With a heritage of growers, exporters, importers, and roasters, Orinoco Coffee & Tea has produced and sold the finest coffees and teas since 1909.

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Most widely consumed in the Western world, black tea hails from the camellia sinensis sinensis and camellia sinensis assamica plants. It is, by far, the most oxidized of all teas. Oxidation is a chemical reaction causing tea leaves to brown while simultaneously coaxing out their unique aroma and flavor. With black tea, the oxidation process kicks in no sooner than the leaves are plucked. To expedite the process, the leaves are often crushed or rolled. High temperatures are also required for the ideal brew, with experts recommending a max of 203-212℉. Ultimately, black teas boast a strong, full-bodied flavor profile, which is frequently described

A Brief History of Ceylon Tea Formerly known as Ceylon, the island country of Sri Lanka launched its tea production in 1867 in response to English demand. Scotsman James Taylor was the pioneer responsible for the Ceylon tea industry. After arriving on the island in 1852 at the age of 17, he was entrusted with the Loolecondera estate in the hills of Kandy that was being primed for coffee production. When his employers began considering tea production, however, Taylor was charged with initial, experimental plantings, and sewed 19 acres of tea seeds at the estate at an altitude of 500 meters. Some of

A Brief History of Tea in Japan While tea ultimately began to spread wherever Chinese sailors set anchor, the monk Saisho – who had been sent to China as an envoy – is typically credited with the earliest introduction of tea in his home of Japan in the 9th century. But it wasn’t until Saisho’s successor, Eisai – a monk and the eventual founder of Japanese Zen Buddhism – brought seeds from the tea tree to the island of Kyushu, and subsequently Kyoto, that cultivation of the crop began to take root. During the 12th and 13th centuries, tea in Japan was primarily

India remains one of the world’s largest producers of tea, with more than 13,000 gardens employing a workforce some two-million strong. Interestingly, about 70 percent of India’s tea is consumed within the country, itself. And many popular teas enjoyed worldwide – such as Assam and Darjeeling – are exclusive to the country. From England to India The tea plant Camellia sinensis is native to India and grew wild in the jungles of Assam for centuries before being cultivated for its properties as a beverage. Native Indians would use the leaves as an ingredient while cooking, blending it with garlic and oil. But the history

The origins of tea – all tea – can be traced back 5,000 years ago to China. All the Tea in China History tells us tea was discovered by botanical explorer and Chinese emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 B.C. According to legend, while purifying water under a tea tree, some leaves happened to blow into the emperor’s pot, resulting in an accidental – but fortuitous – brew. He named the brew “ch’a,” which is translated as “to investigate,” as the emperor perceived the beverage spread throughout his body – investigating it – as he drank. Between 202 B.C. and 206 A.D., Chinese farmers developed cultivating, drying,

A Massive Continent Yields Multiple Teas Africa is a relative newcomer to the tea industry, and has used its late arrival to its advantage, building on the experience of those who came before to emerge as a world renowned, tea-producing powerhouse. In fact, Kenya stands as the third largest producer, globally, after China and India. Additional tea-producing African countries include Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, which combined produce nearly 30% of the world’s exports – or roughly 514,000 tons of tea. Africa’s Top Producers • Kenya: In 1903, the first tea seeds from India were planted on two Kenyan acres. From that legacy,

Did you know? According to The Tea Association of the U.S.A., more than half of the American population drinks tea on any given day. While there is no “best” tea delivery method, so to speak, knowing more about the way tea is packaged and processed can help to ensure a positive drinking experience. There are three main delivery methods for tea: • Loose: For many connoisseurs, loose tea is the only kind worth brewing. Placed in a strainer or an infuser, loose tea leaves are enveloped by the water, which results in maximum expansion of the leaves and a full-bodied flavor. Loose tea

Meet the World’s #1 Coffee Producer Brazil, the largest country in both South America and Latin America, is also the top producer of coffee worldwide. And with 98% of its households drinking coffee, it is currently the #1 consuming market, as well. A Brief History Coffee is believed to have come to Brazil in 1727, having been smuggled out of French Guiana. European colonists were early adopters of Brazilian coffee, but as interests grew worldwide – so did the country’s exports. By 1820, Brazil was producing approximately 30% of the world’s crop. In the late 19th century, Asia’s coffee market was nearly wiped out by

The Independent State of Papua New Guinea inhabits the eastern half of the world’s second largest island, New Guinea. The western half, known as West Papua, is a province of Indonesia. The coffee produced in Papua New Guinea, however, is quite different than the Indonesian product. A Brief History Papua New Guinea was not colonized until 1885. While coffee was not native there, Germany and England had established neighboring colonies, and brought Blue Mountain arabica plants from Jamaica. By the 1920s, commercial exports had launched around the coast. A decade or so later, the Australian discovery of the island’s fertile land helped to

Abyssinia – also known as present-day Ethiopia – is widely considered to be the birthplace of coffee. Today, it is also the 5th largest coffee producer worldwide. Ethiopia is known for its diverse typography, geography, and climates. Altitudes can range from 100 meters below sea level to 4600 above in the Semien Mountains (the roof of Africa), and environments can range from dry deserts to the lush tropics. These ideal conditions yield a coffee that is renowned for its low acidity and fruity flavors. The Legend Continues An Ethiopian legend tells of Kaldi, a goat herder in the Kaffa Highlands, circa 850 AD,

With a population of 50-million people, Sumatra is the sixth largest island in the world, and one of the three main islands that form the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia. Dutch colonists initially brought coffee to Indonesia by way of Yemen in 1699. It wasn’t until more than a century later that the crop arrived in Sumatra, and by the late 19th century commercial production had begun on the island. Sumatran Coffee at a Glance Sumatra is located in Indonesia on the equator, which splits the island into two equal zones, each with its own unique climate. The fertile volcanic soil and lush

When you store tea it is important to remember, whether loose or bagged, that tea is highly susceptible to five main factors: • Air • Moisture • Heat • Light • Odor Contact with oxygen will cause tea to turn brown and lose flavor over time. Additionally, moisture of any kind will ruin tea (steer clear of storage spots near the sink, dishwasher, or microwave). To aptly safeguard from both conditions, an opaque, airtight container is the best method to store tea. Glass containers may be attractive but are discouraged because exposure to light can degrade your tea leaves over time. Metal or ceramic containers are ideal. Likewise, tea

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