At this point, you should have a good grasp on the idea of tea…now we should take a few moments to give you a bank of words. This should help you in speaking the language of tea:
Antioxidant: a compound that slows the process of oxidation.
Autumnal: Tea created later in the season like Darjeeling.
Bergamot: Citrus oil from the Bergamot orange used in Earl Grey.
Black Tea: Fully oxidized Camellia sinensis plant.
Blend: Method that allows for consistency among teas.
Body: Term used to denote the strength of a brewed tea.
Brick Tea: Tea that have been steamed and compressed into bricks like Pu-erh.
Caffeine: An alkaloid that serves as a stimulant and diuretic in the Central Nervous System.
Catechins: A polyphenols found in tea that is also an antioxidant.
Chai: The word for tea on the Indian subcontinent.
CTC: Acronym for Cut, Tear and Curl. It’s a machine process that allows for complete oxidation.
Fannings: Small particles of tea used in tea bags.
Firing: The process where teas are dried to stop any further enzymic changes.
Flush: This refers to the four separate plucking seasons throughout the year.
Gong fu: These words mean skill and patience. It is a style of brewing tea.
Pekoe: A term that describes that largest leaves used to produce tea.
Plucking: The process of harvesting and collecting tea.
Polyphenols: Antioxidant compounds found in tea.
Rolling: The process where withered leaves are rolled to initiate enzymic oxidation.
Withering: Operation that removes water from the tea plants.
This is a nice and quick reference guide into the language of tea. Was this helpful?
White tea is the youngest harvested buds of the Camellia sinensis plant almost exclusively in the Fujian province of China. It gets its name from the down white hairs that are found on the leaves. The liquor itself is the most pale of teas and it is known for its mild taste and fresh scent.
White tea is very delicate. Because of this fact, you should use filtered water that is brought to a high temperature, but not boiling. A good rule of thumb (if you don’t have a thermometer to test for 140 to 165ºF) is to bring it to a boil and then let it cool for at least a minute.
White tea was discovered between 960 and 1279 AD during the Song dynasty. The Chinese discovered that the youngest buds of the tea leaves produced a mild and refreshing taste. In the beginning, it was tea reserved for the Emperor. In fact according to legend, the Emperor Hui Zong became so obsessed with this tea that he lost his Empire while in obsessive pursuit of the perfect cup.
White tea went relatively unknown outside of China for years. The popularity of white tea in the west is only a recent occurrence. The tea’s popularity grew when health conscious people were finding the health benefits of white teas. White tea is rare because of the strict rules on harvesting and processing.
There are quite a few varieties of white tea based on several factors. The Silver Needle is the most sought after. This tea can only be harvested during a brief window in the early spring right before the tea buds turn into leaves. Long Life Eyebrow is considered in the lesser member of the white tea variety. It is harvested after the time period of Silver Needle and White Peony. Tribute Eyebrow is similar to Long Life but is considered to have a darker appearance. White Peony is the second highest of quality and is harvested when there is only a bud and two leaves. Lastly, there is Snowbud which is only harvested when there are only buds and leaves in the early spring.
In the end, you’re going to have to experience them for yourselves in terms of flavor. If you are interested in potential health benefits here’s a link:
It would not be a proper lesson on tea without sitting down and discussing the origin of tea. Where is it grown? More importantly where can it grow?
Let’s start with tea’s origin. Where did it originally come from?
Originally its natural form was believed to have originated in China. The most celebrated of teas come from the area of China known as “The Golden Triangle.” This area is found between the mountains of Huang Shan, Mogan Shan, Qi Shan and Tianmu Shan.
India has grown in popularity due its Assam teas (which are grown in the Brahmaputra valley) and Darjeeling teas (which is grown in the ex-British hills of the Himalayas). Darjeeling teas are known as the “Champagne of teas.”
But that’s just the Asian countries.
Tea growing has also made its way to East Africa to the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. These countries have made a dent in the mark by way of making large quantities of black teas. However, they have not been able to deliver the same quality of Chinese Yunnan or Indian Darjeeling.
But it does not stop there. Tea growing has also spread to the Americas to the following countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and the good old USA.
Tea has spread all over the world and it will continue to do so as it continues to also grow in popularity.
Pretty cool, no?
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