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It is more than just types of tea...

By :MYGreenMed 0 comments
It is more than just types  of tea...

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It is more than just types of tea...

Do you have a preference for tea? Definitely, you do and I refuse to think you haven't taken a deep sniff of a fragrant cup of tea someone made and brought over to you on the sofa at some point, possibly during a period of congestion or sickness, and not thank its soothing succor.

Tea is a potent beverage. With only about a third of the caffeine in coffee, tea provides a softer way to wake up, allowing you to drink more and more frequently—which is especially beneficial because most tea leaves can be steeped multiple times before losing their flavour. Different forms of tea also contain l-theanine, an amino acid that has been associated to feelings of calm and well-being in studies.The science isn't conclusive, but I'll tell you what I tell my tea lecture and class attendees: excellent tea makes you feel good.

That's basically all there is to it when it comes to learning how to drink various types of tea. There are hundreds of styles and varieties of beer created around the world, as well as about as many techniques of brewing it. It does, however, help to have a rudimentary understanding of the essentials when exploring such a broad field. After all, tea is the world's second most popular beverage after water, and it's grown on every continent except Antarctica.

Green, black, oolong, and other types of tea are all made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, a subtropical shrub native to eastern India, northern Laos, and Vietnam, and southern China. Plant variety, growth conditions, and processing style all contribute to flavour variations.Based on the technique of processing, most "genuine" teas can be divided into a few major types. Here's how to figure out what's going on.

TYPES OF TEA

Green Tea

Plucking a tea leaf, like slicing apart an apple, begins a complicated chain of oxidative and enzymatic processes that results in brown plant tissue with distinct smells and scents. Green tea's purpose is to stop these reactions as soon as possible, keeping the leaf's vegetal flavour.Spring peas, freshly cut grass, lightly toasted hazelnut, and even brackish seaweed floating in the broth are all flavours that green teas can have. Greens of high quality have a strong scent and a sweet flavour.

The increased amount of antioxidants kept in the leaf by arresting oxidation rapidly has sparked a lot of buzz about green tea's supposed health advantages. This is a case where, in my opinion, the verdict is still out. Furthermore, suggestions that green tea contains less caffeine than other varieties are untrue.

Caffeine is found in all Camellia sinensis teas, although the exact amount is regulated by a variety of characteristics that have nothing to do with processing. So you drink green tea because you enjoy the flavour.Sencha and gyokuro, both of which have a deep umami sweetness, as well as lighter Chinese types like bi luo chun and tai ping hou kui, the latter of which is composed of huge appealing leaves pressed flat as a bookmark, are two of my favorites.

Black Tea

Green tea's polar opposite is black tea, which is made by allowing fresh tea leaves to fully oxidize before drying. This oxidation, combined with the leaves' careful rolling and kneading, results in malty and tannic components, as well as fruity and chocolate flavors. Many tea users find that black tea is easier to drink on an empty stomach than green tea because of this thorough oxidation.Black tea processing results in richer tastes and a fuller body across the board, which is why it goes so well with milk (fresh or condensed), sugar, honey, spices, and my personal favorite, a tablespoon of Russian-style raspberry jam.

In the nineteenth century, Britons liked black tea from China. When planters in British territories in India, Sri Lanka, and Kenya battled to find out how to process all the tea they'd stolen from China and forced indigenous to produce on their own soil, they turned to black tea.To this day, the Indian states of Assam and Darjeeling produce some of the world's most well-known black teas; the former is particularly brisk and malty, while the latter is well-known for its delicacy and delicate flavor. Baked plum and chocolate flavors can be found in Chinese black tea styles like as mao Feng and Keemun. My life-or-death black teas, on the other hand, are from Taiwan.Sun Moon Lake cultivars are incredibly aromatic, with notes of ripe cherry and spice and a body so thick you'd guess there was sugar added.

Oolong Tea

Oolong teas are in the middle of the oxidation spectrum, with green teas scarcely oxidised and black teas almost totally oxidised. They're a cheesy category since oolongs have such a wide spectrum of flavour and scent due to unique changes in how they're prepared. The methods to wither, knead, fire, roll, dry, and roast oolong take a day to learn but a lifetime to master, similar to cooking the perfect omelet.There is no English title for the category because it is so complicated and rarely understood in the West; the closest translation of the Mandarin "wu long" is "black dragon," which refers to the serpentine shape of certain oolong tea varieties created in Fujian Province.

