January is Hot Tea Month: Time to Celebrate
The temperature outside takes a dip in the month of January, so it is only fitting that this is the month we celebrate Hot Tea. Are you a new tea drinker, been having tea parties since the age of 4? Either way, this article has something for you including a quiz at the end- What type of tea matches your personality?
What is tea?
All tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. Tea is grown around the world in thousands of tea gardens, which allows for many flavourful variations. Just like wines, many teas take their names from the district in which they are grown, and each district is known for producing teas with unique flavour and character. While there are more than 1500 varieties of tea available worldwide, all teas can be divided into six types: white, yellow, green, oolong, black and pu-erh.
Now, how does one plant produce all these tea varieties? The way the fresh tea leaves are processed and their level of contact with oxygen determine the types of tea. During oxidation, the tea leaves experience natural chemical reactions that result in distinctive taste and colour characteristics.
Made entirely from leaf buds that are covered with whitish hairs. The new buds are plucked before they open, withered, then dried slowly at low temperatures. The result is a tea with a mild flavour and natural sweetness such as Berry Me in Kisses.
This very rare tea has a production process similar to green tea, except that the leaves undergo a longer drying process. As the moist leaves are left to dry, they become yellow in colour and lose some of the grassy vegetative flavours.
Most popular in Asia, green tea is not oxidized. It is withered, immediately steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. It has a delicate taste, light green colour and is very refreshing. Several of our most popular teas are green including Matcha.
The name oolong literally translates as “Black Dragon” and is very popular in China. Oolong teas feature partly oxidized leaves and combine the taste and colour qualities of black and green tea. Extremely flavourful and highly aromatic, oolong teas are consumed without milk and sugar.
Most commonly used in North American tea bags, black tea is made from fully oxidized leaves, which produce a hearty deep rich flavour in a coloured amber brew. Favourites include Duchess of Earl and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
This tea is produced in the Yunnan province of China and is buried after oxidization. It is the only tea that is aged. The tea is full bodied with earthy notes such as Caramel Cardio.
Now that you've learned about the varieties of teas, time to find out which matches your personality. Click HERE to take the quiz.