tea

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tea,

tree or bush, its leaves, and the beverage made from these leaves. The plant (Camellia sinensis, Thea sinensis, or C. thea) is an evergreen related to the camelliacamellia
[for G. J. Kamel, a Moravian Jesuit missionary], any plant of the genus Camellia in the tea family, evergreen shrubs or small trees native to Asia but now cultivated extensively in warm climates and in greenhouses for their showy white, red, or variegated
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 and indigenous to Assam (India) and probably to parts of China and Japan. In its native state, it grows to a height of about 30 ft (9.1 m), but in cultivation it is pruned to 3–5 ft (91–152 cm). The lanceolate leaves are dark green; the blossom is cream-colored and fragrant. Today tea is consumed by more people and in greater quantity than any beverage except water. The flavor of tea is due to volatile oils, its stimulating properties to caffeinecaffeine
, odorless, slightly bitter alkaloid found in coffee, tea, kola nuts (see cola), ilex plants (the source of the Latin American drink maté), and, in small amounts, in cocoa (see cacao). It can also be prepared synthetically from uric acid.
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, and its astringency to the tannin content (reduced in black teas by the fermentation process). In all parts of the world, tealike beverages (sometimes called tisanes) are made from the leaves or flowers of a wide variety of other plants, often for their medicinal properties.

Cultivation and Preparation

China, where state farms are being supplanted by private ones, remains the largest tea grower of the world; elsewhere, tea is usually grown on plantations. Tea culture requires a protected, well-drained habitat in a warm climate with ample rainfall. The leaves are picked by hand, principally during flushes (periods of active growth), the most desirable being those near the growing tip. They are prepared by withering, rolling, and firing (i.e., heating).

The many kinds of tea are usually named for their color and grade (the best teas using only the two terminal leaves) or for their district of origin, e.g., Darjeeling and Lapsang. Teas are sometimes scented by exposure to fragrant flowers, e.g., jasmine. Brick tea is made from tea dust or inferior tea pressed into blocks. Black teas (e.g., pekoes, souchongs, and congous) differ from green teas (e.g., imperials, gunpowders, and hysons) in having been fermented before firing; oolongs, intermediate in color and flavor, are partially fermented. Green teas are produced chiefly in China and Japan; black teas in China, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya; and oolongs in Taiwan.

History

Tea was cultivated in China in prehistoric times and was probably first used as a vegetable relish (as it was in American colonies and still is in some parts of Asia) and medicinally. By the 8th cent., cultivation had begun on a commercial scale in China, and shortly thereafter, in Japan. The tea ceremony of Japan was introduced from China in the 15th cent. by Buddhists as a semireligious social custom. Tea was first imported into Europe by the Dutch East India Company in the early 17th cent., and its subsequent popularity played an important role in the opening of Asia to Western commerce.

Until 1834 the British East India Company held a monopoly on imports to Great Britain, trading by direct and indirect routes exclusively with China. Only after this monopoly was broken did other tea-producing areas develop as major exporters—chiefly Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan. Leading importers of tea include Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Russia, and the Netherlands. The United States also is a large importer, although coffee has long been a more popular beverage.

Classification

Tea is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Theales, family Theaceae.

Bibliography

See J. Shalleck, Tea (1972); J. Schapiro et al., The Book of Coffee and Tea (rev. ed. 1982).

tea

[]
(botany)
Thea sinensis. A small tree of the family Theaceae having lanceolate leaves and fragrant white flowers; a caffeine beverage is made from the leaves of the plant.

TEA

tea


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tea

1. an evergreen shrub or small tree, Camellia sinensis, of tropical and subtropical Asia, having toothed leathery leaves and white fragrant flowers: family Theaceae
2. 
a. any of various plants that are similar to Camellia sinensis or are used to make a tealike beverage
b. any such beverage
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TEA

(Tiny Encryption Algorithm) A secret key cryptography method that uses a 128-bit key. It uses the block cipher method, which breaks the text into 64-bit blocks before encrypting them. Written by David Wheeler and Roger Needham of Cambridge Computer Laboratory in the U.K., it is available in 16 round and 32 round versions. The more rounds (iterations), the more secure the results. See encryption algorithm.
References in periodicals archive ?
OK, what if we told you it was made from tea plants fertilized with the poop of giant panda bears, and hand-picked by Chinese girls selected for their beauty, who wear gorgeous traditional costumes and sing 1,000-year-old songs while pluckin' those oh-so-special tea leaves?
An showed AFP a glass jar of fresh-looking panda feces, which he uses to fertilize two tea plants in his office, noting the "quality" and "green" color of the dung.
Tea plants are pruned to obtain a given table form and height, to eliminate unnecessary and diseased branches, to rejuvenate the tea plants, and to obtain healthier and better quality tea plants [15].
The PARC has been involved with farmers for tea production and has planted tea plants on 32 acres of land in Shinkiari, 45 acres in Oagi, 32 acres in Balakot, 191 acres in Batagram while 120 farmers have been involved in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and plantation on 21 acres has been done there while in FATA plantation has been done on 28 acres of land.
Katherine Serle of Carreglefn Nurseries checks the progress of her tea plants, soon to be set out in plantations, as in India (below)
Following this they discuss how tea plants were adapted to control oxidation, how tea-drinking spread throughout the British Empire and how Britain encouraged its cultivation in India and Ceylon.
A dockside incident changes her course and, instead of sailing to the colony, Mary accompanies the man she loathes to China, where he is tasked with smuggling tea plants back to England.
Our stock of tea plants is approximately 30,000, which are being imported as cuttings from South Africa and Hawaii.
Easton's family can trace its tea roots to the early 1800s, when European ancestors greatly contributed to the development of the Colony of Ceylon by introducing 205 tea plants from Assam, India, building one of the largest and best cultivated tea plantations on the island.
The Tregothnan estate in Cornwall has 25 acres of tea plants grown on the banks of three rivers.
However, when our hero's ship crashes there, he comes up against the evil Doctor T, who has rather dastardly plans for the British Empire involving killing tea plants.