Camellia Sinesis and Thea Assamica are two names for one and the same plant. When western sceintists ‚discovered‘ the plant in China they called it Chinese Camellia, as it indeed belongs to the species of Camellia. When the Britisch discovered the plant in the forests of Nagaland, they called it Thea Assamica ( as it was discovered close to Assam ), not knowing that this could be the ancient version of what had already been named Camellia Sinensis. Later this plant was cultivated in the delta of the Brahmaputra and, still today, the leaves in this area are considerably larger than in other plantation in India. Today planters differentiate between the China and the Assam teabush. There is no evidence that the tea plant, from more northern areas in China, has its roots in the southern rainforests. Fakt is, that the amount of valuable ingredients in the cultivated leaf is much lower than in those of the ancient plants.

If you visit tea fields in elevation of 2000m, you will find very small plants with tiny leaves. Maybe an indication that the climat has shapped the leaves of these tea bushes. Valuable ingredients in the tea plant are Polyphenols ( Tannins ) and Caffein. During processing the amount of caffein stays stable, while, during fermentation, the Polyphenols are converted to Flavonoids. Fermentation can be oxidisation ( black tea or oolong ) or lacto-fermentation ( Pu Erh ), the result, concerning the polyphenols, is the same.

Depending on the time of oxidisation, more or less Polyphenols are converted into Flavonoids. In comparisson to estate tea, wild teas have up to 85% more Polyphenols and 30% more Caffein in the fresh leaf. One of the reasons why these teas have a much higher flavour content.