Tea is the most universally preferred beverage. Tea has been cultivated and consumed for more than 2000 years in China and South–East Asia. The main tea producing areas are India, China, Sri Lanka, Japan and Taiwan. In India, tea is cultivated mainly in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. High quality tea comes from the bud and the first two leaves of the growing shoot. T he quality of tea is mainly influenced by the condition of soil, altitude, climate, age of the leaves, season of plucking leaves and the processing methods adopted.
i) Types of Processed Tea
Different types of tea available in the market are green, black and oolong. Various steps involved in the processing of tea are withering, rolling, fermentation, drying, grading and packaging. The market forms of tea are tea leaves, tea dust or powder, instant tea, flavoured tea and tea bags.
ii) Types of Tea
In this green tea preparation withering and fermentation are completely omitted. In the first step of processing, leaves are steamed to protect the leaves from changing the colour and to inactivate the enzymes. Steaming is then followed by rolling and drying. The leaves retain more original green colour when the leaves are tender. The older leaves have a blackish gray colour.
Oolong tea is partially fermented tea primarily manufactured in China and Taiwan. The fermentation period is too short to change the colour of the leaf completely and has some characteristic colour of both green and black.
Black tea is enzymatically fermented tea prepared by withering the plucked leaves to soften them, passing the withered leaves, under rollers to rupture cell walls and release the enzymes, fermenting the rolled leaves by exposing them to air at 27oC for 2-5 hours to bring about the desired colour and flavour changes.
Natural fruit juices are valuable for its vitamins especially b-carotene and vitamin C and minerals like potassium. However they are not equal to whole fruits which provide dietary fibre.
i) Fruit Juice:
This is a natural juice extracted from fresh fruit. This is not basically changed in its composition during processing of extraction, preparation and preservation E.g. Fresh juice and canned or tinned natural fruit juice.
ii) Fruit Drink:
This is prepared by liquefying the whole fruit. Nearly 10 percent of the volume of undiluted drink must be whole fruit. E.g. grape fruit, pineapple juice and mango juice. Plate
iii) Fruit squash:
This is prepared from strained fruit juice, sugar and preservative. This contains 25 percent fruit juice and 45-50 percent of sugar, E.g. Grape squash and pineapple squash.
iv) Fruit Punch:
Fruit punches are prepared by mixing the desired fruit juices. This contains 25 percent of fruit juice and 65-75 percent of sugar.
v) Fruit Syrup:
In this preparation, any one of the fruit is used and are concentration of fruit juices preserved with sugar. The fruit is coarsely crushed and kept it overnight for fermentation. This enhances the flavour and juice is separated from the solid particles of fruits. It is filtered. Then the juice is heated with sugar. Amount of sugar used in the preparation of fruit syrup is 500g to ½ pint of juice.
vi) Fruit juice concentrates:
In this preparation, water content is totally removed from fruit juice, either by heat, freezing or by reverse osmosis.
vii) Carbonated Fruit Beverages:
Carbonation is the process of mixing sufficient carbon dioxide with water or beverage so that, the product gives off the gas in fine bubbles when served.
Milk Based Beverages
Milk is the perfect nutritious food suitable for all age groups. It can be served on its own, hot and cold milk and considered as the soothing and nourishing drink.
i) Flavoured milk:
It is the pasteurized and homogenized milk, with addition of different colours / flavours (essences). It enhances the colour and aroma of milk E.g. Badam Milk.
pulp like banana, mango etc can be added to milk to prepare banana/ mango milkshake.
ii) Fermented Milk:
Fermented milk is suggested to lactose intolerance patients. Milk is fermented with lactobacilli and curd is prepared. Curd can be diluted and combined with sugar syrups, fresh fruit, herbs and spices to make sweet or savory drinks.
Thus beverages are consumed for their nutritive value, antioxidant property, stimulating appetite and for refreshing and soothing. But excessive consumption of sugary beverage leads to have many health problems including obesity and dental caries.