tmedia
Main content
Search

Tea

The leaves of a number of members of the camellia family. When dried, (sometimes fermented first) and steeped in hot water, they make a drink also called tea. Tea was first cultivated by the Chinese 4,000 years ago, and known as cha, but since its introduction to Europe in the sixteenth century, it has become the drink that unites East and West, as popular in Birmingham as in Beijing. There is one distinction. In the West, tea is drunk with milk or lemon and often sugar. In the East, it is undiluted. Today, the major producers of tea are India, China, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Japan. Tea is still picked by hand, with only the top two leaves and bud being used. It takes 2 kg leaves to produce 450 g black tea. Although teas are made from the same leaves from the same plant, they vary greatly in aroma, taste, flavour and colour, depending on climate, the height at which the tea is grown, soil, processing and blending methods. Tea is also used in cooking.