Tea: leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant.
White tea: leaves and buds are delicately picked, handled and allowed to wither in natural sunlight but prevented from oxidising. The name "white tea" derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance. High water temperature scolds the leaf causing a bitter taste.
Yellow tea: a special tea treated similarly to white tea, but with a slower drying phase, where the damp tea leaves are allowed to sit and yellow. The tea generally has a very yellow-green appearance and a smell different from both white tea and green tea. High water temperature scolds the leaf causing a bitter taste.
Green tea: treated similar to white tea but may also be steamed and rolled to have a very flat appearance. Minimal oxidation occurs with some varieties having a vegetal type flavour. High water temperature scolds the leaf causing a bitter taste.
|Oolong Tea / Blue Tea|
Oolong Tea: uniquely processed to allow withering of the plant leaf under strong sun. Oxidation occurs before curling and twisting. This part-oxidised tea is also know in China as Blue Tea. High water temperature scolds the leaf causing a bitter taste.
|Black Tea (aka Red Tea in China)|
Black Tea: fully oxidised, stronger in flavour and more robust than the previous tea types. Typical and well known black leaf teas are Assam, Darjeeling and Keemun along with Lapsang Souchong and Earl Grey blends.
|Pu Erh Tea|
Pu Erh Tea: also know as ‘formed’ tea or ‘antique’ tea. Fully oxidised dark tea produced in Yunnan province, China. The leaves are steamed post oxidation, pressed into a form or shape and then stored to mature for years and / or decades. Pu Erh ‘pies’ have been know to sell for thousands and tens of thousands of pounds!