The purpose of tea basics is to give you an easy to comprehend guide to tea with relevant information. We are not here to weigh you down with an encyclopedia of tea. Rather, we offer a simple manual on the basics of tea and how tea & botanicals can benefit your life. Most importantly, we want to make it easy for you to select the tea that goes with your lifestyle, and will satisfy your needs. If you would like more extensive information regarding tea or botanicals, please CONTACT ADMARI.
WHAT IS TEA?
Although all true tea comes from one plant, Camellia Sinensis, there are thousands of varieties of that plant. White tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh/pu'er tea may come from different varieties of camellia sinensis, but it is simply how the leaf is processed that makes them different. Different levels of oxidation, that is exposing the crushed leaf to air, determine the type of tea. Tea flavor profiles and quality vary from growing season to growing season, just like wine. And like wine, the terrior (soil, weather, location & the culture of the place it was grown) of the tea plant will have an impact on the final taste of the processed leaf. Herbal teas, like chamomile or peppermint (see the benefit blend Tranquil), are truly tisanes – botanical infusions made from other ingredients that are not derived from the camellia sinensis plant.
Admari Tea utilizes many different types of tea, herbs, spices and other botanicals to create our unique benefit blends.
TYPES OF TEA
Black tea is the fully oxidized leaf of the camellia sinensis plant. It comes in a wide variety of types and flavors from many countries. They can range from light to full body, sweet to bold, floral to malty. In China, black tea is referred to as red tea due to the color of the liquor.
Pu-erh tea is known for its characteristic earthy, woodsy aroma and flavor. It is a post-fermented tea. The flavor can range from complex, intense body to unique "old wood" character. The color too may be golden green to coffee black. Pu-erh is also touted for its many health benefits.
HERBAL OR BOTANICAL TEA
Herbals, tisanes or botanicals are not considered true tea. They are teas derived from a variety of plants, herbs and spices. There is a wide variety flavors possible with herbals. This is a popular category to blend in flavoring and spices to create a truly unique experience. Many herbals & botanicals are naturally caffeine free.
White tea is simple and pure, just fresh plucked tea leaves that are skillfully air-dried. This produces a delicate infusion of subtle flavor and pale color. Full of healthy antioxidants, white tea makes an exceptional choice for everyday sipping.
Green tea is the un-oxidized leaf of the camellia sinensis plant. The leaves are harvested, allowed to dry slightly, then heated to cease oxidation. Traditionally green teas from China have a smoky or toasty flavor and green teas from Japan have a grassy or herbal taste.
Oolong teas are arguably the most demanding teas to manufacture. Oolongs are semi-oxidized and are produced primarily in Taiwan and China. They can be fragrant, rich, complex and sometimes fruity. Many oolongs have similar taste profiles to green tea and some are similar to black tea.
A NOTE ABOUT OXIDATION
In the manufacturing of tea, the process of oxidation is what creates the different categories of tea. Oxidation is very simple. Imagine you have sliced an apple and the exposure of the flesh of the apple starts to turn brown. If you put that apple in the oven to heat it, it ceases to turn brown. Oxidation. For a very good article on the subject, please take a visit over to WORLDOFTEA.ORG. Tony Gebely actually has a great tea book coming out soon - please check it out- TEA: A USER'S GUIDE.