TEA PROCESSING

Types of tea are distinguished by the processing they undergo. Leaves of Camellia sinensis soon begin to wilt and oxidize if not dried quickly after picking. The leaves turn progressively darker because chlorophyll breaks down and tannins are released. This process, enzymatic oxidation, is called fermentation in the tea industry although it is not a true fermentation: it is not caused by micro-organisms, and is not an anaerobic process. The next step in processing is to stop the oxidation process at a predetermined stage by heating, which deactivates the enzymes responsible. With black tea this is done simultaneously with drying. Without careful moisture and temperature control during its manufacture and thereafter, fungi will grow on tea. This form of fungus causes real fermentation that will contaminate the tea with toxic and sometimes carcinogenic substances and off-flavors, rendering the tea unfit for consumption.

TEA

TEA IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY CONSUMED STIMULATING BEVERAGE IN THE WORLD. ALL TEA COMES FROM THE “Camellia sinesis, AN EVERGREN SHRUB THAT MAY GROW UP TO 60 FEET IN WILD. WHEN CULTIVATED FOR HARVEST, THE TEA BUSHES ARE KEPT TO A HEIGHT OF ABOUT 3 FEET. THERE ARE OVER 3000 VARIETIES OF TEA WITH THEIR OWN SPECIFIC CHARACTERSTICS. TEA LEAVES HAVE A CHARACTERSTIC OVAL SHAPE AND SERRATED EDGE. YOUNGER THE LEAVES, BETTER THE QUALITY OF THE TEA. THE KIND OF TEA OBTAINED IS DETERMINED BY THE WAY IT IS PROCESSED.

SYRUPS

SYRUP IS A THICK LIQUID CONTAINING LARGE AMOUNT OF DISSOLVED SUGAR BUT SHOWING LITTLE TENDENCY FOR CRYSTALISATION OF DISSOLVED SUGAR. THE MAIN USE OF THESE CONCENTRATED SWEET FRUIT FLAVOURINGS IS AS A BASE FOR COCKTAILS, MOCKTAILS, SUNDAES ETC. SOME EXAMPLES OF SYRUPS ARE:

GOMME: PLAIN SYRUP

GRENADINE: POMEGRANATE FLAVOURED

ORGEAT: ALMOND FLAVOURED

CASSIS: BLACKCURRANT FLAVOURED

CITRONELLE: LEMON FLAVOURED

FRAMBOISE: RASPBERRY FLAVOURED

CERISE: CHERRY FLAVOURED

SQUASH

SQUASH IS A HIGHLY SWEETENED CONCENTRATE (USUALLY FRUIT BASED), WHICH IS DILUTED WITH A LIQUID, MOST COMMONLY WATER, BEFORE DRINKING. TYPICALLY, SQUASH IS CREATED BY MIXING ONE PART CONCENTRATE WITH FOUR OR FIVE PARTS WATER. SQUASHES ARE ALSO USED FOR MAKING COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS.