What is Tea?

Leaves from the tea plant, scientifically known as Camellia sinensis.

There are two major varieties:

Contrary to popular belief and despite their misleading names herbal teas and fruit teas are not true teas. More accurate and correct names for them would be herbal infusions, infusions of fruit or more eloquently tisanes.

Types of Tea

White Tea

White tea is the least processed. It is wilted and unoxidized. Its name derives from the white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which give the plant a whitish appearance. Please note that not all white teas have that type of appearance and that brewed white tea is usually a pale yellow.

Green Tea

It is unwilted and unoxidized.

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is similar to green tea but with an added step of encasing and steaming the tea, that also gives the leaves a slightly yellow coloring during the drying process. It is unwilted and unoxidized but allowed to yellow. It’s the rarest and most expensive type of tea.

Oolong Tea

It is wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized.

Black Tea

It is wilted, sometimes crushed, and fully oxidized.

Dark Tea

It is green tea that has been allowed to ferment/compost.