Types of Tea
All tea comes from the same plant, camellia sinensis. The leaves are picked when two leaves and a bud have formed. Different countries and different regions produce different-tasting teas. The flavour depends on the soil, climate, altitude, origins of the tea bush, cultivation methods and processing.
There are four main types of tea – black, oolong, green and white tea.
The leaves are withered after plucking and then machine rolled to release their juices and enzymes. There follows a process of oxidation , which produces the characteristic flavour and colour of black tea. The leaves are then further dried out in hot air chambers to destroy enzymes and stabilize the leaves.
We have a beautiful range of single estate black teas including world famous Assams, Darjeelings and Ceylons and our own range of Black Tea Blends.
Oolong, meaning Black Dragon, is usually from China and Taiwan (often called Formosa, its old Portuguese name). It is a semi-fermented tea, a cross between green and black teas, which is widely prized for its digestive benefits. This tea is processed the same way as black tea but the oxidation period is much shorter, so the leaves don’t become quite as dark.
After plucking, the tea leaves are steamed to destroy the enzymes that would cause fermentation then they are rolled and fired or roasted. Green teas are sweet and contain many of the vitamins and antioxidant properties of the fresh green tea leaf, making them highly regarded as a healthy, fragrant and delicious drink. The liquor is pale yellow in colour.
White tea is the world's rarest tea as it can only be picked for a few weeks in any one year. Authentic white tea is only grown in the Fujian province in China where the exact method of processing is kept secret. White tea is the least processed of the teas - The leaves are just picked and air-dried. Rare and precious, white teas are a Chinese specialty. White tea is a pale, delicately flavoured infusion that is usually offered to honored guests.
Brewed from leaves of herbs or flowers such as peppermint, cammomile and lemongrass. These are NOT classified as tea. Infusions are popular as they do not contain caffeine and have many healing properties. Our Herbal Infusions are all blended from Certified Organic Herbs and are deliciously soothing and refreshing.