We enjoy our daily cup of tea. But does anyone know where our precious tea is coming from? Is it some kind of magic tree where we just can pick our leaves? Well yeah...actually it is! The plant is called Camellia Sinensis. And it's rooted in ancient China.
Nowadays there are a lot of other countries producing tea as well. But for now, we're only going to talk about the Chinese plant.
" How can one plant produce so many different types of tea? "
To find out we must answer a few questions:
1. White tea
Let's start with white tea. Only the fresh buds and leaves at the top are handpicked and dried with the greatest care. White tea is the less processed. Nevertheless, the process is one of the most difficult. Because the slightest change in temperature or humidity could change the whole process.
The name white tea comes from the tiny white hairs you can find on these leaves. And of course from its almost invisible color.
2. Green tea
Green tea has become very popular the last few years. It has a very positive impact on our health. Partial because it's loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients.
Compared to our white tea, these leaves first get roasted or steamed. The high temperature stops the oxidation process. Then the leaves are rolled. This can be done in many shapes.
At the end, the leaves are dried. This is done by baking, roasting or sun drying. Each method gives the tea its own unique taste.
3. Oolong tea
The third type of tea is Oolong (or red tea). To make Oolong tea there are a lot of processing steps. This is one of the most complex and difficult methods of all teas. It requires a lot of knowledge. Compared to green tea, the leaves of Oolong tea are oxidated. To achieve its level of oxidation the leaves are first withered in the sunlight and then shaken. After the oxidation, they are baked to prevent any further oxidation.
Because of its complex processing method, there are a lot of different types of Oolong teas. All with their own specific beautiful flavor.
4. Black tea
The last type of tea we're discussing in this article is black tea. When the leaves are soft enough they are ready to be rolled. After the rolling part, it's time for the oxidation process. This may take several hours. The oxidation again is a crucial step, similar to the Oolong tea. Once the process is finished, the leaves are dried until they reach their unique flavor.
Now you know the four main types of tea. There are some we have not discussed yet. Lik Pu-erh tea, yellow tea, ... we will talk about them later.
Now it's time to experiment with the different colors. And experience the real power of tea!
What I would like you to do is to experiment with these flavors. Maybe you already have a favorite tea. Go and search further. There are so many flavors in every color. That are definitely worth the search.
Feel free to share your favorite flavor below in the comments. Or maybe a new delicious tea you discovered. I would love to hear from you.
Now we know what types of tea exist. What's the next thing we need to create our own sound of tea? Of course...water! In the next article, we will talk about the importance of the water we choose.
See you soon.
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