Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

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Credit: JOHN MEAD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tea plantation. The tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is a small, evergreen tree native to Burma and Assam. When cultivated, the plant is continuously pruned to keep it small and to encourage new growth. Only the shoot tips with the first two leaves are picked. These are allowed to wither, then rolled to release aromatic oils, fermented, and finally dried. The bitter taste comes from the compound tannin, produced by the plant as a defence against herbivores. The alkaloid caffeine gives tea its stimulating effect. Tea was known in China as early as 2737 BC and became fashionable in Europe following its introduction in 1610. Photographed in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

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Keywords: agriculture, farming, land use, malaysia, tea plantation, traditional

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