|Tea Type||Green tea||White Tea||Oolong Tea||Herbal Tea||Black Tea|
|Brewing temperature||80 C||85C||90C||100C||100C|
There are four main types of teas from the tea plant camellia sinensis. The picking and processing methods determine the type of tea finally produced.
- BLACK TEA
Black tea is the most common type of tea worldwide. It is made by fermenting the harvested leaves for a couple of hours before heating or drying. This oxidation darkens the leaves and increases the amount of caffeine. Of all the teas, black tea has the strongest colour and flavour.
- WHITE TEA
White tea is the rarest and the most exclusive tea. White tea consists of the whitish buds of the tea plant which are steamed then left to dry naturally. This tea is low in caffeine and has a slightly sweet flavour.
- GREEN TEA
Green tea makes up approximately ten percent of the world’s tea. The leaves are picked, rolled and dried before they can go brown. Green tea has a distinctive aroma and has a slight astringent taste.
- OOLONG TEA
Oolong Tea is semi fermented, which means leaves are processed immediately after picking. They only have a short period of oxidation which turns the leaves from green to red/ brown. Its leaves have a floral, fruity quality and hence have a delicate fruity taste. It is recommended not to drink Oolong tea with milk, sugar or lemon.
- HERBAL INFUSIONS OR TISANES
Herbal infused teas are not produced from the tea plant, but from flowers, leaves, roots or seeds. Common herbal beverages are chamomile, peppermint, fennel, rose hip, and lemon verbena. Herbal infusions that do not contain tea will generally not become bitter with extended brews. These can often be brewed with boiling water 3 times without jeopardising the taste.
Tea producers make blends by combining different types of teas, often in order to achieve flavour consistency from one season to the next. Common black tea blends include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Irish Breakfast, and Russian Caravan.
Teas stored inside a vacuum sealed bag can be stored for up to two years, depending on the quality and grade of tea. Once opened, tea should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a dry and dark place.
Once opened, black teas will last longer than green and oolong teas but all tea needs to be stored in ideal conditions.
You can tell when tea is past its best if it has lost its aroma and will create either a bitter or dull tasting cup.
TIPS FOR OPTIMAL TEA BREWING
Water quality affects taste. For best results, use filtered water.
Finer tea particles and leaves will infuse more quickly than whole leaves. As a result, finer tea particles often release too much tannin too quickly, creating a harsher taste. Adjust the brewing time until desired strength is achieved.
Learn how to make iced tea.