The first discovery
According to Chinese mythology, in 2737 BC the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, scholar and
herbalist, was sitting beneath a tree while his servant boiled drinking water. A leaf from
the tree dropped into the water and Shen Nung decided to try the brew. The tree was a wild
tea tree. There are many authentic and supposed references to tea in the centuries before
Christ, according to the Chinese dictionary dated circa 350 AD. The Chinese t'u was
often used to describe shrubs other than tea, hence the confusion when Confucius allegedly
referred to tea or t'u when writing about the "sow thistle" plant in the
Book of Odes.
Click here for more historical information about tea.
Tips to make the Perfect Brew
Click here for tips to make the Perfect Cup of Tea.
More than 1500 tea blends
There are more than 1500 different teas to choose from, grown in more than 25 listed
producer countries all around the world. The countries covered here, all members of the
Tea Council except China, produce 79% of world tea and 86% of world exports. Teas can be
defined by origin - for example India, Sri Lanka, Africa, China and Indonesia - or by
methods of blending.
Click here for more information about Teas from around the
Tea making: from plantation to cup
A member of the Camellia family, tea (Camellia sinensis) is an evergreen,
tropical plant. It has green, shiny pointed leaves and was originally indigenous to both
China and India. Under modern cultivation, tea is grown as a bush approximately one metre
high, for ease of plucking, grown from cuttings or clones. These are carefully nurtured in
nursery beds until ready for planting out.
Click here for more information about tea making.
World tea trade
Tea is sold in a variety of ways. Tea may be sold at auction in countries of origin.
There are international auction centres in Mombasa in Kenya, Colombo in Sri Lanka and
Limbe in Malawi. India has auction centres in the north and south. Indonesia sells tea in
Jakarta. China sells her tea by numbered standards at commodity fairs at Guangzhou. Tea
prices are governed by quality, supply and demand. Tea brokers act as intermediaries and
taste, value and bid on their clients behalf. Tea may also be sold from the tea
garden by private sale or at off-shore auction whilst on route to its destination.
Click here for more information about the World tea trade.
source: The Tea Council