Lecture 13: Stimulating Beverages: Teas, Cola and Mate.
Tea: A world- Class Beverage
The word tea is from Chinese dialect terms for this beverage: Tchai, cha, and Tay
Becoming more popular due to medicinal studies
Most widely consumed caffeinated beverage
Produced in Africa, Asia and South American
Not all tea beverages are “tea”
Referred to as infusions of plants but these are distinct though they have some
Who is drinking tea?
Turkey is the highest nation consuming tea (550 cup a year)
Turkey- 10 cups a day
Followed by Morroco, Ireland, Mauritania
We are 62 in the world. We consume 225 cups a year
Tea Taxonomy- Then and Now
Tea is a dried and blended preparation of the leaves of camellia sinensis and its varieties
A variety is a taxamonic term that determines a rank in it species. They interbreed freely
but are geographically isolated
1752- Classified by Linnaeus as Thea sinensis on the basis of the number of flower petals
Tea Taxonomy then and now:
initially, Thea referred to cultivated tea and Camellia was used for non-tea varieties.
Today camellia is the accepted genus name.
According to Chinese legend, Shen Nung accidently discovered tea.
This legend is found in the 780 A.D Cha China (tea classic) claims Shen Nung
discovered tea when a gust of wind blew tea leaves into a pot of boiling water. He than
sipped it and noticed it had a stimulating effect
Cammelia sinensis var. sinensis
a small, slow-growing shrub (1-2M tall)
Multi branches that produces dark green leaves. Young leaves have trichomes that have
aroma of caffeine
Older leaves, lower to the ground are not used for tea
Small, narrow, serrates and dark green leaves.
The original tea of India: Competing legend claims tea originates in India and Prince Guatama (founder of
Buddhism) brought it to China.
In fact, the habit of chewing tea leaves was well establishes by the time of alleged
Chewing the leaf started before the beverage form (plant associated in this legend)
Camellia sinensis var. assamica.
Tall (10-15m), quick growing tree.
Larger than Chinese team
Consists of large, horizontal, broad, light green leaves.
White leaves with many petals
Tea Varieties display distinct floral morphology:
Variations in style number and degree of style fusion.
The number of styles and whether they are diffused or not. And whether the styles are
together or fused.
Where does tea come from today?
China and India (also possibly Myanmar and Thailand) share the distinction of tea’s
A major source of cultivation of tea is China, India, Africa, Indonesia, Tyland
At one time, china was the main producer
500 A.D- Turkish traders who bartered for it at the Mongolian border introduced Tea to
960-1127 A.D- Song Dynasty realized tea’s commercial value and actively exported it to
Tea arrives in England:
1650: Tea, Coffee and cocoa all arrive in London, although a tea was already available in
Lisbon in 1550.
Why did tea become so popular in Europe?
Tea became popular when prince Charles married a Portuguese princess, who had an
addiction to tea. Introduced tea to the royal court
Water had many diseases so the water had to be boiled. When you have tea you have
clean boiled water that can be flavoured
Westerners acquires tea under a sophisticated trading network
1650-1850: Tea exported from China through port of Canton- Southern China
Holland and England battles for control of tea trade routes- England won out when they
made better ships, which were faster.
Took species to Persian Guelph to get salt, salt was taken to acquire clubs in the west
indies. The cloves were taken back to India to get silver, which was taken to china to get
tea and silk
No one in Europe knew how tea was grown, treated, sorted and blended The route of tea in China included:
- Village plantation- cultivation, buyer, would buy what is harvested
- Tea centre in each district
- Provincial centre for sorting and blending
- Canton for more blending and adulteration- unpacked, blended
What was tea adulterated with?
Twigs from Camellia and other Theaceae plants.
Wood, pine bark, alien leaves, sawdust, soot, blue dyes. (when the teach reached
Legitimate additives were orange, lemon and bergamot
Tea can be cultivated by seeds or stem cuttings
When the tea bush reaches half a meter they prune it, this forces it to grow in a v shape
making from leaves to harvest
Tea is cultivated as estates known as “gardens”
Rows of plants are separated by 4-5 feet