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  • Chinese tea

    Family - tea. Homeland - Southeast Asia. The oldest cultural plant of the globe. Its leaves contain tannin, caffeine, vitamins, which are 3-4 times more than in lemon fruit. Specific name for tea was given in 1758 by Karl Linnaeus in honor of the Greek goddess Tea.

    The first information about tea is lost in the distant history of mankind. About tea is mentioned in the Chinese encyclopedia "Bao", published in 2700 BC.Taste, toning and healing properties make it indispensable on all continents of the globe. Currently, more than 2 billion people drink tea.

    In Russia, the existence of tea was learned only in 1638, when the Russian ambassador in Mongolia, Vasily Starkov received a gift from the Mongolian government 4 poods of tea and gave it to the Moscow court. Already in the XV century tea in small hanging was sold throughout the country. The Germans joked that the Russians even invented a special "tea machine", so they called our famous Tula samovar.

    In the room, the tea bush grows beautifully, blooms surprisingly beautifully and regularly fructifies. However, there is little information about him in the reference literature, so we allowed ourselves to expand the description of this plant somewhat and the technology of its cultivation in.room conditions.

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    Chinese tea is a small evergreen plant reaching 40 to 50 cm in height in an apartment. Leaves are small( 4-10 cm) with short interstices. Young shoots are covered with delicate silvery hairs( in Chinese "bai-hao"), hence the name of the tea to be prepared - the baikhy one.

    There are many varieties of tea - Indian, Ceylon, Japanese.

    The flowers of tea are white, with a gentle pleasant aroma and bright yellow anthers. Budonization in the tea plant begins in July, and flowering - in late September and continues throughout the autumn until frost. The fruit of tea is 3 - 4, less often a 5-leaf-dark coral box, and ripened seeds are of brown color, round in shape, 10-20 mm in diameter.

    Tea plants live more than 100 years.

    ♦ Accommodation. In the apartments the tea bush carries the shadow places as well as the lighted ones. In late autumn and winter it is better to keep it in rooms with a temperature of +5 - + 8 ° C.If there is no such place, then the plant can be in ordinary rooms at a temperature of +18 - + 25 ° C.In this case, the plant must often be sprayed with water. To increase the humidity of the air, the pot is placed on a pallet with gravel, where water is poured.

    ♦ Care. Watering in the summer is plentiful, in the autumn and in the winter - it is moderate. During the growing season, the plant should be fed regularly - once every 15 days. It is best to use a liquid concentrated fertilizer for fertilizing the flowers "Rainbow".The substrate for tea should be loose and sour( pH 4.5 - 5.5).When transplanting, which is held at a young age every year, and in the older one - after 2 years, we recommend using the medium-colored universal flower ground "Azalea".

    In the summer, it is desirable to take out a tea plant in the garden, on an open balcony or veranda.

    ♦ Pests and diseases - scabies, tea moth, tea aphid. On their secretions settles the black fungus. In some years the leaves are affected by brown and gray spots.

    ♦ Reproduction - by seeds, which are sown immediately after harvesting to a depth of 3 - 4 cm. You can also propagate one-year-old lignified cuttings in early-spring and summer periods.

    In spring, when the seedling of tea reaches 15-20 cm, it is cut for heightening the tillering at an altitude of 10 cm from the soil surface. The next year at an altitude of 15 - 30 cm make a second pruning. The third and subsequent pruning is carried out annually in order to expand the crown of the bush, raise its height and increase shoot formation.

    Application of

    Artisanal way of making tea

    The most common on the globe, including in Russia, are black tea flavors, which are prepared in specially equipped tea factories. The technology of tea processing includes the following processes: withering, twisting, fermentation, drying and sorting of the finished tea.

    If your plant has become full-grown, then you can collect 2 - 3-leaf shoots( flushes) from it. First of all, the leaves become withered, for this they are scattered a thin layer( 1-2 cm) on the plate and left for 12 to 18 hours, until the leaves lose their elasticity and become soft and elastic. After wilting, the tea leaves twist between the palms. Twisting ends when the tea leaves are curled into a tube and a small amount of foam appears on their surface. Then the leaves are collected in a heap( 7 - 10 cm), covered with a towel and left for fermentation for 7-10 hours. It ends after the acquisition of copper-red leaves and a characteristic tea smell.

    After the fermentation, the leaves are immediately dried either in the sun or in the oven at a temperature of +85 - + 90 ° C.After drying, you get finished black tea, which we recommend to brew at the rate of 1 teaspoon per 1 glass of water.

    How to brew tea

    National methods of brewing tea are the result of centuries of experience of each people, prolonged use of tea in specific conditions of a certain country.

    Japanese way

    The Japanese use mostly green tea and partly yellow tea.

    The ceremony of making green tea requires accuracy and patience. Green tea is ground into a powder in a special porcelain mortar and poured with boiling water in pre-heated porcelain teapots with a capacity of 0.5 - 1 liters.

    A characteristic feature of Japanese brewing is that both the kettle and the water for welding are heated up to 60 ° C.

    An average of 1-1.5 teaspoons of tea per 200 ml of water is used, the tea infusion time is 2-4 minutes, which contributes to the preservationflavor of the drink.

    Chinese way

    Brewing in Chinese teapots differs from ours in that it is carried out through a porcelain cup that is placed in the kettle. 4 - 5 grams of tea are poured into the glass and immediately hot water is poured into the kettle. The brewing time should not exceed 2 - 2.5 minutes.

    Classic way

    This method, based on years of practice, the author recommends for Russians. It consists in the following: teapot as it is necessary to rinse with boiling water, then fill tea, based on the norm 1 teaspoon per glass of water for black tea, 1.5 - 2 teaspoons for green tea. Teapot on 1/2 pour boiling water, while stirring with a teaspoon. Then cover the kettle with a towel or napkin and let it stand for 4-5 minutes. After this, when tea is infused, add it with boiling water and again for a few minutes the teapot is covered with a towel. With this welding, a thick infusion of tea with a strong and delicate aroma is formed. Tea can not be boiled, because with this, aromatic substances evaporate and taste of tea decreases.

    To get a good tea brew, it is very important to keep it right. Tea should be stored in a tin or glass tea-pot with a hermetically sealed lid. Tea is very easy to absorb odors, so it should be stored separately from products that have a strong odor.

    The educated people of old China considered tea-drinking an exquisite occupation, that's why it paid a lot of attention in everyday life. Poet Yang Wan Li( 1124 - 1206) wrote poetry on this occasion, in which he expressed how pleasant it is to enjoy tea drinking in the bosom of nature:

    In wanderings around the world - poet of joy,

    To places picturesque - what an obstacle,

    At the Sunqiang bridge I store water

    And in Chuihong-gazebo I drink tea young.