|Tea is a relaxing, refreshing and stimulant drink. It is the world’s most consumed hot beverage. Many beverages although high in calories are essential to replace body fluids especially in hot weather. Tea is the natural choice, it is a low calorie drink and a great thirst quencher. A glass of iced tea contains only 3 calories against a glass of cola with 70.|
|The nutritional value of tea, apart from it being a low calorie drink is attributed to its mineral content. Tea contains the elements of manganese zinc, potassium & magnesium which the human body needs daily. Modern research into the health benefits of tea consumption has only proven 'old wives tales' and ancient theories that the consumption of tea is beneficial to human health and well being.|
|The nutritional value of tea could be attributed to its chemical components beneficial to the human body. Of these, caffeine, poly phenol fractions and antioxidants are considered to be the most important, since many of the beneficial effects claimed by the tea have been traced to these constituents.|
|Antioxidants neutralize the effect of 'oxygen free radicals' which are known to be a major contributory factor in aging and in ailments of the human body, including cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.|
|Caffeine is known to stimulate the central nervous system and respiration. Other desirable effects of caffeine include relief of fatigue, increase of alertness and aiding digestion. Excessive caffeine is said to have adverse effects on the human system however tea has only half the caffeine levels of coffee and research proves that the presence of caffeine in tea does not produce unhealthy results due to it’s combination with tea poly phenols.|
|The poly phenols present in tea act in many beneficial ways to human health. A cup of tea contains about 1000 ppm (parts per million) poly phenols. The catechist available in tea poly phenols has the capacity of suppressing the excessive rise of cholesterol, inhibiting hypertension, reducing glucose levels in the blood, preventing cardio-vascular diseases, lowering high blood pressure and keeping intestines in good order.|
|Scientists at Kaiser Permanente, California are said to have established a strong relationship between consumption of tea and fertility in women. Those who drank half a cup of tea each day doubled the chances of conception, compared with non tea drinkers.|
|A tea infusion contains about 1 ppm fluoride which is of benefit in the prevention of dental caries. A level of 1 ppm of fluoride in potable water is identified as having a prophylactic effect against dental decays.|
|The health giving properties of tea are acknowledged as long ago as 2737 BC when Chi Nung, one of the Three Sovereigns referred to in Chinese legend, was said to have written ‘Tea… quenches thirsts, it lessens the desire for sleep…., it gladdens and cheers the heart.’|
Tea plantations in India are over 150 year old. India is the world’s largest tea producing country.80%of tea produced in India is sold through weekly auctions in its 6 auction centers. Eleven registered tea auctioneers handle the entire auction trade. Auction centers are in Guwahati, Siliguri, Calcutta, Cochin, Coimbatore & Coonoor. Guwahati in Assam is now the world’s largest tea auction center.
|Tea is cultivated in the north eastern region of India that is Bengal’s Darjeeling, & Dooars, Assam & Cachar. In south of the country tea is grown in Tamilnadu and Kerala’s hilly western ghat region. Some tea is also produced in Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh in north India. Indian tea producers are among the 1st in the World in obtaining ISO–9000 quality certificate for their tea factories. Tea produced in India meets IS 3720 specifications, & also confirms to PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act).|
Auction price of tea fluctuates as per world availability, demand & supply.
Price in tea auctions vary considerably, current trend is most interesting to watch. Lower prices trend in auction may not be a reflection of quality. Trading is based on current trends. Tea prices has increased only by an average of 1/3 compared to of other commodities since 1970. The prices in tea in world market in terms of Dollars since seventies have not changed.
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