What means what? Since usually no one really talks about how tea is processed, it can get a bit overwhelming for a tea novice to understand what is what and why is it there anyway. This small and very simplified tea dictionary can hopefully shed some light to the matter. I'm not a fan of complicated explanations, you should expect this from here either. Camellia Sinensis - in very easy terms it is the Latin name for the plant that is used to make tea. Camellia Sinensis is the base for both black, green, oolong, white and any other tea. This plant has many cultivars that vary from region to region and in our case even within the plantation. So...
As we are rookies in the tea field ourselves, we have come across many myths regarding tea and we know it can get a little difficult understanding what is true or not, so we put together some points to help you on this journey when you are just getting started - green and black tea come from different plants, green tea is bitter, black tea is bitter, dark side of tea industry, black tea has the most caffeine, green tea has the most caffeine, tea is a one year plant, camellia sinensis is a small bush,, tea bags are from hell.
I guess it’s clear that being newbies in the tea field, we need some help from experts. We were in contact with a few and we researched and read a lot ourselves as well, but already at the beginning of the season, we felt that we need someone with a wide experience to come and see our plants, the soil and the climate to give us more specific advice and feedback. So, we invited Sonam Paljor Lama from Nepal to consult us, mainly for 2 reasons – to get a better understanding of our plantations and plants and to learn the basics of making tea.
There is no lack of choices when it comes to teas. We can drink some of the most exclusive teas in the world and pay 1 EUR for our cup and we can also enjoy very high-quality organic tea for 25-30 cents per cup. Those sums are not huge, yet most people still decide to pay 5-6 cents for the lower quality mass production teas. This decision is often made at the nearest supermarket when we purchase our regular 25 teabags box for 1,5-2 EUR. A shiny package which holds 40-50 grams of tea dust, literally dust.
With its subtropical climate, western Georgia is an ideal place to grow tea. Chilly nights and cold winter months prevent disease and therefore there is no need to use pesticides which makes the conditions great to produce organic tea. The cool climate together with acidic soil gives also a special taste and aroma to the tea – the leaves mature more slowly and result in a smooth and soft taste. The higher its grown, the more exquisite the taste. Although the conditions are superb for tea, the history of Georgian tea is very diverse with many ups and downs. Glorious moments have constantly been gloomed by war or economic problems.