Green tea is all the go
In the 19th century, many of the world's last great sailing ships raced to deliver thousands of tons of black tea from the Far East (notably India and China) to Britain and Australia. Today, both the UK and Oz have begun growing their own green tea, much of it to be sent to Japan.
We discovered this surprising reversal after reading a story by Heather Pillans in our local newspaper, the Gosford (New South Wales) Central Coast Express Advocate, which reported:
We've enjoyed drinking Australian-grown black tea from tropical Queensland for years. Dr Allan Maruff developed our first commercial plantation in 1959 in the NeradaValley, on the foothills of the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland. Today, Nerada is the largest supplier of Australian-grown teas to the domestic market.
Green tea is simply unfermented black tea. It comes from the same camellia bush, a close relative of the beautiful flowering camellias grown in our gardens.
"Green tea is derived from tea leaves that have been steamed, rolled, then fired; black teas are derived from tea leaves that have been withered, rolled and fermented, then fired," says the American website "The Republic of Tea."
Britain marketed its first commercial tea only a few weeks ago. It was grown on the Tregothnan estate, near Truro, Cornwall. The company's website tells the story:
Most tea-drinkers add milk and/or sugar to their cuppa, but some have different ideas. "A fashion for mixing whisky with antioxidant-rich green tea has doubled Scotland's exports of whisky to China in the last year, with £1bn exported in the past six months alone," Gerard Seenan reported in The Guardian (London) on October 27.
Others like to add exotic fruits such as kiwifruit and shaddock to their tea. If you couldn't tell a shaddock from a haddock, the China Post (Taiwan) says it's also known as a pomelo, "a citrus fruit the people of Taiwan love to eat at this time of year."
For more details, make yourself a cuppa, sit down again in front of your computer, and visit these interesting websites: