Tea Education

Black Tea

Black tea is the dark amber beverage that results when fully oxidized dried leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis are brewed for about 3 to 4 minutes between 203⁰ and 212⁰ F.  Oxidation, the chemical breakdown of biological compounds in the tea leaves, happens when plucked tea leaves have been left open to the air in a controlled area.  The green pigments of the leaf, the chlorophyll, transform into darker, brown pigments, the tannins.  This full transformation provides the final character of the black tea leaf, including its strength and taste.

To shop for black teas click the Black Tea icon above or click here.

 

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is the amber beverage that results when partially oxidized dried leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis are brewed for about 3 to 4 minutes between 203⁰ and 212⁰ F.  Unlike black teas which are fully oxidized dry tea leaves, oolong tea leaves undergo between 5% to 70% oxidation.  The green pigments of the leaf, the chlorophyll, only partially transform into darker, brown pigments, the tannins.  The tea farmer stops this transformation midstream by heating the leaves to disable the biological compounds that are responsible for breaking down the green pigments.  The partial transformation provides the final character of the oolong tea leaf, including its strength and taste.

To shop for oolong teas click the Oolong Tea icon above or click here.

 

Green Tea

Green tea is the yellowish beverage that results when treated leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis are brewed for about 2 to 3 minutes between 176⁰ to 194⁰ F.  Green tea’s leaves are plucked and then steamed or panned in a wok and then heated soon afterwards.  This relatively immediate heating halts the oxidation process resulting in the dry leaves retaining the original character of the originally plucked tea leaf.  Naturally, as a result, the green tea leaf has a grassier, earthier taste than black and oolong teas. Green teas also have less caffeine than black teas and oolong teas.

To shop for green teas click the Green Tea icon above or click here.

 

White Tea

White tea is the slightly colored beverage that results when the very slightly wilted young delicate and dry leaves and buds of the plant Camellia sinensis are brewed for about 2 to 3 minutes between 176⁰ and 194⁰ F.  White tea is even less oxidized than black or oolong teas.  Unlike green teas, white teas do not undergo steaming or panning.  Rather, like black teas and oolong teas, after a very small wilting period the leaves are heated to stop the oxidation process and further chemical breakdown of the tea leaf.  The lesser processing results in a lighter more airy taste.   White teas generally have less caffeine than black teas and oolong teas.

To shop for white teas click the White Tea icon above or click here.

 

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas comprise a variety of beverages that result when different herbs, flowers and spices, and non-Camellia sinensis plant leaves, are boiled in water for 5-10 minutes.  This category includes rooibos, yerba mate and honeybush.  These three herbs are not from the Camellia sinensis plant, rather they are different species of plants.  Rooibos and honeybush are typically found in Africa, whereas yerba mate is found in South America.

To shop for herbal teas click the Herbal Tea icon above or click here.

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