Leaf Tea are usually those teas made from the tender leaves and buds of the tea plants known as Camellia Sinensis. Camellia Sinensis are those species of evergreen shoots with dark, glossy green leaflets and small white florets, the tea is suitable for growing in the tropical and subtropical climates with rainfall of not less than 1280mm per year which in turn yields good tea plantations. The tea leaves consisting of one bud and two or three delicate leaves are then plucked with the arrival of ‘flush’. ‘Flush’ here refers to the tea growing seasons that fall within definite time periods. After the tea leaves gets plucked , they are then dried out for proper brewing . In the equatorial regions with ample amount of rainfall, the plants have more than one flush. In the tea growing cold regions, the tea flush are held mostly during the summers. While in the winter, the plants pass through a passive phase. The types of tea also depends on how they get processed.
The core flavor of the dried tea leaves depends on the type of cultivation of the tea bushes, their essence remaining after plucking, and the manner and quality of the production processing they withstand. After processing, the tea gets blended with other teas to alter the flavor of the final tea thus appealing to the taste-buds.
If we take a look into tea producing regions, we find that Assam is the single largest tea producing region in the world procures tea leaves from March to Mid-November. Though traditionally there are four flushes or rather seasons for Assam tea, the best quality teas are procured from the first two flushes. First flush or rather spring flush starts in late March. The second flush occurs during the end of May to June. This season produces the best quality tea leaves with golden edge, the raw ingredient for the valued “tippy tea”.The teas produced during the second flush are sweeter, maltier and strong as compared to the varieties of tea produced during the year. The Monsoon flush starting immediately after the second flush and continuing till the end of September are the strong teas with very bitter and dark blends. Autumn flush beginning in October and lasting till the middle of November consists of those teas whose brewing results in yellow liquor filled with sweet flavors and pungent aromas.
This is then followed by South India and Sri Lanka because the South India tea estates like Karnataka, Nilgiri, Sri Lanka, Kerala are close to the equator.Teas gets produced during the rainy season As a result , the plants gets yielded throughout the year .Hence winter season gets hardly traced here.
And at last comes Darjeeling and Nepal: Consists of three major flushes which includes:
• First or the spring flush starting from mid-March to May and the teas tastes light, clear and aromatic, they regulate premium rates for better taste.
• Second or the summer flush arriving from June to mid-August and the teas come with dark texture and strong taste, and
• Third or the autumn flush emerging from October to November the teas filled with strong, coppery texture and lighter flavor. This product circulates the least market price when compared with the first two.