There are four main types of tea, and all four originate from the tea plant camellia sinensis. The specific picking and processing methods determine the type of tea finally produced.
This is a more exclusive tea, as the unopen buds are picked from specially cultivated bushes in just a few days at the beginning of the season. The leaves are not fermented but instead left to wither naturally, then steamed. The pale, yellow tea they produce is low in caffeine and tastes mild and lightly sweet. Also known as ‘silver needle’, white tip should be served without milk.Explore
Green tea is unfermented. The leaves are hand-picked then rolled and dried quickly so they do not go brown. Sencha is the purest variety as its leaves are rolled and steamed dry immediately after picking. Green tea has a distinctive aroma and a slightly bitter taste. To counter this bitterness, rinse the loose tea leaves thoroughly with water before infusing. Always serve without milk.Explore
Chinese for ‘black dragon, oolong tea is semi-fermented, and the leaves are processed immediately after picking. The use of the whole tea leaf produces a pungent, fruity taste. Low in caffeine, this tea is smoother than black tea but less fresh-tasting than green tea. The two types, ‘china oolong’ and ‘formosa oolong’, differ in taste due to their fermentation times.Explore
Traditionally, the leaves were hand-picked, left to wither until limp enough to be rolled without spitting, then spread out in a cool, humid place to absorb oxygen before being fired. Modern methods create smaller tea particles, which brew quicker. Popular black teas are Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, keemun and lapsang souchong.Explore