Nov 7 - 20, 2011

Tea is an agricultural product of leaves, leaf buds, and internodes of various cultivars, processed and cured using various methods.

Tea also refers to the aromatic beverage prepared from the cured leaves by combination with hot or boiling water. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavor, which many enjoy.

Classification: There are at least six varieties of tea: white, yellow, green, oolong, black and post-fermented teas of which the most commonly found on the market are white, green, oolong and black. Some varieties such as traditional oolong tea and Pu-erh tea, a post-fermented tea, can be used medicinally.

Tea is traditionally classified based on the techniques with which it is produced and processed.

* White tea: Wilted and unoxidized
* Yellow tea: Unwilted and unoxidized, but allowed to yellow
* Green tea: Unwilted and unoxidized
* Oolong: Wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized
* Black tea: Wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized
* Post-fermented tea: Green tea that has been allowed to ferment/compost

Tea benefits: Tea is known as nature's 'wonder drug'. Of late, tea and its healthy benefits have been receiving wide attention in the media. The ability of tea to promote good health has long been believed in many countries, especially Japan, China, India, and even England.

Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea and white tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries. All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.

Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high. Here's what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea:

i) GREEN TEA: Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea's antioxidants may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

ii) BLACK TEA: Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai along with some instant teas. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

iii) WHITE TEA: Uncured and unfermented. One study shows that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

iv) OOLONG TEA: In an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels. One variety of oolong, Wuyi, is heavily marketed as a weight loss supplement, but science hasn't backed the claims.

v) PU-ERH TEA: Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One animal study showed that animals given Pu-erh has less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

TEA PRODUCING COUNTRIES: Tea is the herbal extracts from the leaves of the tea herbs, tea leaves buds which include other type of extractions as well from the tea containing plant called 'Camellia sinensis' from which the high quality tea is manufactured after strong processing and curing measures. It is the second most preferred beverage after water in the world, which is aromatic as well.

1) CHINA: The production of tea in China is both on the small scale and on the main scale. The amount of production of tea is still increasing day by day in China. The tea produced in China in 2008 was 1,275,384 tons.

2) INDIA: Tea is naturally used beverage in India as a part time enjoyment and relaxation. The total amount of tea in India produced in 2008 was 805,180 tons.

3) KENYA: The tea is the major foreign exchange earner in Kenya. It is one of the major tea producers. The total recorded amount of tea in 2008 was 345,800 tons in Kenya.

4) SRI LANKA: The highly essential part of the economy of Sri Lanka is the production of tea. The tea produced in this country is done by the professional manufacturers. The latest recorded amount of tea in 2008 in tons was 318,470.

5) TURKEY: The most important part of the Turkish culture is to offer tea to the guests at home or may be people in offices etc. Offering tea is assumed to be the sign of friendship and hospitality among the Turkish people. The lastly recorded total tea in 2008 by Turkey was 198,046 tons.

6) VIETNAM: This country region produces tea on commercial and industrial scale with a large amount. 174,900 tons was the total tea produced in 2008 by Vietnam.

7) INDONESIA: The tea beverage has been part of the lifestyle culture of the Indonesian people from 200 years and is still the most usual and most preferred type of beverage in Indonesia. This country produced 150,851 tons of tea recorded in 2008 lastly.

8) JAPAN: In the past few years, Japanese green tea has attracted many people who are really fond of tea from different countries. The country produced 94,100 tons of tea recorded lastly in 2008.

9) ARGENTINA: Tea produced in Argentina happens in the North-Eastern side of the country and it is known for its best quality 'true tea'. The country exports about 50 million kilograms of tea each year. 76,000 tons of tea was the recorded amount of tea produced in 2008.

10) IRAN: Iran produces one of the top quality teas in terms of the flavor, aroma, and variety. There are 107 tea manufacturing countries. The latest recoded amount of tea production in 2008 of Bangladesh was 59,000 tons.


1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea's antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea. An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup.

3. Tea may reduce our risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.

4. Tea protects our bones. It is not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compares tea drinkers with non-drinkers found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors.

5. Tea gives us a sweet smile. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay.

6. Tea bolsters our immune defenses. Drinking tea may help our body's immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea helps keep us hydrated. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought is that caffeinated beverages couldn't contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really does not matter - tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time.

8. Tea is calorie-free. Tea does not have any calories, unless one adds sweetener or milk. Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week.

9. Tea increases metabolism. People complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that one can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day.