Tea has a long history dating from 2737 BC. According to popular legend, tea was discovered by Chinese Emperor Shennong in 2737, when a leaf from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water of the emperor. Tea is deeply woven into the history, and the beverage is considered one of the seven needs of Chinese life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar. Chinese tea can be divided into five different categories: white, green, oolong, black and post-fermented. All teas are made from the varieties of Camillia Sinensis tree. Within these main categories of tea, there are large variations. Research shows that there are at least 700 to more than 1000 different types of tea. Several varieties are of different strains of the Camilla plant. The popular Tie Guan Yin by example, can be traced back to a single plant discovered in the region Anxi, Fujian province. The tea also gets certain properties by local growing conditions. The biggest factor in the large number of variations is due to the differences in processing after the tea leaves are harvested. White and green tea, as soon as picked, get heat treated (white tea mostly by sun), in order to prevent oxidation, after picking. This process is sometimes called fermentation, caused by natural enzymes (polyphenol oxidase) in the leaves. Oolong tea is partially oxidized. Black and red teas are "fully" oxidized. Other differences are due to variations in the various steps of the elaboration.source wikipedia edited by Hotsoup.nl
China offers the largest variety of teas in the world, and is undoubtedly the original source of tea knowledge and brings some of the rarest, most desirable and expensive teas. All teas are produced in China, mostly hand-crafted, using techniques handed down from generation to generation.
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