Tea is the most preferred drink around the world. There are people who don’t like coffee but drink tea. There are different types of tea around the world and if you are a tea lover then it will be interesting to know a bit of information about tea.
Interesting Fact: Though there are different types of tea, all types of tea are obtained from the same plant named Camellia Sinensis. But, how do we get different types of tea like black tea, white tea, green tea and so on? The answer is simple. The buds and the leaves that are obtained from the plant undergo different methods of transformation which gives us different teas for our taste buds. This can be clearly understood if we understand how the tea is processed from tea plant to teacup.
Picking: Generally, the buds and leaves of the plant are picked only twice a year; in early summer or late spring and in early spring. Though many companies use machines to pick leaves, handpicked leaves are the best as the machine will destroy most of the leaves. Withering: In this stage, the picked leaves are spread in a room of racks to let them dry so that the excess water gets removed from it.
Rolling: The leaves obtained from the withering stage are twisted and rolled. This is done to break the leaves and let out the juices from the leaves to distribute uniform oxidation.
Oxidation: The leaves are then placed in the closed room to oxidize the leaves. Darker the leaf, more oxidized they are and greener the leaves, less oxidized they are. This is one of the easy steps as it can be checked just by observing the leaf color.
Drying or firing: Finally, the leaves are dried in large machinery without burning the leaves as it is to complete the oxidation. Thus obtained leaves are finally sealed with the final flavor.
The above are the general steps involved in processing the tea leaves. One may get a question on the mind so as to how the tea varies from green tea, white tea and so on? That is, where does the tea differ from one another?
Yellow Tea: Once the tea leaves are dried as per the above-specified step, the dried leaves are placed in a closed container and they are heated slightly to get a yellowish color. This is where yellow tea differs from the rest.
White Tea: Here, the leaves of the plant that have not fully bloomed are plucked. The leaves of this type of tea are least processed. Here, the young leaves do not undergo the oxidation process. The leaves are directly fired or steamed after the withering process.
Once the leaves are fired, they are ready to be packed without undergoing the other processes. The top two leaves and the leaf bud are plucked for this type of tea.
The leaves of the plant are oxidized in a different way so that it undergoes minimal oxidation. The oxidation process is carried on by heating the leaves with steam which is a Japanese method or dry cooking in the pans as the Chinese method.
Black Tea: The youngest leaves and buds are plucked for this type of tea. The leaves for this type of tea undergo almost all process. The withering process is continued for several hours and is oxidized completely which make take weeks and months. Once the oxidation process is completed, they are completely dried in a high tempered oven to get a brown or black color.
Oolong Tea: The youngest leaf and the bud is the target here for oolong tea. The processing of this type of tea is not as long as black tea and not short as that of green tea. The leaves are only partially oxidized and are heated at high temperature to reduce the water content.
Dark Tea: This tea is also called as post-fermented tea and undergoes second oxidation. The leaves are left in the open air and it may take a long period of time for this process.
This changes the color and flavor of the tea and this type of tea contains high caffeine.
So, did you get to know how the tea varies? Want to taste the different types of teas? Order one in our website, tea-and-coffee.com and we will deliver it to you at your doorstep.