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Introduction

  • Tapan Kumar Mondal
Chapter

Abstract

Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the oldest non-alcoholic caffeine-containing beverage in the world. Chinese were the first to use tea as a medicinal drink, later as a beverage and have been doing so for the past 3,000 years. Tea is an evergreen, perennial, cross-pollinated plant and grows naturally as tall as 15 m. However, under cultivated condition, the bush height of 60 -100 cm is maintained for harvesting the tender leaves to be processed for making the beverages. Although black tea or fermented tea is most popular, yet semi-fermented tea or non-fermented tea are also used as drink. Tea was used initially as a medicine, later as a beverage and now proven well as future potential of becoming an important industrial and pharmaceutical raw material. Scientific reports in the last two decades have validated many beneficial claims for tea. This chapter describes the over view of morphological description, health benefits and most importantly the history as well as landmark discovery of biotechnological works of tea and its wild species.

Keywords

Camellia Sinensis Marginal Vein China Type Assam Type Medicinal Drink 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Genomic ResourcesNational Bureau of Plant Genetic ResourcesDelhiIndia

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