasts longer than with the green tea, yet less than with the black tea
  • White tea: it is comprised of young, unoxidised leaves or tea tree buds, it is less known in the West

Choose the best one for you

Your choice of tea of course depends on your current mood. Each is a chapter in itself and hiding exceptionally pleasant and beneficial effects. Perhaps you should try another one each day? Indeed, if we select from the 1001 CVET range of teas, herbal teas, fruit teas, children’s and wellness teas for any occasion, this should not be difficult. And not only this, with them we will also ensure natural quality for a thousand and one magnificent moments.