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The Main different types of Tea. – Lets get to know the different types

So before we launch into specific teas, its worth knowing what the different types of teas are

Basically if you alter the shape and composition  of the leaves of the tea it produces different types of tea – different taste and flavours and physically looks different.

All the steps or processes used to make a tea are not used in all teas that are produced worldwide.


The basic steps to making a teas are:

 

  1. PLUCKING TEA LEAVES
  2. ALLOWING THE LEAVES TO WILT
  3. WRING OUT THE JUICES AND. ROLL
  4. OXIDATIONOR FERMENTATION
  5. FIRING OR DRYING

 

It has to be said. that the most important and influential part of making a tea is dependent on the amount of oxidation applied during the process. This is where the tea leaves enzymes react with the oxygen and the cell walls break down. it happens when the leaves are being decomposed, rolling, cutting and crushing.


The five main types of teas are:

White Tea

  • this is an unprocessed tea. It is made by using the newest buds on the tea plant – that is normally the unopened buds or young buds.
  • The process of making a white tea is that the leaves are tucked and then allowed to wither dry. This is done naturally however, if the weather is wet, this can be done in a dryer.
  • It takes a couple of days to dry the leaves as some oxidation may occur.

Colour of tea: Green or Yellow

Flavour: Delicate aromas and will review some white teas soon

Examples:  Silver needle, Jasmine

 

Green Tea

  • this tea is unoxidised
  • It is plucked, rolled and withered
  • The process it goes through stops the tea from being oxidised
  • This happens by firing or steaming to prevent the oxidisation. i.e. the enzymes. from browning
  • The  leaves are also curled and shaped during this process which gives it different tastes
  • The leaves are throughly dried as a final part of the process

Colour of tea: Pale Green or Yellow

Flavour: Varies depending upon the process but generally describes as grassy, vegetable taste or even toasty

Of course will review some green teas soon

Examples:  Sencha,Matcha

Green tea

Jasmine green tea called Dragon Tears. With bamboo tea strainer.

Oolong Teas

  • this takes a long time to make
  • Every step of the tea making process is used
  • This tea is between the black tea (fully quick processed tea 100% oxidised) and green tea (0%. oxidised).
  • Oolong tea is produced with oxidisation anywhere between 8-80% and depending on the oxidisation this gives it different flavours  and varieties

 

Flavour: The last is far more sophisticated than white or green teas.  They are fruity or floral flavours

Examples:Phoenix

Black Tea

  • This is made in a day
  • Follows all the 5 basic steps of making a tea

 

Colour of tea: Dark brown. to deep red

Flavour: Astringent and made with milk and sugar. Also good as an iced tea

Of course will review some black teas soon

Examples:  Loads of different ones that includes Earl Grey, Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling

Pu’erh Tea

  • the process of making this tea is different ton all others
  • it starts as a green tea
  • then it is pressed and made into cakes or decorative shapes
  • The leaves are allowed to age or ferment depending upon how long that takes will depend on the type of Pu’erh tea.
  • This is left to age from a couple of months to a few years- a bit like a fine wine!

 

Flavour: rich and smooth ~. best described as woodsy, earthy or musty

Examples Seng Cha and Shu Cha

 

 

Lesley Thomas

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