Tea is obtained through extraction in hot water of the dry leaves of the tea shrub. It is a popular drink all over the world since centuries.
|Production process of tea|
|Rolling and breaking|
According to history, tea is discovered by the Chinese emperor Shen Nung about 2700 years before Christ. He was boiling hot water in a pot and some leaves of an overhanging tea scrub were falling into the pot. The content of the pot was smelling deliciously. The method of extracting tea from leaves gradually expands outside China. But only in 1610, tea arrived in the Netherlands. Through the long travels over sea, tea was very expensive. But in the second half of the 18th century, tea became cheaper. The interest in tea grew enormous.
As the leaves of tea are very dry (low aw-value), the shelf life of tea is high.
fermentation bacteria, located on the leaves, are activated by creating the right fermentation conditions. For this process, warm, wet air is ventilated throughout the leaves. The relative moisture content of the air is 95% at a temperature of 25ºC. Through the fermentation process, the leaves obtain the characteristic tea-flavour and taste. The colour becomes red brown.
drying (also name ‘firing’) the fermentation process can be stopped. The final moisture content after a 30 minutes drying period is 4 to 6%.
mixing of several leaves.
packaging in consumer portions. Tea is obtainable in 3 forms: Most well known are the tea in tea bags. The laves are filled in the bags in the right mixture. By means of a small cord, the tea bag is brought in hot water. Through extraction, a nice cup of tea is the result. Loosely held tea is sold in wooden boxes. This tea is filled in a metal sieve reservoir and hung in hot water. Loosely held tea is more an exclusive product.
The third variant is tea in pads. They are applied in a coffee automate. This machine presses a precise amount of hot water through the tea pad creating a cup of tea of constant quality..