Chai is the most widely drunk beverage in the whole world. The
tea plant, Camellia Sansis, is a cultivated variety of a tree that has its origins in an area between India and China.
There are three main varieties of the tea plant - China, Assam,
and Cambodia - and a number of hybrids between the varieties.
The China variety grows as high as nine feet (2.75 metres). It
is a hardy plant able to withstand cold winters and has an economic
life of at least 100 years.
The Assam variety, a single-stem tree
ranging from 20 to 60 feet (6 to 18 metres) in height. Regular pruning
keeps its height to a more manageable 4 to 5 feet tall. It has an economic
life of 40 years with regular pruning and plucking. When grown at an altitude
near that of Darjeeling (Assam) or Munnar (Kerala), it produces tea with
fascinating flavours , sought after around the globe.
SUB VARIETIES OF TEA
tender dark-leaved Assam
Manipuri and Burma types
Assam plant from Upper Assam.
variety, a single-stem tree growing to about 16 feet (five metres)
in height, is not cultivated but has been naturally crossed with