Facts About Tea
It was discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nun, who was considered a divine healer, when some tea leaves accidentally blew into a pot of boiling water.
Yet it took nearly 100 years for tea to reach other parts of the globe. Dutch traders were the first to bring tea to the West in the early 1600s where it later became an accepted staple of trade.
Those who know their facts about tea can tell you that all teas originate from the same evergreen plant: the Camilla Sinensis. There are over 3,000 varieties of the bush grown in mountainous areas around the world.
Oolong tea is a cross between black and green tea, which can be detected in both taste and color. Recognized for its distinctive fruity flavor, oolong leaves undergo a moderated fermentation process where they are withered, partially fermented and then dried.
White tea, the rarest type of tea, come from young tea leaves that are picked before the buds have fully opened. The tea features a delicate, soft taste and light coloration. With a minimalist approach to processing, white tea leaves are simply steamed and dried, which keeps them closer to their natural state.
Rolling is the process whereby machines break the cells in the leaves. This releases the tea leaf juices and enzymes and exposes them to the air to enhance oxidation.
Oxidation, also known as fermentation, begins during the rolling process. The rolled leaves are spread out in a temperature and humidity controlled room where the leaf color deepens from green to reddish-brown... and then to black.
Firing is a process whereby the tea leaves are fired (or dried) by slowly heating them in a drying chamber. This stops the oxidation process and the leaves are prepared for storage.
Natural Chemicals in Tea
For example, black tea, which undergoes complex fermentation, evokes a strong scent and has the heaviest concentration of caffeine.
On the other hand, white tea, with its limited processing is best known for healing and protective properties that remain in the leaves from polyphenols.
Green and oolong are known to feature moderated levels of caffeine, aroma and antioxidant properties, which ties to their partially fermented processing. Click here for article about the health benefits of white tea.
About Organic and Fair Trade TeaOrganic and Fair Trade Teas
Fair Trade Tea Production
Fair Trade Tea Certification
Determining and Selecting Organic Tea
Shop for Tea
Send E-mail to
TSN@The-Saudi.Net with questions or
comments about The Saudi Network.