What's Tea?

Tea as a brew is a luminous coloured liquid which possesses a pleasing aroma and is a delicious and fragrant beverage taken hot or cold. But what really lies behind this beverage which has managed to retain, and indeed, increase its popularity over millennia?

 

The Tea Plant
The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is a species of tree related to the Camellia. Its flowers are yellow-white which bear small, hard-shelled fruits, similar to a hazelnut. The evergreen leaves are leathery, dark and slightly serrated. Given minimum annual temperatures of 18C, moderate and infrequent frosts, a uniform annual precipitation of 1,600mm and a good balance of sunshine, a tea plant can easily grow to become 100 years old. In fact, wild tea plants are reputed to reach an age of up to 1,700 years.

Two original tea plants that are known today
Thea sinensis (Chinese tea): A shrub-like plant which reaches a maximum height of 3 to 4m and can even survive frosts.

Thea assamica (Assam tea): A substantial tree reaching a height of 15-20m and growing exclusively in the tropics. The constant crossing of these two original plants forms the basis of all the tea cultures in the world today.

Active ingredients in Tea
The cheapest and most consumed beverage worldwide after water is also one of the most valuable in terms of its chemical composition – approximately 32% of its ingredients pass into the infusion.
These ingredients include Polyphenols as the primary antioxidants present in tea, important amino acids like theanine, as well as fluorides.

About F&W

Forbes & Walker was set up in 1881 as a partnership between James Forbes and Chapmen Walker. Although there is no actual record of the date on which it was established the very first cash book, still in the possession of the Finance Director, indicates the brokerages were earned from 1st August 1881. In Sir Thomas Villiers' book “Mercantile Lore” the date of establishment of Forbes & Walker has been put down      Read More...

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