Types of Tea:
There are three main types of tea. These are:
1. Black tea: It is typical of India and Sri Lanka. It is best suited for commercial production due to its large leaves. To prepare black tea, the leaves are first dried in the sun, rolled and then fermented.
2. Green tea: It is typical of China and Japan. It has smaller leaves. It is not fermented.
3. Oolong tea: It is also typical of China and Japan. It is made by fermenting the tea leaves partially.
Conditions for Growth of Tea:
Tea is an evergreen plant. It grows both in tropical and subtropical regions. The tea plant grows well in hot and humid climate. Actually, there is an intimate relationship between climate, yield per hectare and the quality of tea.
i. The ideal temperature for growing tea is between 20 °C and 30 °C.
ii. It needs heavy rainfall between 150 and 250 cm. It should be well-distributed throughout the year and should be in the form of frequent showers.
iii. High humidity, heavy dew and morning fog favours the growth of young leaves on a tea bush.
iv. Tea bush is a shade-loving plant and should be planted with rows of shady trees.
v. Tea bush grows well in well-drained deep fertile sandy loams. Nitrogenous fertilisers are applied for increasing the yield.
vi. The roots of the tea bush cannot tolerate stagnant water. It is, therefore, grown on hill slopes.
vii. As the tea leaves are picked by hand, cheap, skilled and abundant supply of labour is important.