Welcome to the #TeaClub! You clicked on this article because you're interested in tea and would like to learn more about it. Since its discovery in China approximately five millenniums ago, tea has traveled (almost) all over the globe. It also has been proven for its health benefits, including being anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, and aiding the immune system. The holistic beverage is somewhat lower in caffeine content than coffee; yet usually supplies more sustained energy.
Types of Teas
There are over 20,000 different teas worldwide. There are six basic kinds: black tea (hóngchá 紅茶), green tea (lǜchá 綠茶), white tea (báichá 白茶), yellow tea (huáng chá 黃茶), Oolong tea (wūlóngchá 烏龍茶), and Pu-erh tea (pu'ěrchá 普洱茶). Tea farmers produced and oxidized every one of these teas.
From Tea Farms to Teahouses
To eventually have a cup of tea in the comfort of your own home, tea farmers have to pluck tea leaves by hand to maintain purity. Machines tend to be too rough and can damage the fragile tea leaves. Also, whole tea leaves harvested by hand usually are regarded as a symbol of high quality. Commonly grown in tropical and subtropical areas, the best teas are cultivated in a cooler climate. When a tea plant turns three, the plant will be considered mature enough for harvesting. Tea farmers harvest when they "flush," which is a period when tea plants push out new leaf shoots. Once the leaves are picked, they will begin to dry up. Every type of tea has different drying and oxidizing methods. While black tea is known to have the highest caffeine level out of all types of tea since it's the most oxidized, white tea varieties are the least processed of all teas. It's because, unlike black tea, white tea is directly sorted, graded, and packaged for sale once the moisture dissipates from the leaves through 72 hours of the withering process.
Each tea variety gives a different flavor profile. If you're looking for a slightly sweeter tea, green tea would be a great choice. The vegetal, grassy, and somewhat sweet profiled tea is high in polyphenols and brews a gorgeous emerald green. Black tea is recommended to turn into iced tea and has a nutty and smoky flavor profile. On the other hand, white tea will give a mild and subtly sweet note due to its light oxidation. Oolong tea has a more earthy flavor to it. However, the lightly oxidized ones can become more floral. Pu-erh tea retains a more complicated flavor profile; it can be a combination of sweet, bitter, mellow, and woody. On the contrary, yellow tea has a fruity and floral flavor.
Tea equipment differs in every country. Essentially, you would only need something to heat your water, a cup, and the tea itself. To level up your tea experience, you can add a tea strainer or brew basket. A more advanced way to enjoy your tea is to add a teapot and gaiwan to your cart routine. However, if you prefer to go more simple, you can get yourself an electronic tea maker and let it do its job.
Brewing Your Tea
It's crucial to pay attention to the instructions for brewing each type of tea; every one of them has distinctive ways to brew. It's recommended not to soak your tea for longer to make your tea stronger. Instead, add more tea leaves or bags. Steeping your tea for too long will make it bitter. Different teas also have a particular water temperature and soaking duration to brew them to excellency. However, it is better to restrain from rolling boil temperatures for an extended period.
There are more things to discover and dig deeper into the tea realm. But for now, which tea are you keen on trying?