Legend has it that the first cup of tea was tasted in China by Emperor Shen Nung in 2737 B.C. Leaves from a nearby bush, Camellia Sinesis, floated into his boiling drinking water. He tasted the delightfully-scented result…and tea was discovered.
Contrary to popular belief, not all teas are the same. There are over 3000 varieties, each with its own flavor, body, color, and aroma.
So delicate is the flavor that many things affect the taste; i.e. climate, elevation, soil, rainfall, and location. Due to these variations, it is impossible to get consistent quality, even from the same bush, year after year. To compensate for these variations, great skill and care must be exercised in blending to maintain top grade, flavor, and aroma. All teas are a blend. Gradation of the product comes in the size of the leaf. Thus, “Pekoe” or “Orange Pekoe” are not types, but different size pieces of the same tea leaf. There are eight sizes available.