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The British brought Chinese seeds into Northeast India but the plants failed; they later discovered that a different variety of tea was endemic to Assam and the Northeast region of India and that it was used by local tribes.
Using the Chinese planting and cultivation techniques, the British launched a tea industry by offering land in Assam to any European who agreed to cultivate it for export.
The phrase herbal tea usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea, chamomile tea, or rooibos tea.
Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with "tea" as it is construed here.
The aim of blending is to obtain a better taste, a higher price, or both, as a more expensive, better-tasting tea is sometimes used to cover the inferior taste of less expensive varieties.
Some commercial teas have been enhanced through additives or special processing. Department of Agriculture has suggested that the levels of antioxidants in green and black teas do not differ greatly, as green tea has an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of 1253 and black tea an ORAC of 1128 (measured in μmol TE/100 g).
It is believed that, soon after, "for the first time, people began to boil tea leaves for consumption into a concentrated liquid without the addition of other leaves or herbs, thereby using tea as a bitter yet stimulating drink, rather than as a medicinal concoction." Another early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text by Hua Tuo, who stated that "to drink bitter t'u constantly makes one think better." Another early reference to tea is found in a letter written by the Qin Dynasty general Liu Kun.
assamica, used in Pu-erh and most Indian teas (but not Darjeeling).
Within these botanical varieties, there are many strains and modern clonal varieties.
Leaf size is the chief criterion for the classification of tea plants, with three primary classifications being, Assam type, characterised by the largest leaves; China type, characterised by the smallest leaves; Cambodian type, characterised by leaves of intermediate size.
A tea plant will grow into a tree of up to 16 m (52 ft) if left undisturbed, Teas can generally be divided into categories based on how they are processed.
There are at least six different types of tea: white, yellow, green, oolong (or wulong), black (called red tea in China), and post-fermented tea (or black tea for the Chinese) After picking, the leaves of C.