Tea has been a much loved beverage for thousands of years and has been consumed by many different cultures all over the world. each of these cultures throughout time, have had their own brewing, serving methods, rituals and ceremonies. Tea has survived the test of time and even in today's modern society it remains one of the world's most widely consumed beverages.
There are a multitude of varieties and flavours available today, amazingly they all derive from the one tea plant known as Camellia Sinensis, which is an evergreen shrub. It is only the uppermost leaves and buds that are plucked and used in our fine blends as they are the youngest and most tender. The sprouting of new leaves is called a "flush" and within one growing season a plant may flush as many as two or three times. Darjeeling teas are known to be among the planets most famous and enjoyed flushes.
The growth of tea plants may be affected by many assorted factors, including rain, temperature, frosts and altitude, these factors all combine to affect the character and appearance of the leaves. These influences along with the manufacturing processes used work together to produce all of the wonderful tea varieties we know and love!
Perhaps the largest influence in the development of exquisite tea can be found in the soil and the growing region, like wine and grapes,conditions such as these have the most significant affect on the flavour and fragrance of tea.
The caffeine in tea provides a gentle stimulus to the central nervous system by enhancing the flow of blood to the brain (and NOT by affecting the heartrate or circulation). Tea drinking actually improves the powers of concentration and reactions, whilst heightening mental awareness and sensitivity. The interaction of Caffeine and Tannin is a gentle and gradual process and it provides an equally gradual long-lasting and gently diminishing stimulus.
There are two main types of coffee beans produced and harvested: Robusta and Arabica.
Robusta accounts for approximately 30% of coffee bean harvests, and is identified by its bitter taste, stronger flavour and higher caffeine content. This is the “bite” we taste when drinking some of our favourite coffees. Arabica beans are the remaining and most enjoyed 70% as they deliver a smooth sweetish taste, thes beans are generally more popular and widely consumed.
Three main zones produce the bulk of the world's coffee, they are: Africa, Latin America & Arabia and the Pacific Islands. These zones are close to the equator and therefore a blessed with both moderte air and sunlight levels, once these are combined with rich soils, the results are perfect coffee growing condition.