OVERVIEW Our chosen product is Greenfield tea. Tea is a product with a large market, many consumers and spread all over the world. It's a product that has a history of more than 5000 years. It all started in China in the year 2737 BC from the emperor Shen Nung. It is said that this emperor had medical conditions and therefore he only drank boiled water. One day, the water was on the stove boiling and the window was open. There was a lot of wind outside and some leaves and branches from a nearby tree now called "the tea tree" landed in the water. The emperor saw the changing colors in the pot and after it boiled, he wanted to taste the new liquid. He made his servants try it and when he saw they did not die, he tried it himself and liked it. After that moment, it became popular for everyone to drink tea. Another legend says that the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma was trying to find his inner peace and was not able to. Being upset and wanting to punish himself, he cut his eye lids and from the place where the eye lids fell of the ground, a tea bush sprung. He used the leaves in water and the miracle liquid made him better, not feeling tired anymore. China has a full history about tea. Around 800 BC, Lu Yu wrote a whole book about tea, about preparing and serving it. They had competitions on who was recognizing more types of tea by tasting them. It soon became from a luxury to being a need and everyone, including the poorest people were drinking it. For example, the capitol city of the Sung region was filled with street sellers at 5 am that were having tea on the street. They even wrote poems dedicated to the tea. The word "tea" comes from China. "Te" means tea in the Amnoy Chinese dialect and "cha" is the mandarin word for tea. There are 4 types of tea: black, green, white and oolong. All types are gathered from the same plant, the only difference is the time of the year when they are extracted and the processing method. Tea plants can be found growing from the sea level to 2400 m altitude. It needs a constant humidity and a temperature not lower than 10?C and not higher than 30?C. One single tea bush can produce tea for at least 50 years. The tea harvest is a very difficult and tiresome process. It takes about 3000 leaves for 1 kilo of unprocessed tea. The regions of tea harvesting are mostly the south-east of Africa and the south of Asia: Kenya, China, Japan, Ceylon and India. It takes 5 steps for the tea to be as we buy it. First of all, the tea leaves are placed in a vat with air running through. In 15 hours the leaves are dried. Then they are placed in a rolling machine, dry crushing them. There are also different levels of crushing them. Some are left almost uncrushed, some are partially crushed and others are turned into tea dust. The next step is the oxidation. The leaves are left in baskets for 30 minutes up to 2 hours to be in contact with the air and this step gives the tea its strength and the colour. The green tee is the least oxidized and the black one is the most oxidized. After this, the crushed leaves are dried again to stop the oxidation and the last step is packaging and labeling. None of the types of tea contains calories, except for the tea made of fruit. The calories come from the fructose or from the sugar people add in the tea. The green and black tea contains caffeine, but all other assortments do not. Many companies produce tea. The market is every year growing more and more. If thousands of years ago, only Chinese used tea, in the Middle Age, later the tea arrived in Russia with the help of camels, then to United Kingdom, Portugal and Holland. In the beginning only the aristocrats drank the tea, but later it became more and more popular and everyone started enjoying it. Tea is also famous for another aspect: the Boston Tea Party, when the American colonists destroyed the tea shipments from Great Britain in the Boston Harbor to show their independence. Nowadays there is a battle between tea, coffee and other soft drinks. Great Britain has the record for the European tea consumer country. As everyone knows, it is famous for the "5 o'clock tea". The largest tea producers are: India, China, Sri- Lanka, Kenya and Vietnam. The largest tea consumers are Russia, Great Britain, Pakistan, USA and Japan. The tea is known for its healthy proprieties, such as the antioxidant content. But apart of this aspect, tea is also used in cosmetics, medicine and for recreational purposes, just like British do the 5 o'clock tea.
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