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Did you know black, oolong, pu er, yellow, green and white tea come from the same plant?
This plant is called Camellia Sinensis. It exists many varieties but the most popular for producing teas are:
Camellia sinensis var. sinensis known as China bush
Camellia sinensis var. assamica, known as Assam bush (a state in northeastern India)
and the commercially unimportant Camellia irrawadiensis, called Cambodia bush.
Most cultivars fall under China bush, among many others, for instance, Shuixian, Dahongpao, Rougui, and some several dozen others best known for producing oolong.
Literally, “cultivated variety.” Any plant sub-variety within a particular cultivated species that distinguished by one or more characteristics. Thus wine grape cultivars include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc.
Black tea is a type of tea that is made from tea leaves that have been highly oxidized. The level of oxidation influence the taste of the teas, for black teas are known to have more character which results in stronger flavor than other types of teas.
In Chinese and the languages of neighboring countries, black tea is known as “red tea” a description of the color of the liquid aka liquor; the Western term “black tea” refers to the color of the dried oxidized leaves.
It is the oxidation process, oxygen coming into contact with the enzymes in the tea leaf, that creates black tea. Black teas have a fuller and richer flavor than unprocessed teas.
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process including withering the plant under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.
Oolong tea falls between the green and the black tea categories, with degrees of oxidation can range from 7% to 70%. Simply explained as semi-oxidized tea, it has generally a smoother taste than black tea. As you resteep it the long leaf will unfurled like a blossoming flower. You will experience different notes as you re-infuse it.
Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation applied when processing oolong tea or black tea.
Green tea leaves are not oxidized. Generally the tea leaves are pan-fired or steamed (mainly in Japan) and undergo three treatments: roasting, rolling and firing.
Japan green teas are manufactured differently, by steaming rather than pan firing.
Green tea is an excellent thirst-quencher and can be drunk throughout the day. It does contains a lot of antioxidants.
Nearly all green teas come from China and Japan.
White tea is the most subtle tea and the one that is known to have the more antioxidant which helps to boost the immune system.
It is harvested primarily in China, mostly in the Fujian province, but more recently it is produced
in Eastern Nepal, Taiwan, Northern Thailand and Galle (Southern Sri Lanka) and India.
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