At EqualiTea, we are happy to share our knowledge of tea, so feel free to read about it and do contact us if you have any question or comment…
The tea plant Thea sinensis is a shrub with persistent leaves from the family of the Camellia. Only one species is cultivated nowadays, the Camellia sinensis.
The two main varieties of Camellia sinensis come from China and Assam:
Camellia sinensis china is planted in the mountainous regions of China (Hubei, Fujian, Anhui…), in India (Darjeeling, Nilgiri) and in Sri Lanka (area UVA, Highgrown). Most of the great vintages come from there; their taste is more delicate and their fine and fragile leaves require a more careful treatment.
Camellia assamica is more resistant and adapts better to very hot climates. The tea plant grows quicker, the leaves are broad and large; it is generally cultivated at low or medium altitudes, in the plains of India (Assam, Dooars…) in Sri Lanka, or in Africa. Today, the majority of the strong black teas or green teas, which are consumed in large quantities, come from this variety.
Generally speaking, the tea plant requires a hot and wet tropical climate and a well drained soil. The quality of its production will vary (like wine) according to the nature of its soil, its altitude, its transformation process, its harvest season and the overall climate (that is wind, rain, humidity, heat and sun).
Black, Blue, Green and White teas come from the Thea sinensis plant and therefore contain theine, while Mate, Lapacho, Honeybush and Rooibos teas come from different bushes or trees and do not contain any theine: as such, they are not quite teas…