Types of Tea

Types of Tea

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White Tea

image1What is White Tea
This tisane is the least processed of the tea leaves. It gets its name from the silvery white hairs and appearance of the new, curled-up buds that are plucked before they are open. The buds are then withered and dried. Most of these types of leaves come from China and Japan, where an early spring produces the best harvest. A high quality white infusion is rare and therefore more expensive. The mildness of this light brew lends itself well to blending of other leaves, flowers and oils. Some varieties include Noble, Tribute Eyebrow, Light Peony, and Silver Needle.

Colour & Taste
Pale in colour with a very subtle, delicate taste. Sometimes described as having a lightly sweet or malt flavour.

Caffeine Content
The caffeine content is the lowest, (except decaffeinated) with an average of about 15 mg. per cup.

Brewing
Water should be at a temperature of between 70 and 95C; right before boiling. Check specific recommendations on product label. Steep 2-3 minutes.

Serving
White Tea is best served on its own, as milk spoils the flavour. Sweeten very lightly and add lemon if desired.

Food Pairings
Savour a cup after a meal or at teatime for the best enjoyment.

Health Benefits
The benefits of tea drinking have long been touted as being excellent and studies show that white infusions are especially high in antioxidants, as well as beneficial in many health related issues.


Green Tea

image2What is Green Tea
This tea is often referred to as “unfermented” tea because after the freshly picked tea leaves are dried, they are heated to stop any fermentation. Then they are rolled and dried, in various amounts of times and styles. After a couple hours, the leaves have turned a dull green and are sifted to separate them into different sized pieces of leaves. Most of these types of teas come from China and Japan. The mildness of this light brew lends itself well to blending of other leaves, flowers and oils.  Some varieties include Sencha, Dragon Well, Gunpowder, and Green Tip.

Colour & Taste
Pale green in colour and has a mild, fresh, herb-like flavour. Also can have an astringent or slightly sweet flavour.

Caffeine Content
All true tea has some caffeineThe caffeine content in green leaves is low, with an average of about 20mg. per cup.

Brewing
Water should be at a temperature of between 70 and 95C -right before boiling. Check specific recommendations on product label. Steep 2-3 minutes.

Serving
Green Tea is best served on its own, as milk can spoil its flavour, unless you are making a tea latte. Sweeten very lightly and add lemon if desired.

Food Pairings
Serve with light meals, spicy foods, fish, chesses, after a meal and of course, tea time.

Health Benefits
The health benefits of tea have long been touted as being excellent. There are even studies that show green tea helps with weight loss. Since there is a shorter processing with green leaves, there are more beneficial components kept intact. It offers a high amount of antioxidants, as well as being beneficial in a large range of health related issues.


Oolong / Wulong Tea

image3What is Oolong Tea / Wulong Tea
Oolong (Wu long tea) is a semi-fermented tea that is always whole leaf, bruised but not broken. The leaves are processed immediately after plucking. First they are dried, then shaken in baskets to lightly bruise (oxidize) the edges. Next, they are dried and fired – with the methods and amounts of times varying. The oolong leaves are usually rolled into balls or long curly leaves. Most oolong comes from China and Taiwan (Formosa).Good Oolongs are among the more expensive teas because of strict processing as some processing methods are kept secret by producers. Pouchong tea is another variety of semi- oxidized tea that undergoes an even shorter fermentation than oolongs and could almost have a class of its own. Some varieties include Tung Ting, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, and the famous Wu Yi tea leaves.
Colour & Taste
Oolong varies widely in colour; anywhere from green to   dark. The taste also varies according to many factors. It can be described as flowery, fruity, sweet or nutty.

Caffeine Content
All true tea has some caffeineThe caffeine content in oolongs is at the mid-range among teas, with an average of about 30mg. per cup.

Brewing
If brewed correctly, oolong is one of the smoothest teas in flavour. It is less bitter than black tea and less grassy than green tea. Water should be at a temperature of 95C – just after a rolling boil. Steep 3-6 minutes. Leaves are good for a few infusions.

Serving
Oolongs are best on their own as milk can spoil the flavour. Sweeten very lightly and add lemon if desired.

Food Pairings
Serve with light savoury meals, spicy foods, fish, poultry, after a meal and of course, tea time.

Health Benefits
The health benefits of tea have long been touted as being excellent and oolongs are no exception, with a high rate of polyphenol, an antioxidant, which helps your body fight diseases. Oolong is also famous for the reports of its effectiveness at weight loss.


Black Tea

image4What is Black Tea
The processing of black leaves are the most complex. It has four basic steps – withering, rolling, fermenting and drying; although there are varying methods used in the tea producing regions to achieve these steps. During firing, the leaves turn black and gain their recognizable tea smell. A large amount of commercial tea comes from Assam, India. Some varieties include: Lapsang Souchong, Darjeeling, Keemun, and Ceylon.

Colour & Taste
Brownish / red in colour. The taste is very complex and results from the various polyphenolic compounds found in its make-up.

Caffeine Content
The caffeine content in black leaves is the highest in teas, with an average of     about 40mg. per cup. You can also buy decaffeinated or decaffeinate your own.

Brewing
Water should be at a temperature of 95C – just after a rolling boil. Steep 2-4 minutes, longer if milk is going to be added. Check specific recommendations on product labels.

Serving
Black tea is delicious served with or without milk. Sweeten to your liking.

Food Pairings
Goes well with most all food and mealtimes. It is perhaps not the best choice to have in the evening or before bed, because of its higher caffeine content – unless you choose decaffeinated or add a lot of milk.

Health Benefits
The health benefits of tea have long been touted as being excellent and studies show that those who drink tea are healthier than those who consume coffee.

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