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Kyle Francis Stewart

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  1. Polly, the raw, tea plant (camellia sinensis) is very distasteful, and there is a very good reason for this! The caffeine and other chemical components in raw tea are very bitter and ward off insects. When the tea leaves are processed - ie., allowed to wither, which creates a limp supple leaf; rolled to break the cell walls; oxidized if the tea is an oolong or black; and finally fired - an amazing transformation happens! With careful handling and timing by an experienced tea master, the raw leaves protective bitterness and astringency transform into smoothness, briskness and complex flavor
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