High mountain oolongs in Taiwan may appear almost as green as green tea, but a few nudges of oxidation have turned the crisp, grassy notes into creamy, buttery flavours with a pronounced floral lilt.Older styles like dong ding and tieguanyin are more oxidised and subsequently nutty, surrendering the strong aromatics of their less oxidised counterparts for a richer body and a long-lasting finish.

Roasting oolong is as important as manufacturing it in China. The Wuyi cliffs' heavily roasted oolongs smoulder with whiskey-like aromas of caramel, leather, and a hint of mineral saline.

Fermented Tea and Aged Tea

Before drinking, many traditional teas are matured for months, years, or even decades. While green teas and lighter oolongs are best savoured when young, a variety of white, black, and oolong varieties can mature into new depths with age. Because processing processes may not completely eradicate the microscopic organisms naturally present in tea leaves, some teas undergo bacterial and fungal activity throughout age. Although these teas do not produce alcohol or lactic acids in the same way that beer or pickles do, they are fermented nonetheless, and certain vintages fetch tens of thousands of dollars per pound at auction.

Pu-erh is the most well-known of these fermented teas, and it's produced in China's Yunnan Province, as well as neighbouring Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. This tea starts off as a green tea, but as it ages, the grassy flavours fade away, leaving a deep depth of varnished wood, worn leather, and mellow earthiness in its place.Liu an, my personal favorite, undergoes a similar process and is matured in little bamboo baskets lined with bamboo leaves that can be brewed alongside the tea. This is not to be confused with Burmese fermented tea leaves, which are lactofermented before being mixed into salads and are not used for tea.

White Tea

White teas emphasise letting nature take its course, whilst oolongs emphasis thorough processing. Tea leaves are plucked and dried in the sun or using powerful air vents with minimal processing. The leaves oxidise slightly as they dry, giving them a rich, creamy texture and mild floral tastes.

White teas are rather delicate, with the exception of coarser leaf grades such as gong mei and shou mei. Silver needle is the most delicate of the bunch, with a marshmallowy sweetness and a fresh linens perfume. It's created only from unopened buds. White peony, also known as Bai mu dan, has a more floral scent.
 

Fringe Tea Styles

The five categories above are widely considered the five major types of tea, however they don't account for every possible type of tea out there, much like any human-made taxonomy.Yellow tea is a specialty in China, with processing similar to green tea but with additional procedures to smother and sweat the leaves, creating a less harsh, more rounded tea that is neither green nor white. Meanwhile, hwangcha, or yellow tea, is a Korean tea that is processed differently than Chinese yellow tea and can taste similar to oolong or black tea.(While linked with China and Japan's tea-making traditions, Korean styles are distinct and do not fit easily into Chinese or British classifications).

The first flush, or harvest of the year, in the Darjeeling hills is processed into a tea that's marketed as "black tea" but isn't—extensively it's withered but hardly rolled or oxidised, so the leaves retain areas of green and it boils up a pale amber, with fresh piney aromas unlike anything else. Some call it a white tea or an oolong, but it's neither.Don't even get me started on awabancha, a pickled Japanese tea that's designed to be brewed. The idea is that tea is a large and complex facet of human activity that doesn't necessarily fit neatly into neat boxes!

Herbal and Grain Tea

Teas prepared from herbs, flowers, and grains are known as tisanes or herbal infusions to separate themselves from Camellia sinensis teas. They are likely as old as "real" tea itself. Tea leaves were used as a medication long before they were used as a beverage, and many popular herbal teas started out as medicinal teas. You've certainly heard of chamomile, mint, and rose-hip, but you should also look for elderflower, Greek mountain herb tea, and chrysanthemum, all of which have a devoted following worldwide.

Teas produced from toasted grains are very popular in Korea and Japan. Soothing, naturally rich beverages can be made using barley, Tartary buckwheat, Job's tears, and even maize silk. Even better, these teas are delightfully refreshing whether cold brewed or served over ice, making them the ideal caffeine-free drink to make in bulk and guzzle throughout the hottest summer days.

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