The terrain and climate in which it is grown, the time of plucking and the processing technique – all of these factors influence the quality of the tea you drink. Read and discover the main types of tea, and how they are classified across the world.
1. Green Tea
Green Teas are fresh tea leaves with very little processing. They do not undergo the oxidation process. The leaves, after being plucked, are allowed to wither for a few hours. They are then steamed or panned to remove the moisture and trap the antioxidants within the leaves. The flavours of the green tea changes from region to region; with more grassy-flavoured green teas coming from Japan, peachy and chocolaty teas from China and gunpowder flavours coming from Taiwan.
2. White Tea
The most exotic teas in the world, White Teas are the rarest of rare teas. The young fine shoots are hand-picked at the beginning of the season with the fine silver doves still attached to it. The complex light flavoured tea leaves come from Fujian province in China, Darjeeling in India and some parts of Sri Lanka.
3. Black Tea
The most commonly consumed tea in the world, Black Tea is created when tea leaves are exposed to hot air for several hours after being plucked. This process helps reduce the water content of the tea by 50% to 60%. The leaves are then rolled, either by hand or mechanically, to allow essential oils to spread and impregnate the buds. The leaves are then passed through a screen and the smallest leaves go on to the next stage whereas the bigger leaves are rolled again. These are then dried in an oven to stop the oxidation process. The end result is a full-bodied tea, treasured by tea lovers across the world.
4. Oolong Tea
A piece of art, tradition and craftsmanship is seen in a cup of Oolong tea. Oolong tea is oxidized tea and only an expert will know how to extract the right flavour and how much to oxide it. The tea leaves, which may be oxidized from 20% to 80%, are repeatedly rubbed to generate the correct texture and flavour. From soft floral flavours to nutty, toasty flavours, Oolong tea flavours vary depending upon the level of oxidation.