Page 13 - preparation of tea
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B. Types of Tea
All told, there are more than 3,000 varieties of tea. Like wine, various types take their inherent taste and appearance characteristics from the regions in which they are grown. General tea types, Black Oolong or Green are all harvested from the same plant species, Camellia Sinensis. The difference
in the three categories is determined by the amount of leaf oxidation that occurs during processing. The oxidation process was erroneously referred to for many years as “fermentation” but actually has nothing to do with the true chemical fermentation process.
1. Black Teas: Withered, rolled, fully oxidized and dried.
a. Assam: Grown in the northeast Assam region of India. Bright color with full-bodied
malt taste.
b. English Breakfast: Traditionally a blend of China Keemun. Today, the blend has evolved
to include many different origins. The goal is to create a rich, bright, full-bodied brew that
can stand up to the addition of milk.
c. Darjeeling: Known as the “champagne of tea”. Grown in the foothills of the Himalayas,
with a subtle flowery bouquet and a delicate muscatel flavor.
d. Ceylon Breakfast: A blend of fine teas grown on the hillsides of Sri Lanka producing a
rich golden liquor with superb flavor.
e. Keemun: A fine black tea from the Anhui Province of China. It has a rich amber color and
unique wine-like characteristic.
f. Lapsang Souchong: A large leaf China black tea with a distinctive smoky flavor, resulting
from its unique process.
g. Irish Breakfast: Similar to English Breakfast but with more emphasis on the robust
character of Assam tea.
2. FlavoredTeas
a. Earl Grey: A blend of fine black teas flavored with oil of bergamot.
3. Oolong Teas: Withered, rolled/processed partially oxidized and dried.
This category is not indigenous to a particular region, but is produced mainly in China either on the mainland or on the island of Taiwan. Oolong teas have an extremely delicate fruity/ nutty aroma and taste. The color and taste profiles can vary greatly due to the extent that the product is oxidized. There are a vast number of oolong types as the range/degree of oxidation is almost infinite, due to variables in time, temperature, humidity and volume of tea running through the system.
a. Black Dragon: A delicate fruity tea from the Amoy, Foochow & Canton provinces of China & Taiwan.
b. China Oolong: Select large leaf teas from China.
c. Formosa Oolong: Teas from Taiwan, known for their “peach” flavor and aroma.
4. Green Tea: Withered, heated, rolled/processed and dried.
a. Pan Fired: Green tea, the oxidation of which has been halted by intense dry heat. There
are hundreds of types of green. Characteristic taste varies greatly from mild/fragrant to pungent/astringent. The color is yellowish-green. Gunpowder is a type of green that has been rolled into pellets, the size of which help to determine its level of quality.
b. Sencha: Green tea that has been steamed to stop oxidation. This process creates a unique flavor bouquet.
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