29th
Jan
2013
NEWS LARGE

Posted in Kafevend Blog

All teas are derived from one species of plant- the Camellia Sinensis. The majority of tea comes from two varietes of the species: the Chinese tea variant Sinensis and the Assam or Indian variant Assamica. The tea plant is thought to have originated in south east Asia, around China, India and Burma. Over time, its cultivation has spread to over thirty countries around the world, in places like East and South Africa, much of South America, as well as Australia and New Zealand.


There are several categories of tea, related to the way it has been processed. These are post-fermented, green, yellow, white, oolong and black. As these are just forms of processing, there are further variations in taste depending on the region the tea was grown in- for example, Darjeeling tea from West Bengal in India is processed as black, white and oolong tea. The different categories are typically based on the level of oxidation the tea leaves have been subjected to.


Black tea has been completely oxidised; it is first withered, then bruised or cut to allow oxidation. A process known as cut, tear, curl is used to produce the fine pieces of tea we use in tea bags. Oolong teas are partly oxidised, ranging anywhere from 5 to 70%. White tea is very lightly oxidised, and is only left to wither for a short time before being carefully dried and packed.


Green tea receives almost no oxidation. A process known as 'fixation' is used to halt it- the leaves are heated very soon after picking. They are then dried and packed. Post fermentation and yellow teas are offshoots of green teas. To create yellow tea, leaves that have been heat treated to halt oxidation are covered and heated gently before finally being dried. The process for making post fermentation tea is the same as the one for green tea, but after being dried, they are left to age or ferment to develop the taste.

by Kafevend

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