For more than 5,000 years tea has refreshed and invigorated, as it calmed and soothed. Originally cultivated in China, tea is now produced throughout Asia and around the world: from India and Sri Lanka, to Africa and Japan, and more recently in Hawaii and England. There are thousands of varieties and flavours, and there is a tea for every occasion and taste.
Many people are enjoying tea as part of a healthy lifestyle. Tea is rich in antioxidant properties, and according to an increasing number of research studies, this may indicate that tea is of potential benefit in reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
With the exception of plain water, tea is the world’s most widely consumed beverage, and one of the best choices to meet daily liquid requirements.
Tea is an infusion made from the leaves of the camellia senensis plant, a subtropical evergreen shrub. Typically, two leaves and a bud are plucked from the plant and then processed. Several classes of tea – white, green, oolong, black and pu’erh – are the result of variations in pluck as well the type and length of processing.
There are also a number of beverages drunk like tea although they do not use the camellia senensis leaf. These include mate, rooibos and herbal infusions.