Types of Tea
All tea - Green, White, Oolong and Black are from the leaves and buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant but are picked at different stages and processed in different ways.
Green tea is totally un-oxidised (compared to black teas which are fully oxidised). Fermentation is blocked as soon as possible to preserve all the natural properties of the fresh leaf. The freshly plucked leaves are tumbled quickly in a panning machine and are then rolled by hand to give the leaf a particular appearance. To remove all but 2-3% of the remaining water, the tea is then dried in hot ovens.
White tea (Bai Mu Dan)
Getting its name from the silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds, white tea is prepared from fresh young spring buds and baby leaves. The carefully selected leaves are then gently withered in the sun, getting this right is a difficult and complicated process and is done under the expert supervision of a Tea Master. White tea is rare and more sought after than green tea with similar health benefits.
This is semi-oxidised tea, half-way between green and black tea. The freshly plucked leaf is withered, then shaken in a tumbling machine to lightly bruise parts of the leaf, then oxidised for a short time so that the bruised parts of the leaf begin to oxidise. When 60-70% oxidation has been reached, the leaf is dried.
Puerh tea is named after Puerh city in Yunnan province - aged for up to 50 years in humidity and temperature-controlled conditions to produce teas that have a typically earthy, mature, smooth flavour and aroma.
During the processing of the tea leaves the leaves are fully oxidized and fermented. It has a higher caffeine content and is generally stronger in flavour than the other teas varieties. The common name of 'black' tea for the different variety of Black teas comes from the tea leaves themselves. After the leaves have been plucked and processed they turn a black colour. When poured however, most Black teas will have a dark amber hue to them.