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Tea PhD: From Farm to Cup

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More than ever before, the price of food, where it originates, and how it is grown and processed is of great concern to us. With dwindling arable land and increasing crude oil prices that drive up the cost of transporting goods around the world, the global economy is dependent on knowledgeable consumers who care about environmental stewardship and social justice. Facts simply can’t be ignored!

Tea is a unique food crop in that transplanting it in new climate regions has historically failed. The places in the world successfully producing tea have characteristic features that give the tea its flavor and variety. Not only that, in the best plantations, the art of tea-making is done by masters of the craft. Sometimes it is so good that the finest leaves of the harvest will be held only for the estate owners; “private reserve.” We may never have the indulgent pleasure of tasting the finest tea in the world.

So, what is it that makes the best of leaves? How are the leaves treated to make green, black, oolong and white tea all from the same plant? Why does Japanese green tea taste woody or like an ocean breeze while Chinese green tea has an undertone of nuts and sweet hay? Over time, the details will unfold in this section where we’ll delve deep into the agricultural science of tea, social issues and economics of the world tea trade and environmental stewardship.


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