Chinese Tea: Producing a Good Crop

By Rheim Sanczhes

In many parts of the world, the word tea leaves or tea is known as a drink called "cha", a Chinese character for tea or Chinese tea. There are three most common beverages in the world - tea, coffee and cocoa. Among these three, categorically, tea is known to have the biggest percentage of consumers. Not only that it is part of the culture and tradition of China, Japan and other Asian countries, its soothing powers to enhance health have attracted many people to consume tea as part of their daily drink. Definitely, tea is an extensively consumed beverage in the world after water.

The demand of tea increased rapidly. In fact there has been a wide cultivation of Chinese tea plant in China, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka among others. Around forty countries in the world cultivated tea, and it is in the Asian region where tea production reached as high as 90% of the world's total output. Asian top producers of tea include China, India, and Sri Lanka.

All tea trees in other countries in either way have their origin directly or indirectly in China. The history of human planting and growing of tea shrubs dates way back two thousand years ago. The Chinese tea plant was known to exist as early as five to six thousand years ago.

The growing and harvesting of tea ca be easily correlated to the growing of grapes. Yes, it would take quite a number of years for one to be able to produce quality tea crop.

A Chinese tea plant must grow for five years before its leaves can be picked. When the tea plant is at its 30 years of age, it will be too old to be productive. So, to keep the plant productive, the trunk of the old plant must then be cut off for new stems to grow out of the roots in the coming year. By doing so, a plant may serve for about l00 years.

The best conditions for growing Chinese tea are typically at high altitudes with a good amount of rainfall. In Sri Lanka however, the best condition is to grow and harvest tea at lower altitudes producing a different aroma and variety of tea. Too much sunlight will hinder the growth of the tea plant. The ideal climate for growing tea is to have cooler mornings with a light mist to help shield the plants from the sun.

Accordingly, an estimated three thousand tea leaves from a tea plant each year means a good harvest. At present, all tea is practically cultivated and harvested on plantations. - 31805

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