Classification of Tea

Topics: Black tea, Tea, Camellia sinensis Pages: 8 (3254 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Black tea has a deep history, even though we have been familiar with it in these days. The history can’t be described just by which the development of tea producing method, but also by which has entwined the nations with each cultural, political, and religious backbone. In history, tea culture was developed in China. The ancient Chinese people drank teas as a miraculous medicine to be perpetual youth and longevity. Even after teas had been exported into Europe by the Dutch East India Company since 17th century, it was exorbitantly high-priced; therefore, black tea was luxury item only the nobility was able to taste it. However, there were three Tomas, who contributed to make black tea popular throughout the world: Garaway, Twining, and Lipton. We can now enjoy black tea with several ways in any situations. You may drink iced lemon tea on the hammock in Hawaii. You may drink a cup of Assam teas with honey or Okinawa brown cane sugar and have a piece of toast at breakfast. However, the teas might not be used in the proper way. In order to enjoy black tea, we need to recognize it accurately. Black tea can be classified into the types of tea plant, the seasons, the regions, the grading, and the method of brewing.

First of all, black tea is classified into two categories: tea leaves and beverage. Tea leaves of black tea is defined as being fully oxidized and often yields a full-bodied amber brew. Oxidization is essential in the formation of flavor and aroma compounds, which give a tea its liquor color, strength, and briskness. Black tea usually require 100 percent oxidization by which black tea is generally strong in flavor than the less oxidized teas, such as green tea and oolong tea. Black tea is produced through five manufacturing stages: withering, rolling, oxidizing, and drying. Withering is utilized to remove surplus water from the leaves. Rolling makes the leaves wrapped around itself by using a rolling machine, and it is also described as shaping of tea leave. During this rolling step, black tea may be added another flavor or aroma. Drying is generally the last step of producing black tea and is responsible for flavor compounds. It includes panning, sunning, air drying, and baking. Black tea is also described as beverage. There are various ways of brewing and drinking black tea depend on each country. It makes the diversity of black tea which produced from just a type of tea plant, Camellia Sinensis.

Black tea’s plant is initially classified two principal varieties of the species: Chinese plant and Assam plant. Chinese plant, in general, is small-leaved plant. The characteristic is that its flavor and aroma is finely sensibility. Darjeeling in India and high-grown tea in Sri Lanka use this type of tea, while it is usually used for the most of other types of teas. On the other hand, Assam plant is large-leaved plant and is mainly used for black tea. It includes lots of tannin which makes its flavor strong. Black tea is further classified into seven types of black tea grading: Bohea, Congou, Souchong, Pekoe, Orange Pekoe, and Flowery Orange Pekoe. The Grading of tea leaves is based on the size and wholeness, and the level of breakage of the leaves. The size and wholeness are essential factors; they greatly influence on the taste and the brewing time of tea. The tea industry describes a basic, medium-grade black tea as orange pekoe, OP. Pekoe tea is a fine grade of tea that includes young leaves and bud, which is also referred as tips. The tea had “a rich forest-like scent with a hint of bitterness and a sweet finish.” Bohea is the lowest-located, biggest leaves. Congou is the second lowest-located leaves. Souchong leaves are located upon the middle of plants. Orange Pekoe is the biggest leaves. Flowery Orange Pekoe is the same size as Orange Pekoe, but includes lots of young leaves and tips. Flowery refers to tips that are immature and not opened yet. Flowery Orange Pekoe is often considered as the most valuable...
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