The Ultimate Tea Guide

The Ultimate Tea Guide

Tea is more than just a beverage; it's a tradition and ritual steeped in history, culture, and flavour. Whether it's black, green, white, or the increasingly popular matcha, each type of tea offers a unique experience and taste. The primary factor that differentiates teas is their oxidation level, which occurs when tea leaves are exposed to oxygen in the air. Read on to find out about the 6 main types of teas!

  1. Black Tea:

    1. Black tea is highly oxidized, producing a rich, robust flavour, deep red liquor, and can be enjoyed with or without milk and sugar.

    2. It comes in two main processing methods: Orthodox, and CTC (Crush, Tear, Curl). The fundamental difference between Orthodox and CTC teas is the treatment of leaves, in Orthodox teas are usually harvested and processed by hand to get intact, whole leaves – small, young tea leaves plucked from the tips of the tea bush, while CTC teas the leaves are crushed, teared and curled (CTC) as part of the processing method.

    3. CTC teas generally have a more bitter taste in comparison and Orthodox teas are typically of a higher quality.

    4. All our herbal tea at Dessoi is made from Orthodox black teas, which is blended in small batches with the essential oils of wonder herbs and natural ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, ajwain, rose, etc.

  2. Green Tea:

    1. Green tea, minimally oxidized, offers a fresh, grassy, and slightly sweet flavour with a vibrant green colour. To make green tea, the tea leaves are withered and then steamed or pan fried before rolling or shaping, the oxidation process is not as extensive as for black teas in order to preserve the rich green colour and fresh flavour of the tea

    2. Varieties like matcha, a powdered form renowned in China and Japan, and sencha, a popular Japanese tea, exemplify green tea's diverse appeal.

    3. There are multiple grades and types of matcha available, while the ceremonial grade is considered the best one for its vibrant colour and flavour profile

  3. White Tea:

    1. White tea is made from young buds and leaves that are plucked early in the season, then dried and withered. It is considered very rare and primarily imported from China and Japan.

    2. The name of the tea comes from the colour of the buds, and it has a more subtle and nuanced flavour

  4. Pu-erh Tea:

    1. Originating from Yunnan province in China, Pu-erh tea undergoes minimal initial processing before being fermented, similar to wine. This unique process enhances its flavour profile over time.

  5. Yellow Tea:

    1. Once reserved for Chinese emperors and considered the rarest of rare teas, yellow tea undergoes a special wrapping or yellowing process after being processed similar to green tea. This gives it a distinct colour and smooth finish.

    2. The finish of yellow tea is smooth, and it tastes like a light green tea, with a warm character

  6. Oolong Tea:

    1. It’s a partially oxidised tea whose oxidation levels lie somewhere between a black and green tea. As part of processing the tea, tea leaves are partially oxidized, then rolled and dried, sometimes roasted to enhance their flavour further, resulting in a complex range of flavours and infusions ranging from light green to dark red in colour

Although not technically a type of tea, herbal teas are popular blends made by combining green or black tea with herbs and natural ingredients. Herbal teas are not to be confused with herbal infusions or tisanes which are made with a wide array of herbal ingredients and do not contain any tea. Herbal teas offer a wide range of flavours and health benefits.

In conclusion, there are six main types of tea, each distinguished by its processing method and level of oxidation: black, green, white, pu-erh, yellow, and oolong. Each type of tea offers a unique flavour profile, varying levels of caffeine and set of health benefits. Enjoy exploring the diverse world of tea and find your perfect brew.

Until we meet again, happy teatime from all of us at Dessoi!

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