Black tea: is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties. All four varieties are made from leaves of Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used, the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis sinensis), also used for green and white teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis assamica), which was traditionally only used for black tea, although in recent years some green has been produced.
In Chinese and culturally influenced languages, black tea is known as "crimson tea" , perhaps a more accurate description of the colour of the liquid. The name black tea, however, could alternatively refer to the colour of the oxidized leaves. In Chinese, "black tea" is a commonly used classification for post-fermented teas, such as Pu-erh tea. However, in the Western world, "red tea" more commonly refers to rooibos, a South African tisane.
While green tea usually loses its flavor within a year, black tea retains its flavour for several years. For this reason, it has long been an article of trade, and compressed bricks of black tea even served as a form of de facto currency in Mongolia, Tibet, and Siberia into the 19th century. Green tea has recently seen a revival due to its purported health benefits, black tea still accounts for over ninety percent of all tea sold in the West.
Brewing Black Tea: Generally, 2.25 grams of tea per 180 ml of water, or about a teaspoon of black tea per 6 oz. cup, should be used. Unlike green teas, which turn bitter when brewed at higher temperatures, black tea should be steeped in freshly boiled water. The more delicate black teas, such as Darjeeling, should be steeped for 3 to 4 minutes. The same holds for broken leaf teas, which have more surface area and need less brewing time than whole leaves. Whole leaf black teas, and black teas that will be served with milk or lemon, should be steeped 4 to 5 minutes. Longer steeping times make the tea bitter (at this point it is referred to as being stewed in the UK). When the tea has brewed long enough to suit the tastes of the drinker, it should be strained while serving.
The expression "black tea" is also used to describe a cup of tea without milk ("served black"), similar to coffee served without milk or cream.
Oolong: is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) somewhere between green and black in oxidation. It ranges from 10% to 70% oxidation. In Chinese tea culture, semi-oxidized oolong teas are collectively grouped as qīngchá (Chinese: 青茶; literally "blue-green tea"). Oolong has a taste more akin to green tea than to black tea: it lacks the rosy, sweet aroma of black tea but it likewise does not have the stridently grassy vegetal notes that typify green tea. It is commonly brewed to be strong, with the bitterness leaving a sweet aftertaste. Several subvarieties of oolong, including those produced in the Wuyi Mountains of northern Fujian and in the central mountains of Taiwan, are among the most famous Chinese teas. Oolong tea leaves are processed in two different ways. Some teas are rolled into long curly leaves, while some are pressed into a ball-like form similar to gunpowder tea. The former method of processing is the older of the two.
Brewing Oolong: Generally, 2.25 grams of tea per 170 grams of water, or about two teaspoons of oolong tea per cup, should be used. Oolong teas should be prepared with 180°F to 190°F (82°C-87°C) water (not boiling) and steeped 3-4 minutes. High quality oolong can be brewed multiple times from the same leaves, and unlike green tea it improves with reuse. It is common to brew the same leaves three to five times, the third steeping usually being the best.
In many cultures, tea is often had at high class social events,
Green tea: is a type of tea made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis, that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan to the Middle East. Recently, it has become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many varieties of green tea have been created in countries where it is grown. These varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, processing and harvesting time.
Brewing Green Tea: Generally, 4 grams of tea per 250 ml of water, or about one teaspoon of green tea per cup, should be used. With very high quality teas like gyokuro, more than this amount of leaf is used, and the leaf is steeped multiple times for short durations.
Green tea brewing time and temperature varies with individual teas. The hottest brewing temperatures are 80°C to 90°C water and the longest steeping times 2 to 3 minutes. The coolest brewing temperatures are 60°C to 70°C and the shortest times about 30 seconds. In general, lower quality green teas are steeped hotter and longer, while higher quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter. Steeping green tea too hot or too long will result in a bitter, astringent brew for low quality leaves. High quality green teas can be and usually are steeped multiple times; 2 or 3 steepings is typical. The brewing technique also plays a very important role to avoid the tea developing an overcooked taste. Preferably, the container in which the tea is steeped or teapot should also be warmed beforehand so that the tea does not immediately cool down.
Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting regular green tea drinkers may have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer. Green tea has also been claimed useful for weight loss management.
White tea: is the uncured and unoxidized tea leaf. Like green, oolong and black tea, white tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Oolong and black teas are oxidized before curing. White tea often contains buds and young tea leaves, which have been found to contain lower levels of caffeine than older leaves, suggesting that the caffeine content of some white teas may be slightly lower than that of green teas. White tea is a specialty of the Chinese province Fujian. The leaves come from a number of varieties of tea cultivars. The most popular are Da Bai (Large White), Xiao Bai (Small White), Narcissus and Chaicha bushes. According to the different standards of picking and selection, white teas can be classified into a number of grades-
Brewing White Tea: Generally, around 2 to 2.5 grams of tea per 200 ml (6 ounces) of water, or about 1.5 teaspoons of white tea per cup, should be used. White teas should be prepared with 80°C (180°F) water (not boiling) and steeped for 2 to 3 minutes. Many tea graders, however, choose to brew this tea for much longer, as long as 10 minutes on the first infusion, to allow the delicate aromas to develop. Finer teas expose more flavor and complexity with no bitterness. Lower grade teas do not always stand this test well and develop bitter flavors or tannins. On successive brews (white teas produce three very good brews and a fourth that is passable), extend the time by several minutes per. The third brew may require as long as 15 minutes to develop well. Temperature is crucial: if it is too hot, the brew will be bitter and the finer flavors will be overpowered.