More Than Just Your Grandma's Tea
There is more to tea than hot Black Tea. Sure, in the western world Black Tea is the most common tea consumed but it is really just the tip of the iceberg.
All true tea comes from the Camilla Sinensis plant, specifically its leaves and buds, what is done to it after it is harvested determines what kind of tea it will be. Small differences in processing can dramatically impact the flavor of the tea.
Black Tea - is the tea that is most commonly consumed in Western Europe and in the US. It is the tea that people usually automatically assume when they hear ‘cup of tea’. Black tea, depending on brewing or anything added too it is typically the most full bodied tea. It can be too tannic or acidic if not brewed properly. Black tea generally contains caffeine though much less than a cup of coffee.
Oolong Tea (Wu Long Tea) is a tea is of Chinese origin and is primarily grown and harvested in the Fujian province of China. It is semi oxidized and can produce a wide variety of flavors depending on the sub variety. Usually the tea cultivators who grow and produce Oolong tea are very specialized.
Green Tea has become very popular in the western world in recent years due to its health benefits. Green tea undergoes minimal oxidation during processing and can produce a variety of flavors. This is usually related to the growing conditions and harvesting of the tea. When preparing green tea take care to not steep too long or too hot, otherwise it can produce a bitter tea.
White Tea is the least processed of the commercially available teas. This tea also originates in China. White tea also has lots of health benefits associated with its consumption. It has a delicate flavor that is very pleasing. White tea, despite being known in China for thousands of years, it is just now becoming well known in the west.
There are hundreds of flavors or scented teas available. They can be fruit flavored, floral, or any combination thereof. The variety of tea available is nearly limitless.