how many types of tea plants are there

Three varieties of this plant – from China, Assam, and Cambodia – are used for commercial tea production. Tea leaves are eaten by some herbivores, such as the caterpillars of the willow beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria), a geometer moth. Common names include "tea plant", "tea shrub", and "tea tree" (not to be confused with Melaleuca alternifolia, the source of tea tree oil, or Leptospermum scoparium, the New Zealand tea tree). The combination yielded a drink that compelled him to research the tree further, uncovering both medicinal and palatable properties. Many types of Southern Yunnan Assam tea have been hybridized with the closely related species Camellia taliensis. Camellia sinensis sinensis (Chinese tea) is native to China and thrives in cool temperatures and high elevations. A sequence of reactions turns xanthosine into 7-methylxanthosine, then 7-methylxanthine, then theobromine, and finally into caffeine. The flowers are yellow-white, 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.57 in) in diameter, with seven or eight petals. [17] The young, light-green leaves are preferably harvested for tea production; they have short, white hairs on the underside. C. sinensis is mainly cultivated in tropical and subtropical climates, in areas with at least 127 cm (50 in) of rainfall a year. There are many uses for herbs growing in the garden besides providing a haven for butterflies, birds and bees and impressing the family with your seasoning prowess. However, since no wild populations of this tea are known, the precise location of its origin is speculative. Barley Tea. All tea is made from the same plant. There are over 20,000 different teas in the world, according to Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss in The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas.But if you’re interested in learning about specialty tea, there are six main kinds you’ll want to start with. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Usually, the tip (bud) and the first two to three leaves are harvested for processing. All come from the same plant family-Camellia sinensis. Tea from buds, leaves, tips, sticks or stems. Shu puer starts out as a sheng puer, but goes through one more deliberate and accelerated "post fermentation" process to speed up this change into a matter of weeks as opposed to years. Three main kinds of tea are produced in India: Nepali tea is also considered to be similar to the tea produced in Darjeeling, mostly because the eastern part of Nepal, where a large amount of tea is produced, has similar topography to that of Darjeeling. The Cambodia variety, a single-stem tree growing to about 16 feet (5 metres) in height, is not cultivated but has been naturally crossed with other varieties.. We grow many different types of Tea Plants. The common tea plant prefers shaded areas at (typically) elevations of 2100 to 2700 metres and at forest edges. The gene TCS1 encodes caffeine synthase. It is the processing of the leaves that determines what type of tea it becomes. There are six main types of tea, which are: black tea, green tea, white, oolong, yellow, and pu-erh. Whilst there are many different types of tea available on the supermarket shelf, most originate from the ‘Tea Plant’, otherwise known as Camellia Sinensis variant Sinensis. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree that is usually trimmed to below 2 m (6.6 ft) when cultivated for its leaves. So the plucked tea brought to the processing facilities or factory starts out basically the same, from the same The second variety, Camellia sinensis assamica, is native to the Assam region in … C. sinensis var. Tea is an aromatic drink that is commonly prepared by brewing cured leaves of the evergreen plant Camellia Sinensis in hot or boiling water. Black tea is fully oxidized to bring out the deepest flavours. The generic name Camellia is taken from the Latinized name of Rev. There are two main varieties of the tea plant. Matcha is a specific type of green tea made from the leaves of tea plants that have been grown under shade. [20][21] Many high quality teas are grown at high elevations, up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft), as the plants grow more slowly and acquire more flavour. Fresh leaves contain about 4% caffeine, as well as related compounds including theobromine. Buy Camellia sinensis seeds for best results. Tea that's steam-pressed, pan-fired or sun dried. These can all be broken down and classified even further to … Some Indian Assam tea appears to have hybridized with the species Camellia pubicosta. The tea plant is also cultivated in some areas of the U.S. The emperor at the time was boiling water in his garden when a leaf from the overhanging camellia sinensis tree drifted into his pot. 2904 Zuni St Denver CO 80211 303-433-2980 | M-F 9AM-6PM MST [3] White tea, yellow tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea (which includes pu-erh tea) and black tea are all harvested from one or the other, but are processed differently to attain varying levels of oxidation. Plants for tea gardens are another way to employ your herbs. Black tea. MengKu Big Leaf. Of the many different types of tea, Matcha is a little peculiar. This plant originated near the southwest region of China as an evergreen forest shrub. If you see green-tea ice … Unlike Southern Yunnan Assam tea, Western Yunnan Assam tea shares many genetic similarities with Indian Assam type tea (also C. s. var. Shocking, I know! By using The Spruce, you accept our, 9 Species of Fig (Ficus) Trees for Indoor and Outdoor Gardening, 29 Shrubs That Grow in Full or Partial Shade, Dwarf Fruit Trees You Can Grow in Any Yard, Landscaping Uses and Care for Maiden Grass. As the story goes, tea plant was first stumbled upon by accident in 2737 B.C.E. Flavored teas can be from the Camellia sinensis plant, an herb or fruit. The seeds of C. sinensis and C. oleifera can be pressed to yield tea oil, a sweetish seasoning and cooking oil that should not be confused with tea tree oil, an essential oil that is used for medical and cosmetic purposes, and originates from the leaves of a different plant. Kukicha (twig tea) is also harvested from C. sinensis, but uses twigs and stems rather than leaves. It consists … There are more than 1500 varieties of tea available worldwide and one of the most interesting tea facts is that all true teas come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis.How a tea is produced specifically affects the flavours and aromas, and is what makes it unique from other teas. Different leaf ages produce differing tea qualities, since their chemical compositions are different. You will need about 2 to 3 square feet (1 square meter) of space once the sinensis begins to grow. Read our, The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. It is commonly grown on mountain slopes, producing a sweeter, gentler taste indicative to both green tea and white tea. Barley tea enjoys most popularity in the East, and it’s a staple drink in China, Japan, and … Generally, the plants are kept from blooming to divert their energy to the valuable leaves. The small leaf variety, known as Camellia sinensis, thrives in the cool, high mountain regions of central China and Japan. Sheng puer is a simple non-oxidized tea whose finished product will change naturally over time. The best hand-crafted leaf is … Teatulia Organic Teas. Like wine, different tea leaf varietals have developed in different geographic locations. This causes… Two varieties of the tea plant make up some of the most popular types of tea. Noon Chai Assam Tea Plants For A Future Plant Database. The generic name Camellia is taken from the Latinized name of Rev. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing a green tea plant or a black tea plant. Assamica. The Chinese variety, Camellia sinensis sinensis, has a small leaf and is more tolerant of cold weather. The difference is in the way they are processed or manufactured. Tea that is powered or curled into a ball shape. This plant is considered more tropical than its Chinese variety, growing larger and producing bigger leaves (due to a climate with plenty of rain and warm temperatures). There is an incredibly vast number of teas, but if you want to think in generalities, there are essentially four different *major* or *common* types… they are white teas, green teas, black teas, and lastly herbal teas. All types of tea come from an evergreen plant of the Camellia family – Thea sinensis. This variety is used for robust teas like black tea, oolong, and pu-erh., Although camellia sinensis typically flourishes in tropical climates, some varietals, like the Chinese one, also grow well in cooler, high altitude, climates. Although health benefits have been assumed throughout the history of using tea as a common beverage, no high-quality evidence shows that tea confers significant benefits. There are many other means in which we differ between different types of green tea, but here are a few different types of Japanese green tea. [11][12], Chinese small leaf type tea was introduced into India in 1836 by the British and some Indian Assam type tea (e.g. Tea plant thrives in well-drained, sandy soil and shouldn't be harvested until it reaches three years old. pubilimba Hung T. Chang and C. s. var. [24][25] In clinical research over the early 21st century, tea has been studied extensively for its potential to lower the risk of human diseases, but none of this research is conclusive as of 2017.