The Chinese tea connoisseurs were the first to add jasmine flavour and fragrance to tea by processing dried jasmine flowers with Green tea, thereby creating the world famous Jasmine Green tea that remains popular throughout the world to-date.
The greater demand for more astringent teas from the British colonies of Ceylon and India resulted in large Chinese tea stocks in British go-downs to accumulate. The introduction of Bergamot flavouring to Chinese teas created the ever-so-popular Earl Grey tea, which is still associated with British tea taste all around the tea world.
The introduction of Earl Grey tea opened doors to new horizons that has made it possible to create the great variety of flavour enriched teas. The new tastes of fruit, flower and other tantalizing tastes in the modern tea world has attracted the younger generation to the fashionable habit of consuming flavoured teas.
Dry tea leaf contain six to seven percent moisture trapped within the cells, thereby giving a naturally hygroscopic nature to the product. Tea rapidly absorbes moisture from the atmosphere when exposed. This makes exposed tea undesirable when brewed.
Hygroscopic nature of tea helps in absorbing flavours, aroma or odour very rapidly, thus making the flavouring of tea an interesting natural exercise.
Tea is best packed in air tight containers or in fine flexible packaging devoid of humidity and excess air. Well packed teas keep well in refrigeration or at low temperatures for periods in excess of three to five years.
ANSELM PERERA (MLESNA TEA CENTRES)