Getting to know your types of tea
Do you know your types of tea? The plant from which tea is harvested is called Camellia sinensis. Despite the fact that there are several different flavors and types of teas, they all originate from the same plant. It’s interesting to note that even teas grown and cultivated in the manner can taste quite different from year to year. Much of this has to do with factors such as the climate, rainfall amount and length of the growing season.
What ultimately gives each kind its own unique properties is the manner in which it’s processed. The amount of fermentation or oxidizing the leaves are exposed to determines its category.
The most common types of tea are:
These are listed in order from least amount of oxidation, or exposure to air, to the highest amount. Characteristics like aroma and flavor are developed in each variety based on the amount of oxidizing it goes through. Some growers will refer to this oxidation process as fermentation, despite the fact that there is no actual fermenting involved. This term is held over from the days in which it was believed that teas fermented much likes wine or other alcohol. Let’s take a closer look at these categories of teas and the manner in which they are produced.