What is Camellia sinensis?
Among so many other elements, tea dazzles us with its diversity. One plant, many dimensions.While the teas of the world reveal endless complexities and variations, all tea springs from just one plant species: Camellia sinensis. The four varieties of tea include:
Black tea is produced when withered tea leaves are rolled and oxidized causing the leaves to turn dark. Once the desired color and pungency is reached the tea is dried. A robust cup with astringent notes is produced.
Oolong gains its alluring character by withering and briefly oxidizing the tea leaves in direct sunlight. The leaves are rolled, then fired to halt oxidation when it is about halfway between black and green tea.
Green tea is produced when tea leaves are exposed to heat stopping the oxidation process. This allows the leaf to retain its emerald hue. Next, the leaves are rolled or twisted and fired. A bright cup is produced with fresh, grassy notes.
100% White Tea
100% White tea is the most minimally processed of all tea varietals. The fragile tea buds are neither rolled or oxidized and must be carefully monitored as they are withered and dried. This precise and subtle technique produces a subtle cup with mellow, sweet notes.
(Courtesy of The Republic of Tea)