October 15, 2019 2 min read 1 Comment


Wonder what it’s like to be a tea leaf? Map its path from plantation to plucking to packaging. You’ll discover just how far it traveled to arrive in your steaming cup.

FAMILY SHRUB

familytree

Tea’s surname is Camellia sinensis. This is a species of evergreen shrub or tree, which produces leaves and leaf buds that are used for making tea.

Our Camellia Sinesisfamilies are often born in Sandakphu near Darjeeling, India (known for birthing extraordinary teas). You might say they enjoy happy childhoods, as they’re nurtured in rich mountain soil at high altitudes. Free of chemicals and pesticides, there’s a freedom afforded our evergreen families—and it’s made visible through their blooming white and pink flowers.

RIPE FOR THE PLUCKING

There comes a point when it’s time to leave home, and that day is different for each leaf.

White tea, for example, is plucked before the buds are fully opened, and green tea gets plucked quite quickly. The siblings and cousins eventually diverge, carving out unique paths on the journey to your cup.

A MASSAGE AND SHED


Tea leaves hand rolled

Tea leaves and buds are brought back to the factory where they experience luxurious massaging. The hand-rolling and shaping release enzymes and that brings out leaves’ unique expression.

After a massage, leaves are left to wilt and dry in the sun or wither and soften in the shade. This process—known as oxidation—is the leaf’s chemical loss of electrons.

Some leaves love oxidation (like black and oolong) and assert their independence by ditching the electrons they inherited at birth. Others (like green tea) prefer to halt the oxidation process entirely.

The result is a mixed tribe, displaying diverse characteristics in sizes and grades.

LIKE WITH LIKE

When it’s time to leave the homeland, leaves are assigned to their travel companions. The folks at Nepali Tea Traders sort teas for quality assurance and group them according to size and grade. Some leaves are even mixed with herbs, spices, and fruit to offer an eclectic mélange for the palate.

GOODBYE AND HELLO

The Camellia Sinensis family says its goodbyes—honoring the early days spent on a peak in Nepal and the new places they will grow to love. They’re packaged and shipped to new destinations, journeying together as newly-formed tribes.

The tea you drink is, therefore, a family drink—nurtured on the mountains of Nepal and intended to showcase leaves’ unique characteristics. It is, truly, a journey that begins with a single leaf.

Tell us your thoughts. Were you surprised to learn about the long journey?☟ ☟ ☟ ☟


1 Response

Zabeer
Zabeer

September 22, 2020

I discovered your site Nice and edifying. I took a lot from examining your article. I know about the journey of tea leaf
If at any time there is a chance; Then I will go to Nepal. Nepal is an excellent country. I will see the tea nursery in Nepal. I simply love your article. I am besides from a practically identical field. So I was shocked. I believe you can benefit me by forming more. I have been blogging about “Tea” all through the previous 5 years and own tremendous encounters on it. I love to scrutinize and besides love to drink tea. You can moreover visit my site – “Matcha Tea” if you need it.

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