A IS FOR ASSAM, a tea-producing state in the North Eastern region of India. Assam tea, which is a black tea, with a malty flavour is often used in strong blends such as Irish Breakfast Tea.
B IS FOR BERGAMOT, a natural flavouring used in Earl Grey tea.
C IS FOR CAMELLIA SINENSIS the species of evergreen shrub from which leaves and buds are picked to produce tea.
D IS FOR DARJEELING in the West Bengal state of India and famous for its tea production. Often referred to as the ‘champagne of teas’, the Tea Board of India lists some 87 tea estates in the region.
E IS FOR EARL GREY the tea named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey who was Prime Minister of the UK November 1830-July 1834.
F IS FOR FORMOSA, an oolong tea from Taiwan. The name formosa means beautiful in Portuguese.
G IS FOR GREEN tea to which many health benefits have been attributed due to the belief that the leaves are richer in antioxidants. Even the NHS (www.nhs.org) wrote an article on the topic: “Green tea: the elixir of life or just hype?”
H IS FOR HIGH TEA about which there has been much debate as to the differences between this and Afternoon Tea. High tea is believed to have evolved among the working classes in industrial areas of Northern England and Southern Scotland. It included tea, bread, vegetables, cheese, meat, including pies and was eaten at the ‘high’ or dining table rather than the lower tables associated with afternoon tea.
I IS FOR INDIA, home to the famous tea-producing regions such as Nilgiri, Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assam …
J IS FOR JASMINE, a tea produced generally from green or black tea with jasmine blossoms, creating a light flavour that is subtly sweet and highly fragrant.
K IS FOR KENYA tea from the African continent, often used in blending and known for its bright, coppery colour.
L IS FOR LOOSE LEAF tea of which there are a vast range from single estate, rare, blends and flavoured teas from around the world.
M IS FOR MINT TEA, traditionally made with green tea to which fresh mint leaves are added. A favoured all day tea in hot countries such as Morocco, hence Moroccan Mint Tea.
N IS FOR NILGIRI, the literal meaning for which is blue mountain referring to the range of mountains forming part of the Western Ghats of India. Nilgiri tea is the tea produced in this region.
O IS FOR OOLONG, a traditional Chinese tea produced through an unique process with different processes used for different oolong varieties. It is sometimes referred to as Black Dragon from its Chinese meaning.
P IS FOR PLANTATION – the Cambridge English Dictionary (online) describes a tea plantation as a “large area of land where tea plants are grown”.
Q IS FOR QUALITY, an important word in the tea trade where it is short for ‘quality cup’ referring to the quality of the liqour.
R IS FOR ROOIBOS, whose meaning is ‘red bush’ and refers to the broom like plant of the legume family. Although described as a tea, Rooibos, Red Bush, Red Tea does not come from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis.
S IS FOR SUGAR about which there is continued debate as to the addition of this in our tea though many people still add a spoonful (or more).
T IS FOR TEA, which according to Wikipedia is the most widely consumed drink in the world after water.
U IS FOR UVA, a province of the tea producing country Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon until its independence in 1948.
V IS FOR VERBENA, a herb sometimes blended with black tea and other herbs to create a flavoured tea. It is also produced as a herbal tea or tisane – a drink made from herbs, spices, etc.
W IS FOR WITHERING, which is the first stage for most tea production and is the process whereby fresh leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant are withered to reduce the moisture content.
X IS FOR XIAMEN, which will host its 6th International Tea Fair in October this year (2015).
Y IS FOR YUNNAN, the tea producing province of South Western China. There are different varieties of Yunnan tea including Yunnan Pure Gold, Yunnan Gold and Pu-erh.
Z IS FOR ZIMBABWE, one of Africa’s tea producing countries. Most of the tea from Zimbabwe is sold to the UK for tea bags.