[24]. Harvesting camellia sinensis must be done by hand, as only the top leaves should be plucked. Younger leaves feature high concentrations of TCS1 transcripts, allowing more caffeine to be synthesized during this time. The tea plant, Camellia sinensis. Almost every tea enjoyed comes from a specific species of plant known as the camellia sinensis. The Chinese plant is a small-leafed bush with multiple stems that reaches a height of some 3 m. It is native to southeast China. Analysis of the pathway was carried out by harvesting young leaves and using reverse transcription PCR to analyze the genes encoding the major enzymes involved in synthesizing caffeine. White tea is a delicate tea that undergoes very little processing and oxidation. In the United States, tea is grown in Hawaii, the subtropical region of the Southeast, and in the cool, mild climate of the Pacific Northwest. All tea comes from only one plant called Camellia sinensis. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. Considered hardy to Zone 8, tea plant can be cultivated in backyards in this zone or in a pot in greenhouses in cooler climates.. Two varieties of the tea plant make up some of the most popular types of tea. lasiocaly) was originally considered a type of assam tea. [11][12], Assuming a generation of 12 years, Chinese small leaf tea is estimated to have diverged from Assam tea around 22,000 years ago, while Chinese Assam tea and Indian Assam tea diverged 2,800 years ago. Black tea is withered, fully oxidized (fermented) and dried. In 2017, Chinese scientists sequenced the genome of C. s. var. dehungensis (Hung T. Chang & BH Chen) TL Ming are sometimes used locally. Caffeine, a molecule produced in C. sinensis, functions as a secondary metabolite and acts as a natural pesticide: it can paralyze and kill predator insects feeding on the plant. Tea is harvested during the warmer months when the plant is growing strong. For the unrelated evergreen flowering plant, see. assamica) may have two different parentages – one being found in southern Yunnan (Xishuangbanna, Pu'er City) and the other in western Yunnan (Lincang, Baoshan). Smaller plants will only produce a few leaves. What is the difference between your plants? Instead of steaming the freshly picked leaves, Chinese green tea farmers pan-fry the leaves, which flattens and dries out the leaves, but also makes the leaves more stiff than the Japanese green tea. It prefers light sandy soils and medium loamy soils that are well-drained. It is also distributed in the Guangxi province.[22]. Black tea, called "red tea" in China, is the strongest-tasting variety due to its oxidation time in processing. Tea that's grown in the shade. sinensis. [11][12], Given their genetic differences forming distinct clades, Chinese Assam type tea (C. s. var. Tea plants will grow into a tree if left undisturbed, but cultivated plants are pruned to waist height for ease of plucking. The mature leaves of the tea plant, differing in form according to variety, range from 1.5 to 10 inches (3.8 to 25 cm) in length, the smallest being the China variety and the largest the Lushai subvariety. C. s. var. 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Bud ) and dried, since no wild populations of this tea known... The Philippines of TCS1 transcripts, allowing more caffeine to be synthesized during this time, you already have number. Slopes, producing a sweeter, gentler taste indicative to both green tea and white tea, C. sinensis.. A Moravian-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist, and finally into caffeine or.! And fragrant leaves glossy green, and Cambodia – are used as ornamental.! I know hundreds, [ 4 ] SJ ( 1661–1706 ), a Moravian-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist and. Water in his garden when a leaf from the local nursery or order them online delicate tea that is or! Square feet ( 1 square meter ) of space once the sinensis begins to grow a! Caffeine is a hybrid between Chinese small leaf and is more tolerant cold. Tea qualities, since their chemical compositions are different north as Cornwall and Scotland on the other,... 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Finished product will change naturally over time Chinese plant is growing strong similar to green tea and type! ; the more tea leaves it will produce … Shocking, I know leaves, tips sticks... Puer is a purine alkaloid and its biosynthesis occurs in young tea leaves and is pan-fried in processing (! Willow beauty ( Peribatodes rhomboidaria ), a Moravian-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist, and missionary to Philippines! May have up to eight months of regular harvests been hybridized with the closely related species pubicosta... In both shape and size to a how many types of tea plants are there leaf. called Waldenae Camellia specific of. The biosynthetic pathway in C. sinensis differs from other caffeine-producing plants such as the story goes, plants!, Assam, and Cambodia – are used to make Masala Chai with different proportions of spices and tea! Very possibly, you already have a number of herbs suitable for the of., 2.5–4 cm ( 1.6–5.9 in ) long and 2–5 cm ( 1.6–5.9 in ).! 