Kinds of Tea
Tea can be divided into five
basic categories: black, green, oolong (or wulong), white and puerh.
- Black tea is allowed to wither, which
precedes a process called oxidation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as
fermentation) during which water evaporates out of the leaf and the leaf
absorbs more oxygen from the air. Black teas usually undergo full oxidation,
and the results are the characteristic dark brown and black leaf, the
typically more robust and pronounced flavors of black teas, and, when brewed
appropriately, a higher caffeine content compared to other teas (50-65% of
coffee, depending on the type and brewing technique).
- Green tea is allowed to wither only
slightly after being picked. Then the oxidation process is stopped very
quickly by firing (rapidly heating) the leaves. Therefore, when brewed at
lower temperatures and for less time, green teas tend to have less caffeine
(10-30% of coffee). Greens also tend to produce more subtle flavors with
many undertones and accents that connoisseurs treasure.
- Oolong tea (also known as wulong tea)
is allowed to undergo partial oxidation. These teas have a caffeine content
between that of green teas and black teas. The flavor of oolong (wulong)
teas is typically not as robust as blacks or as subtle as greens, but has
its own extremely fragrant and intriguing tones. Oolongs (wulongs) are often
compared to the taste and aroma of fresh flowers or fresh fruit.
- White teas are the most delicate of
all teas. They are appreciated for their subtlety, complexity, and natural
sweetness. They are hand processed using the youngest shoots of the tea
plant, with no oxidation. When brewed correctly, with a very low temperature
and a short steeping time, white teas can produce low amounts of caffeine.
- Puerh is an aged black tea from China
prized for its medicinal properties and earthy flavor. It is perhaps the
most mysterious of all tea. Until 1995 it was illegal to import it into the
U.S., and the process of its production is a closely guarded state secret in
China. It is very strong with an incredibly deep and rich flavor, and no
bitterness, and an element that could best be described as almost peaty in
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Most recent revision
Monday, 28. March 2016 12:58:17 PM