Tea & Health
What is tea?
The tea one drinks is manufactured from the leaves and buds of a plant whose botanical name is CAMELLIA SINENSIS. It is entirely different from from "Herbal Tea" which is not at all a product of the Camellia Sinensis.
What are the different types of tea?
Basically there are two types of tea - Green Tea and Black Tea. The green leaf or the raw material is the same for these varieties of tea. There are three types of Black tea manufacture - CTC, Orthodox and Legg Cutt. In India, 99% of total tea production is in the form of black tea. Out of the total black tea production, CTC constitutes over 85% and the balance is orthodox. In the world scenario Green tea constitutes about 22%. In the Black tea segment, CTC constitutes about 45%.
Difference between black and green tea
Black and green tea refer to the colour of the tea leaf after processing. Green and regular (black) tea both come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant (a member of the evergreen family that thrives in semi-tropical climates). The difference lies in the way they are processed. Regular (black) tea(like the tea consumed in India) is produced when newly harvested leaves are crushed and exposed to air. This enzymatic process changes the color of the leaves from green to brown, and when dried to black, results in a delicious, rich flavor and color. Green tea leaves are typically heated with steam. This stops enzymatic activity, allowing for the color and flavor to most closely resemble the raw tea leaf. Both Black and green tea are broadly equally rich in antioxidants and have similar health giving properties. Black tea is normally consumed with or without milk but green tea is generally consumed without milk.
Where is tea produced in India?
Assam, Dooars, Darjeeling, Terai, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala etc.
What is Darjeeling Tea?
Tea manufactured from tea plants that grow in Darjeeling (West Bengal, India) is called Darjeeling tea.. It is famous for its unique flavor and quality. The Tea Board has developed a special logo for Darjeeling tea. Only those retail tea packets containing 100% Darjeeling tea can use this logo.
How is tea sold in India?
There are basically two types of tea sales in India - through Auctions and Private Sales, also called as ex- garden sales. In Auction sales, tea is auctioned at auction centers through brokers to buyers who either sell it to wholesalers / retailers or export to overseas markets. About 50 - 60 % of total production is sold at seven Auction centers in India, namely Kolkata, Guwahati, Siliguri, Amritsar, Cochin, Coimbatore and Coonoor.
Is there any restriction on import into India?
Tea is generally placed in the Restricted category of the EXIM policy. Through special Import License tea can be imported by paying import duty. Since August 1998, tea is being freely imported from the SAARC countries. Under the EQU / EPZ units tea can be imported for re exports after value addition.
What is the consumption of tea in India?
Projected to be 657 million Kgs. During 1999, the per capita consumption is about 650 gm per annum.
What kinds of tea are available in India?
Loose tea, Packet tea, Tea bags and Instant tea.
What is the proportionate consumption share of loose tea vis a vis packet tea?
Packet tea constitutes 35%.
Types of tea packages used in India?
Plywood tea chests, Jute bags, Paper Sacks, HDPEbags, Chestlets, Paper cartons, etc.
Quality norms maintained by Indian tea
Quality control strictly conforms to IS 9723 and Prevention of Food & Adulteration Act (PFA). Disposal of tea waste is done through the tea waste control of 1959. Many gardens are now taking quality certifications under ISO 9002.
Various statutory obligations
The tea plantation industry is strictly guided by various statutory Orders through the Acts of Parliament like - Tea Act, Essential Commodities Act, Plantation Labour Act, Factories Act, PFA Act, Standards of Weights and Measures act etc.
How many cups of tea should be consumed in a day?
Tea is a beverage consumed by the masses for centuries. An average tea drinker consumes about three to four cups of tea in a day. Dr J. H. Weisburger, Director Emeritus, American Health Foundation recommends that a regular intake of six to ten cups a day, will contribute to your health and well being.
Tea and diabetes
There are scientific research studies conducted on rats on the role of tea in diabetes (A. Gomes, J. R. Vedasiromoni, M. Das, R. M. Sharma, D. K. Ganguly - Anti-hyperglycemic effect of black tea (Camellia sinensis) in rat, Journal of ethnopharmocology, 1994. This study has shown that hot water extract of black tea has significantly reduced the blood glucose level and was found to possess both preventive and curative effects on experimentally produced diabetes in rats.
What is the role of tea in improving bone conditions?
According to a study published in the April 2000 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study suggests that nutrients found in tea, such as flavonoids, may positively influence bone mineral density (BMD) and that tea drinking may protect against osteoporosis in older women.
Elaborate on the antioxidants present in tea
Tea is one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants. In test tube studies, results show that the flavonoids in tea are more powerful antioxidants than the commonly recognized antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene, found in many fruits and vegetables. It is important to remember that tea is not a substitute for fruits and vegetables, as they provide a range of essential nutrients. Drinking tea in a diet with a combination of fruits and vegetables is a refreshing way to health.
What is the importance of Tea in the national economy?
An eco- friendly industry. The tea industry employs more than one million workers. About ten million people depend on the industry for livelihood. The tea industry provides a substantial amount of revenue to the nation as well as the state exchequers. The industry earns substantial foreign exchange. A lot of ancillary industries are associated with the tea industry like packaging, jute, transport, fertilizer, coal and petroleum etc. The industry is involved in a lot of social welfare activities which are highly commended by the government and the people. For example, the industry is consciously implementing family welfare programs among its workforce, an effort whole- heartedly supported by ITA's own workforce, The Tea Board and the United Nations.