Plant Camellia Sinensis is the mother of all tea leaves. Type and duration of Fermentation process is what makes all the differences and magic.
White tea is considered to have been the least processed amid the diverse teas we have; taking its name from the white hairs on its surface. The processing procedure is rather simple as it goes through only two procedures: withering and drying, withering being the main part. The tender bud and tender leaves are often noted for their subtleness.
The finished product has green leaves and red veins covered with white hairs. The brewed tea leaves open up fully underwater and the tea soup has a subtle aroma with a light color.
Green tea is known for its incredible health benefits; among many are improved brain function, fat loss and a lower risk of cancer. It is also the earliest unfermented tea processed by humans. The soup is green as are the leaves. The dry tealeaves are green and the brewed tealeaves are fresh green. In the production of green tea, three processing procedures are required: rolling, fixation and drying. Fixation decides the color of the green tea.
Like all other unfermented teas, green tea retains much of the natural components of the tealeaves.
Yellow tea is also an unfermented tea featuring yellow leaves and yellow tea soup. Similar to white tea, it has a pleasant aroma. The taste, however, is quite brisk.
Yellow tea is produced in more or less the same process as green tea except one difference: the yellow simmering before or after rolling or before or after the first drying. Yellow simmering is one of the unique steps exclusive to yellow tea.
The unique process of Yellow tea results in a tea that is good for fixing indigestion and helping with weight loss. Yellow tea is also considered to be healthier than Green tea by some as it doesn’t cause any stomach problems.
Black tea is a fully fermented tea. Contrary to its name, it has a red tea soup. Black tea requires withering, rolling, fermentation and drying. For the special “Souchong black tea”, two extra procedures are needed: hot pot frying and steam baking.
About 78% of the entire world's total tea consumption is black tea. Black tea, or as it is known in China - hong cha (red tea), was originally only for export to the foreign markets. In China it is called red tea due to the color of the liquid or to the red edges of the leaves, as opposed to the color of the main body of the processed tea leaves. At one time, Black tea was considered of lesser quality and not desired by the Chinese themselves, and therefore was exported. Which is why, to this day, Black tea is what everyone outside of China thinks of when talking about tea, whereas, tea in China is understood to mean Green tea.
Oolong tea is a unique tea and is rarely found outside of Fujian, Guangdong, and Taiwan. Oolong tea falls in between black and green tea, respectively, in that it has the richness and freshness of black tea and the fragrance of green tea. However the bitter taste of the green tea and the raw taste of the green tea is left out.
Pu-erh is commended for its rich, natural flavor and health benefits. It can reduce cholesterol and fix any digestion problems thus making it a great reliever for after a big meal.
Piling is a key procedure in the processing procedure in which the sunned semi-processed tea is piled up, watered and stored in an environment with a temperature exceeding 25 degrees Celsius and a humidity level of 85 percent in order for the fermentation to take place rapidly.
Blooming or Herbal tea is made up of a bundle of dried tea leaves wrapped around one or more dried flowers. These bundles are set to dry. After the process of steeping, the bundles expand in a manner similar to that of a blooming flower. The tea leaves are obtained mainly from the Yunnan province of China.
Serving blooming tea in a container that is transparent allows drinkers to behold the beautiful and captivating “blooming” effect of the leaves making it one of the more elegant teas to sip on. To this day it is unknown whether or not the blooming tea is a modern invention or an ancient one.
The name probably gives you an idea of what this tea has to offer. Made purely from Chinese medicinal herbs, this tea has many health benefits. Amongst these the most notable are that it helps to fight colds, indigestion and infection.
It usually has a bitter or slightly sweet taste. The color depends on the type of herbs used in making the herbal tea. Even though its called a tea, it rarely includes any part of the tea plant.
In the Chinese language, herbal tea is called “cooling tea” due to the fact that herbal tea is consumed for the purpose of cooling down the body. The different kinds of herbal tea are purported to cure different kinds of diseases. Some herbal teas are used to cure the flu, some for sore throat and some are used for a multitude of ailments.
Herbal tea is popular in Guangdong, Macau and Hong Kong as compared to the rest of China. In fact, it’s become such a craze in these regions that families open their own herbal tea shops to sell different kinds of herbal tea. Some of these shops have been open for over a century!