Camellia sinensis L. (Tea): In Vitro Regeneration

Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 7)

Abstract

Tea is the oldest caffeine-containing beverage, and has been used for two or three thousand years in south-east China (Eden 1958). It is also the most widely consumed hot beverage, as being the cheapest. To date, the habit of tea drinking has become well established for more than half of the world’s population. The most common type of tea is black or fermented tea. The unfermented type is green tea, which is produced in China and Japan, and gives a distinctive taste different from black tea. A further semi-fermented tea is oolong, consumed in China and Japan. In some few cases tea leaves are used as vegetables, like leppet tea in Burma and meing tea in Thailand. Based on FAO records (1984), 2.7 million hectares of land are under tea cultivation and 2.2 million tons are produced every year in the world. Over 80% of the world’s tea exports come from India and Sri Lanka. Exports from China rank next to these two countries. The United Kingdom is the largest importer of the world, importing over 20% of the production. The second largest importer is the United States, but there only about half a pound per person each year is drunk.

Keywords

Fermentation Alkaloid Naphthalene Sorting Theophylline 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Kato
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureYamaguchi UniversityYamaguchi 753Japan

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