A few basic facts to start…Countless types of tea are produced and enjoyed globally, and although they might look and taste very different, they are all made from the leaves of the evergreen plant, Camellia Sinensis. As with wine, each tea has its own character, and even teas of the same variety differ in flavor from region to region. The six main types of tea are Green, White, Oolong, Black, Pu’er and Yellow tea. Most teas are grown on estates or gardens in the mountainous cool regions of China, Japan, India and Taiwan.
Rooibos, or “Red Tea” is an herbal and comes from a bush grown in South Africa. Herbals are made with flowers and herbs and do not contain any tea and therefore no caffeine.
The categories of tea-white, green, oolong and black all begin with the Camellia sinensis plant. What makes them so different when they land in your cup is what happens to the leaves after they are harvested…
Black tea involves withering the tea leaves to cause oxidation. It is fully fermented and therefore has the most caffeine.
Oolong tea is a fragrant semi-oxidized tea; the slightly withered leaves are gently rolled to oxidize the outside of the leaf. They can be infused multiple times.
Green tea is not fermented and is subtler than black tea. The leaves are pan-fried or steamed to keep them from oxidizing. The whole process takes only one day.
White tea is the least processed of all tea varietals. Pure, downy white buds from Fujian Province, China, are hand-plucked and carefully dried and carefully dried
without rolling or oxidation.