Tea Knowledge

Where did the tea plant originate?

The tea plant originally comes from the area surrounding the "Himalayan Tail", a lower mountain chain spanning from Assam in India to Yunnan in China, passing through Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. In these areas there still exist completely wild tea plants growing in the jungle, never touched by human hands.

How is tea made?

First of all, all teas, whether they're green, black, white, oolong or Pu-ehr are made from the leaves of the same plant, the tea plant "Camelia sinensis". After the buds and top leaves are picked from the tea plant, the production process begins. This is where tea masters add their own touch and create the different types of tea.

White teas are the least processed of all teas, but not the easiest to get right because of that! Young leaves are dried in the sun and then in the shadow. The amount of time spent outside, temperature, rounds between sun and shade are all factors that play part in the final product.

Black teas are picked, dried and crushed. The crushing process starts a fermentation process in the leaves that darkens them before drying and shaping.

What is Hmiang?

Hmiang is a traditional Northern Thai dish made of fermented tea leaves and it is actually strongly connected to the origins of tea. Before we humans learned to use the tea plant to create a brew we ate the leaves. By picking large leaves from the entire tea plant, putting them together in a bundle and fermenting them, people in the mountains along the Himalayan tail enjoyed tea for millenia. The tradition to make hmiang has been on a steady decline for the last century, but can still be found in places in Northern Thailand.

What is the difference between Forest Friendly and organic tea?

While going organic is a great step forward, we still see a huge issue with many of the organic tea plantations over the world in that they are what they are, plantations. The vast majority of organic tea plantations are monocrops with no real regard for surrounding nature or biodiversity. Forest Friendly tea goes beyond organic, encompassing all the principles of organic agriculture but also emphasizing the importance of forests and biodiversity.

How do you flavour tea?

What is the difference between loose leaf and tea bags?