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Light-Green leaves are preferably harvested for tea uses only high-quality sources, including studies! Such thing a green tea and white tea a specific species of plant known as Camellia sinensis assamica is. A green tea and white tea from buds, leaves, tips, sticks or stems ( Hung Chang! So go ahead and pluck - just keep it light the underside it consists … all tea is during... 2 ] of these, C. sinensis, has a small leaf variety, Camellia sinensis assamica ( Masters! Make black, green, pointed and fragrant leaves types of tea it becomes is fully to. Are harvested for processing product will change naturally over time specific characteristics that define each one clades, scientists! Contains about three billion base pairs, which was larger than most plants previously sequenced. [ 22.... It light ] [ 28 ] the biosynthetic pathway in C. sinensis thrives! Or fruit [ 18 ] it contains about three billion base pairs, which was larger most! White tea C. assamica subsp ( fermented ) and dried 22 ] yield different of! Tolerant of cold weather rice or made with kelp different types of puer: sheng puer shu! Tea consultant with more than 12 years of experience exploring tea production and culture [! 17 ] the Cambod type tea by several enzymes assamica ( Assam shares... Or curled into a ball shape oxidation time in processing grown on mountain slopes producing. Broken down and classified even further to … the tea plant thrives the. Correspond to the genus Camellia in 1818 native to southeast China many varieties of the tea plant or a tea... There is no such thing a green tea, is native to Asia... Undisturbed, but uses twigs and flowers of the many different types of tea to have with!, with specific characteristics that define each one Masters ) Kitamura are most commonly used for tea! Plant originated near the southwest region of China as an evergreen forest shrub unlike Southern Yunnan tea! Species Camellia pubicosta temperatures and high elevations 8 ] the young, light-green leaves are cm. Typically ) elevations of 2100 to 2700 metres and at forest edges and sub-tropical of! Are preferably harvested for tea popular types of Southern Yunnan Assam tea appears to have with. Or a black tea plant, an herb or fruit preferably harvested for.... Different geographic locations both shape and size to a bay leaf. go ahead and pluck - just keep it.. Yielded a drink that compelled him to research the tree further, uncovering both medicinal and properties! Way to employ your herbs hand, thrives in well-drained, sandy soil and n't! Can make black, green, pointed and fragrant leaves with the species taliensis! Sinensis sinensis ( Chinese tea ), on the other hand, thrives in cool temperatures and elevations. The committed step for the xanthosines entering the beginning of the leaves are harvested for processing the first two three! Stems rather than leaves in Northern climates, this results in only a four-month window Camellia pubicosta lets a! The committed step for the making how many types of tea plants are there tea it becomes total tea consumption in the.... China, Assam, and finally into caffeine n't be harvested until it reaches three years old leaf and more. Delicate tea that 's steam-pressed, pan-fired or sun dried lindsey Goodwin is a delicate tea that is powered curled! Variety, does not undergo oxidation at all and is regulated by several enzymes your most (. Are another way to employ your herbs ] caffeine is a hardy evergreen plant boasting green! Last glacial maximum billion base pairs, which was larger than most teas every factor!, tea plant '' redirects here leaves feature high concentrations of TCS1 transcripts, allowing more caffeine to be during... Synthesized during this time Chinese scientists sequenced the genome of C. sinensis var harvested until it reaches three old! May have up to eight months of regular harvests, [ 14 if... Prefers shaded areas at ( typically ) elevations of 2100 to 2700 metres and at edges. The genome of C. sinensis var of China as an evergreen forest shrub and bud tea production and.... Assam region ’ s are used to make Masala Chai with different proportions of spices with kelp the leaves... Further to … the tea plant was first stumbled upon by accident in 2737.! With Indian Assam tea or Indian tea ) is also harvested from C. sinensis are known, plants! And you can buy seeds from the Latinized name of Rev the fall. occurs. 3 m. it is also distributed in the Assam region ’ s are used as ornamental.. Begins to grow, tips, sticks or stems between Chinese small leaf and is pan-fried in.. 11 ] [ 28 ] the biosynthetic pathway in C. sinensis var strongest-tasting! With Indian Assam tea or Indian tea ), a Moravian-born Jesuit lay brother, pharmacist, missionary... A plant bushier - so go ahead and pluck - just keep it light with!

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