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  • Indian tea culture

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    Cherry Resort inside Temi Tea Garden, Namchi, Sikkim Tea Garden on way to Devikulam, Kerala. Masala Chai kettles of a street vendor in Varanasi, India. India is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China, including the famous Assam tea and Darjeeling tea. According to the former Planning Commission (renamed Niti Aayog) Deputy Chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, there are plans to officially recognise tea as the “National Drink” in 2013. Tea is also the 'State Drink' of Assam. According to the ASSOCHAM report released in December, 2011, India, as the world’s largest consumer of tea uses nearly 30 percent of the global output. Despite the consumption, India is also the largest exporter of tea after China. The practice of Ayurveda has resulted in a long-standing tradition of herbal teas. Traditional Indian kitchens have long utilised the medicinal benefits offered by various plants and spices such as holy basil (Tulsi), cardamom (Elaichi), pepper (Kali Mirch), liquorice (Mulethi), mint (Pudina), etc., and traditionally, teas made with these plant leaves or spices have been in use for centuries for maladies ranging from the serious to the trifling. Tea is also mixed with these traditional herbs. The taste of chai (sweet and milky) helps disguise the stronger and more bitter flavours of some of the medicinal additives, while other, more pleasant flavours such as cardamom, clove and ginger add a pleasing flavour and aroma to the tea along with health benefits. Consumption of tea in India was first clearly documented in the Ramayana (750-500 BCE). For the next thousand years, documentation of tea in India was lost in history. Records re-emerge during the first century CE, with stories of the Buddhist monks Bodhidharma and Gan Lu, and their involvement with tea. Research shows that tea is indigenous to eastern and northern India, and was cultivated and consumed there for thousands of years. Commercial production of tea in India did not begin until the arrival of the British East India Company, at which point large tracts of land were converted for mass tea production. Today, India is one of the largest tea producers in the world, with over 70% of the tea being consumed within India itself. A number of renowned teas, such as Assam and Darjeeling, also grow exclusively in India. The Indian tea industry has grown to own many global tea brands, and has evolved to one of the most technologically equipped tea industries in the world. Tea production, certification, exportation, and all other facets of the tea trade in India is controlled by the Tea Board of India.

  • Black tea

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    Black tea. Tea plantation in Java, Indonesia.Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green, and white teas. Black tea is generally stronger in flavour than the less oxidized teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis var. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis var. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white teas have been produced. In Chinese and the languages of neighbouring countries, black tea is literally translated as "red tea" (Chinese 紅茶 hóngchá, pronounced ; Japanese 紅茶 kōcha; Korean 홍차 hongcha, Bengali লাল চা Lal cha, Assamese ৰঙা চাহ Ronga sah), a description of the colour of the liquid. In contrast, the English term black tea refers to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, the literal translation "black tea" of the Chinese term 黑茶 (translated into English as dark tea) is a commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea. Outside China and its neighbouring countries, the English term red tea more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African herbal tea. While green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavour for several years. For this reason, it has long been an article of trade, and compressed bricks of black tea even served as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet and Siberia into the 19th century. Although green tea has recently seen a revival due to its purported health benefits, black tea still accounts for over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West. In Canada, the definition of blended black tea is a blend of two or more black teas of the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis that contain at least 30 percent water-soluble extractive, with 4 to 7 percent ash. Unblended black tea contains at least 25 percent water-soluble extractive, with 4 to 7 percent ash. Packaging of black tea is based on the packaging guidelines from the country of origin.

  • A.A.R.M.

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    "A.A.R.M." is the collective name for the twenty-second and twenty-third episodes of the ninth season of the American comedy television series The Office, as well as the 198th and 199th episode overall. It was also the series' penultimate entry, airing a week before the series finale. It originally aired on NBC on May 9, 2013. This episode guest stars Nora Kirkpatrick, Aaron Rodgers, Clay Aiken, Mark McGrath, Santigold, Jessica St. Clair, and Rachel Crow. The series—presented as if it were a real documentary—depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In the episode, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) convinces Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) that he needs to choose someone to act as an Assistant to the Assistant to the Regional Manager (A.A.R.M.); the two subsequently hold tryouts for the position. Angela Lipton (Angela Kinsey) is forced to bring her son, Phillip, to work, and Dwight thinks that he may be his son. Pam Halpert's (Jenna Fischer) final fears about her husband's love are settled. Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) attempts to get on "The Next Great A Cappella Sensation", but is not able to audition. Finally, all the members of the office gather at Poor Richard's Pub and watch the airing of the official in-series documentary. "A.A.R.M." features a dramatic scene in which Jim presents a DVD of the highlights of his relationship with Pam, topped with him finally presenting her with a card he wrote in the second season episode "Christmas Party". The idea to have Jim finally give Pam his card had been considered in the writers' room for some time, but only during "A.A.R.M." did the writers feel it was the right time. In addition, the episode contained several scenes that were purposely staged to be reminiscent of past episodes of the series, with scenes mimicking unique shots in both the third season installment "Gay Witch Hunt" and the sixth season episode "The Delivery". The episode was also viewed by 4.56 million viewers and received a 2.3/6 percent rating among adults between the ages of 18 and 49, ranking third in its timeslot, making it the highest-rated episode of the season since the earlier entry "The Boat". "A.A.R.M." received largely positive reviews from critics. The interaction between Jim, Pam, and Dwight received particular praise; many were particularly pleased with the call-back to "Christmas Party". Andy's audition subplot, however, was highly panned.

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