All tea is not the same




Wild harvested tea usually comes
out of China.
It is considered the most flavorful
and has more potency.
The wild harvested teas are rare
 and are of very high quality,
due to the fact that the wild tea trees
are not subject to man made pollutants,
 over harvesting or artificial fertilizers.
 
Tea is usually harvested in the spring.
The spring harvested tea is considered
the best quality due to the weather
 conditions being cool that cause
the slowing down of the hardening
of the tender shoots.
 
The flavor of a spring harvested tea 
 has a more delicate one when compared
to a late harvested tea, fall harvest.
Although, tea plantations have used seasonal harvesting to cultivate the different characteristics that 
are present within the influences
of particular seasons.
Therefore, the distinction of the
flavor is to be enjoyed seasonally.
 
  Generally, there are two methods to harvesting tea
- handpicking or machine cut.
Harvesting by hand indicates
 the picking of the choicest part
 of the plant - the bud
and the first 2 - 3 leaves.
The expression of this tea
is usually sweet with floral notes
 and fresh.
This is the highest quality
in the entire tea harvesting.
The harvesting of older leaves
 usually has a slight bitterness and astringency in the end product.
This is usually harvested
by mechanical means - machine cut.
Quality of tea is determined
by such factors as whether the tea
plants are wild harvested or cultivated
on a tea farm, elevation, harvesting
and processing by hand or machine,
 time of harvest and stress factors
to the tea plants.



 
Hand harvesting
 
Hand picked leaves achieve better quality
as there is selectiveness in the plucking
of the teas.
The quality of the leaves picked is also
determined by the experience
level of the tea pickers.
The experienced tea picker has a subtle
balance to the pressure applied
to the tender shoots when plucked.
 and this contributes further to the desired
quality of the end product.
Inexperience in picking tea usually
 results in an inferior end product.
 
Machine harvesting
 
Machine harvesting or machine cut  generally  yields an uneven harvest.
Where the younger leaves and the young
leaves are cut with some of the older leaves incorporated into the harvest.
Machine cut harvest usually does
 not retain the leaf shape.
 
Elevation, soil and stress
 
The flavor  and the quality of  tea
 is influenced by the amount of stress
that the tea plants encounter
through elevation,
 soil conditions and temperatures.
The boldness and the superiority
of the flavor emerges when
 these conditions
of stresses are in balance.
 
The best quality teas come from higher
 elevation growth.
 Low temperatures in the highlands keep
 the young shoots of the tea plant
from hardening.
Frost can be the enemy of the tea plant
 as it likes sub-tropical conditions.
 
However, cross breeding of tea plants
have yielded varieties that are able
to withstand frosty conditions.
These tea plants have also
as a consequence produced
unique varieties in their flavors. 
Lower elevations tea plantations
causes the tea plants to grow faster
 due to higher temperatures.