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Tea Types

  • Black tea is allowed to wither, which precedes a process called oxidation (sometimes incorrectly referred to as fermentation) during which water evaporates out of the leaf and the leaf absorbs more oxygen from the air. Caffeine (50-65% of coffee)
  • Green tea is allowed to wither only slightly after being picked. Then the oxidation process is stopped very quickly by firing (rapidly heating) the leaves. Caffeine (10-30% of coffee)
  • Oolong tea (also known as wulong tea) is a traditional Chinese tea. It is allowed to undergo partial oxidation. These teas have a caffeine content between that of green teas and black teas. The flavor of oolong (wulong) teas is typically not as robust as blacks or as subtle as greens.
  • Chamomile comes from the Nile Delta in Egypt. It makes a pleasant aromatic tea with a fruity flavor. See Chamomile at wikipedia
  • Earl Grey - The best known of the scented teas, its unique taste has remained popular for hundreds of years. Natural bergamot oil is sprayed on tea leaves to create a balanced citrus and tea flavor.
  • English Breakfast Tea - This popular blend of black teas has a full, robust, malty (and slight citrus) flavor. It's a good choice for those who prefer a bit of milk or sweetener in their tea.
  • Chai Tea, Black - Black tea blended with spices and generally served hot or cold with milk and sweetener. There are many favorite recipes for chai, but the spices most often included are cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black pepper.
  • White teas are the most delicate of all teas. They are appreciated for their subtlety, complexity, and natural sweetness.
  • Puerh is an aged black tea from China prized for its medicinal properties and earthy flavor.
  • Rooibos Tea, also known as red tea, is Caffeine free. a sweet, full-bodied flavor without a trace of bitterness. As a source of powerful antioxidants, Rooibos strengthens the body's immune system and contains some of the highest known levels of anti-aging properties of any plant on earth. Rooibos is also known for its ability to replenish the skin from the inside out and is recommended for mild depression, allergies, headaches, anxiety or insomnia. See Rooibos Tea at Adagio teas.
  • Assam - Assam tea comes from the northeastern section of India. The state of Assam is the worlds largest tea growing region.
  • Darjeeling - The Darjeeling region of India is cool and wet, and tucked in the foothills of the Himalayas.
  • Ruby 18 - Is a cross between the Assam tea plant and the native Taiwan Chin Shin cultivar, produced in Taiwan. It brews up extremely smooth, rich, and slightly sweet.
Source: TeaSource

White tea, green tea, oolong, pu-erh tea, assam tea and black tea are all produced from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Different teas require different brewing temperatures.
Type Temp °F Time
Black tea 212° 4-6
Oolong tea 190° 5-8
White tea 175-180° 4-6+
Green tea 150-160° 2-4
Rooibos tea 212° 4-6
Herbal teas* 212° 5
* Varies by type of tea.
If you don't have a thermometer handy, you can tell the water temperature by watching the bubbles. Small bubbles will float to the surface of the water 160-170°F, and you'll see strings of bubbles from the bottom of the kettle at 180-190°F. After that, you'll have a full rolling boil.
Source: Tea Brewing Temperature Guide at about.com

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last updated 4 Jan 2011