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A Who's Who of Tea – a short introduction for independent retailers

April 30 2015

A guide to teaWhat is Tea?

Confused by the difference between white teas and oolongs? Interested to learn where rooibos tea fits in?

 

What is tea? A quick overview 

All traditional tea – whether black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea or pu’er tea – is made from the leaves of the tea bush (an evergreen shrub), which grows primarily in China, India, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

Dark teas are made from leaves that have been allowed to naturally oxidise (or ferment) once picked, while lighter teas (such a greens) have been dried or baked before the leaves change colour, thereby cutting short the natural oxidisation process.

Tea’s huge variety of tastes and colours is due to the different growing environments, the different harvest practices, and most importantly the tea making process itself.

Rooibos (or redbush) teas and herbal/fruit teas are not made from the leaves of the tea bush. Caffeine free rooibos is made from a shrub that only grows near Cape Town, South Africa, and herbal infusions are simply herbs, flowers or fruits that have been laid out to dry.

Download our short guide here (PDF).