Genetic engineering of plants has come a long way in recent years. It was first used to make more robust crops, then more nutritious and efficient crops. Now, scientists at the University of New Hampshire are tweaking tea plants to create an un-caffeinated variety.
Camellia sinensis is the plant from which virtually all caffeinated teas derive. UNH neuroscience major Laura Van Beaver has been working to flip one particular gene like a switch, which changes the plant in a significant way.
In China, early April is prime time for tea picking.
In New Hampshire, the Confucius Institute a partnership between the University of New Hampshire and Chengdu University in China — honored the season this week with a tea sampling at the UNH-Manchester campus.
Long before playing a role in sparking the American Revolution, tea drove history, something largely unknown to me when i took a proper afternoon tea in Boston, with a man affectionately known as “the Nose." Giles Hilton is famous for his ability to sniff out the finest tea leaves from around the world. He’s Teamaster at Whittard of Chelsea, tea merchants in England since 1886. Giles gave me the chance to steep in his knowledge of just what it takes to make the perfect cup of tea.