Loose Leaf Tea
There are many varieties of tea available today. English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green Tea, and Flavoured Tea are all names that we recognize. The most important thing to remember about all of these teas, is that they all come from the same plant, the camellia sinsensis. The taste difference in the various teas comes from the way in which tea leaves are processed. The longer the leaves are processed, or oxidized, the darker the tea will be.
White tea is the least oxidized of all tea varieties. This gives white tea its very light, sweet, taste. Green tea is oxidized slightly more than white, and as such will have a deeper colour and offer a stronger more vegetal taste than white tea. There is much variety even within each kind of tea. For instance, a green tea may be weak or strong, sweet or pungent, flowery or vegetal, all depending on the method that is used to oxidize the leaf as well as the length of time it was oxidized.
The hierarchy of light to dark teas looks like this: White, Green, Oolong, Black. Along with the teas from the bush, we have also developed other teas from many plants that we have steeped in hot water over the years. Herbal teas would fit into this category. Chamomile is a great example of this and is recognized by most as a tea.
Rooibos is a leaf from an African Red Bush. It offers a somewhat spicy flavor to many teas and is the base in the most popular chai drink we all enjoy. Chai simply means tea.
As you can see, tea comes from many different regions of the world.
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