As you wake up in the morning, possibly one of the first things you consume is your daily cup of warm delicious brew, your tea! A strong aroma that fills your nostrils and gives you the motivation to kick start your day. Or perhaps, a cup to help satiate your appetite, or to get the conversation flowing! Tea’s been a beloved drink for all of us, and still beats everything else in our daily schedule!
But do you know how your favourite brew is made, or what makes it different from other types of tea out there?
There are mainly four types of tea:
- Green tea
- Black tea
- Oolong tea
- White tea
All four types of teas are made from the same tea plant, Camellia Sinensis! However it’s the processing that separates it from other varieties!
Green tea is made by withering tea leaves - and then steaming, rolling and drying them. It undergoes minimal processing, and contains 80-90% catechins and flavonols (10% of total flavonoids). With green coloured leaves, the brew is pale green or lemon-yellow.
Black tea involves additional processing (aeration and withering). As a result, it has different levels of catechins (20–30%) and flavonoid content. Black tea is the most common type of tea produced, with a dark brown colour and a sweet aroma.
Oolong tea is a partially oxidized tea and undergoes the most difficult and time consuming processing. Being a full bodied tea, Oolong tea contains some qualities of both Black and Green tea! With its fragrant flavour and sweet fruity aroma, it is the favoured choice for people who prefer a low caffeine option.
White tea is the most delicate of all teas. To produce this, the tea leaves are only slightly oxidized. The result of this is a tea with a mild flavour and natural sweetness. White tea is appreciated by tea connoisseurs for its subtlety, and complexity.
So now that you know, you can savour the next cup with even more vigour, with the knowledge of how your favourite beverage is made!