|The Six Main Types of Tea
|When I was a newbie to tea drinking, I assumed that black, green, and oolong
teas, etc., all came from different kinds of tea plants. It turned out I was wrong
about that and many other assumptions I made early on.
One of my goals for The Tea Detective is to share everything I've learned about
tea over the years so you can come to understand and enjoy, as I have, all the
truly remarkable traits and qualities of tea.
|No Tea From the Tree
|White-Green-Black-Yellow-Oolong or Pu-erh
It's All in the Processing
|Once the plucking is finished, the fresh leaf is
quickly taken to a factory or processing facil-
ity, which can be anything from a simple
pavilion set in the midst of the tea garden,
located in a village at the base of the moun-
tain, or a pristine regional factory built spec-
ifically for processing large amounts of tea.
No matter the type of tea being made, all tea
processing has eight common elements,
Number five on the list, the manufacture specific to
the type of tea, is the step that determines the type
of tea being processed. The size of the leaf, the climate in which it was grown, whether at
higher, moist elevations, or lower, drier elevations, whether its a first or second flush, the type
of soil, all goes into what the tea eventually becomes.
But it's mainly the percentage or type of drying or oxidation the leaves receive that determine
the type of tea they will become, whether black tea, which is fully oxidized, green or white tea,
which receive minimal oxidation, or oolong, which lies in the middle and is semi-oxidized.
Be sure to visit the other Tea Detective pages to get an in-depth look at each type of tea, and
to learn more about what it takes to bring the finest teas to your table. Enjoy.
|For more information or to learn more about tea visit, our other pages:
How Shou pu-erh-the faster aging
pu-erh tea is made.
How is Sheng pu-erh made?
How oolong tea is made-nature and a
careful manufacturing process
makes the difference.
How is green tea made?
What makes yellow tea so
How is white tea made?
How is black tea made?
Flavored Teas - All about
everyones favorite teas!
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No reproductions of any kind allowed without permission.
|For a great selection of quality teas, gifts, and
The Tea Detective's Gift of Tea Store
|There are six main types of tea, which are: black
tea, green tea, white, oolong, yellow, and pu-erh.
All come from the same plant family-Camellia
sinensis. So the plucked tea brought to the
processing facilities or factory starts out basically
the same, from the same kind of tea leaves.
There are, of course, other variables such as the
the country and climate where the tea is grown,
type of pluck, is it an early or late spring flush, and
more, that all factor into the production.
|The Camellia sinensis is actually a type of ever-
green that if left alone would grow to heights
ranging from 35 to 60 feet. Most all of the tea we
|drink today comes from well-tended bushes pruned until they are three to five feet tall and wide.
The exception to this is Fenghuang Dan Cong oolong (or Fonghuang Tan-Chung) that is pruned
to grow and develop into a tree with a single trunk and individual branches. Ladders must be
employed to pluck this tea.
|Harvesting the Tea
|Most quality loose leaf tea purchased today is plucked by hand,
mainly by women. Carrying baskets on their backs or heads, the
women make their way through waist high bushes, plucking the tea
leaves from the stem in swift, practiced motions.
Each worker picks about 30,000 shoots a day, about forty pounds,
equalling ten pounds of processed tea leaves.
In Japan many tea companies and estates employ mechanized tea
picking using large machines which ride over the top of the rows of
tea. The tea is processed in large, state-of-the-art mechanized
factories, with little orthodox, artisan teas made by hand.
The opposite is true of China, where they insist the leaf tea have
an excellent appearance through all stages of manufacture. Much
of their high quality leaf is still processed by hand, especially by the
smaller artisan farms.
|Stop by our Marketplace page to buy products referenced above. For your shopping enjoyment and to save you
time and money, I've assembled a nice selection of the most popular styles of teas and products from each of
the six main types of tea as well as popular tools and accessories to help make your tea brewing and drinking
experience more enjoyable.