Glossary, Technicalities and History of Tea

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Assam

Tea growing area in northern India.

Ayurvedic

In India, Chai is used as part of Ayurvedic medicine (Ayur-life, Veda-knowledge) to maintain balance within the body.

Boston Tea Party

On the 16th December 1773 an act of 'Protest' took place against a cargo of Tea belonging to the British East India Company, although really the protest was aimed at the high taxes levied by the British Government.

The East India Company had negotiated an agreement with Britain to export its large excess stocks of tea 'Duty Free' which gave it an unfair advantage over other Traders.

A group of 'Protesters' tipped a large consignment of Tea (with a street value of approximately £1M at today's prices) into the Boston Harbour. This act became one of the triggers of the American War of Independence.

Camellia Sinesis

The family of plants that grow into Tea bushes. This branches into 2 sub sections - Camellia Sinesis Sinesis and Cemellia Sinesis Assamica.

Ceylon

From 1972 this country has been known as Sri Lanka.

Cha

In most parts of China the word for tea is Cha. The exception to this rule is in the coastal province of Anhui where it is called Tee, hence Tea.

Chai

Chai is an Indian modification of Cha and the drink is to be found all over India.

Char

As in Cup of...(see above)

Cutty Sark

The Cutty Sark was built in 1869 as Clipper Ship designed for the transportation of tea from China to London.

She was eventually replaced by the Steamships which could navigate the Suez Canal.

The ship was badly damaged by a fire whilst undergoing restoration in London in May 2007.

Darjeeling

Tea growing area in northern India near to the Himalayas.

Duchess of Bedford

The lady credited with inventing Afternoon Tea in Britain. She felt low in the Afternoons and began the Institution of the "5 o'clock tea" consisting of tea with some bread, butter and cakes. This became a most important ritual of the upper classes. At this time Dinner was served at around 8pm in the Evenings.

Grades of Tea

O.P - Orange Pekoe, nothing to do with Orange flavour
B.O.P. - Broken Orange Pekoe
Fannings - Almost a dust, used for tea bags

Nilgiri

Tea growing region in Southwestern India.

Oxidation

A process during drying when the leaves turn dark. In Red Teas this occurs during drying.

Samuel Pepys

This illustrious diarist is credited with giving us the first written record of tea in Britain in 1660 when he wrote:-

            “And afterwards I did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I had never drunk before ….. “

Withering

After picking the leaves wilt due to moisture loss.