Tea 201 – Origin – Where Tea is Grown

tea origin by percentage Tea 201   Origin   Where Tea is Grown

Tea Origin by Percentage (c.o. Wikipedia.org)

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.

In the country of Taiwan, it is well known for its oolong teas.

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.”

This also spreads into Nepal.  In their side of the Himalayas, they have their own tea that resembles Darjeeling.

Sri Lanka is the source of the famous and fragrant Ceylon tea.  The principle growing regions of this country are Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva.

Of course, we can never forget Japan renowned for its green sencha, courser bancha and matcha.

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?

Posted in African Tea, American Tea, Article, British Tea, Ceylon Tea, Chinese Tea, Ecuadorian Tea, English Tea, German Tea, Indian Tea, Indonesian Tea, Japanese Tea, Kenyan Tea, Korean Tea, Moroccan Tea, Nepalese Tea, New Zealand Tea, Sri Lankan Tea, Taiwanese Tea, Tea, Tea 101, Tea 201, Thailand | No Comments »

Tea 201 – Blue Teas – Why Oolongs are Special

blue tea Tea 201   Blue Teas   Why Oolongs are Special

Blue Tea

Don’t panic! The tea is not really blue!  But it is a type of oolong.  It is actually partly oxidized mix of green and black tea collectively grouped as qīngchá (Chinese: 青茶; literally “blue-green tea”).

But that’s only a part of the category that is oolong.  What is oolong? Why is it so special?  According to some the oolong is considered to be the most complicated tea produced.  One tea master, Lin Zhi, likened tea to painting.    He compared oolongs to oils paintings, green tea to Chinese ink paintings and black teas to water colors.

The word Oolong (or Wulong) comes from the Chinese word 烏龍 meaning ‘black dragon tea.’

There is a legend that during the Ming Dynasty, there was a ban on tea production for about 150 years.  The tea makers essentially had to find different techniques. There were some (likely Buddhist monks) who had invented charcoal roasting techniques in drying their teas.  This slow charcoal roasting along with the oxidization became the defining flavor of Oolong is today.

If you have to look at oolongs more literally, green tea is one extreme while black tea is the other.  Oolongs are the ‘middle ground’ of teas, so to speak.  Greens are not oxidized; black is completely oxidized while the oolongs are everything in between.  The complexity of the tea is due to the fact that oolong is not completely oxidized like black teas.  There’s not even an exact science as to how much the tea can be oxidized to be considered oolong.  The range is anywhere between 15%-75% oxidation.  Because of this fact, the flavor of oolongs is never officially consistent.  The flavors have been known to wood and thick with roasted aromas, green and fresh with a bouquet or sweet and fruity with honey aromas.

The combinations are mind boggling.  But I love the idea of a tea flavor being a form of roulette, you never know what kind of flavor you’ll get.

Posted in Article, Oolong Tea, Tea, Tea 101, Tea 201, Wu Long Tea | No Comments »

Morning Cup #18 – Wuyi Rou Gui

MorningCup Morning Cup #18   Wuyi Rou Gui

This morning I’ve got a tea from PeLi Teas in my cup called Wuyi Rou Gui.

A nice light brew, this Wuyi Hou Gui offers a subtle aroma.

The flavor and body are interesting. A rocky Wuyi texture with a Tie Kuan Yin style body and flavor profile.

mc 00018 Morning Cup #18   Wuyi Rou Gui

Morning Cup #18

What’s in your cup?

Posted in Bagged Tea, Chinese Tea, Morning Cup, Oolong Tea, PeLi Tea, Tea, Wu Long Tea | No Comments »

Morning Cup #8 – September 26th 2011

MorningCup Morning Cup #8   September 26th 2011

Morning Cup is a new daily segment where I’ll post what I am drinking this morning with a quick image of my beverage and some initial thoughts. These posts are not thorough reviews, and haven’t been put through my standard review process.

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Posted in Chinese Tea, Davids Tea, Flavored Tea, Fruit Tea, Loose Tea, Morning Cup, Oolong Tea, Orange Tea, Taiwanese Tea, Tea, Wu Long Tea | No Comments »

Earl Grey Milk Tea (3:15 PM)

Milk teas are incredibly relaxing when done well. Most especially when freshly made at a tea house you like. 3:15PM, a brand by Shi Chen in Taiwan has done fairly well with their bagged milk tea variants for ‘instant milk tea.’ Check out my thoughts on this Earl Grey Milk tea by 3:15 PM.

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Posted in 3:15 PM, Bagged Tea, Black Tea, Chinese Tea, Flavored Tea, Reviews, Taiwanese Tea, Tea, Tea Bags | 4 Comments »