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What is a “True Tea”? Why is it called a True Tea? Are there non True Teas?
If these are a few questions you have been asking yourself since you delved into the tea world or you are simply curious, then you have arrived at the right spot on the internet!
There are the base true teas which are White, Green , Oolong , Black, and Pu’erh tea (which is a little more special).
Same Plant, Different Teas?
True teas come from the plant Camellia Sinensis. This is what makes these teas “true”.
Whereas Herbal or Tisanes teas are made from roots, flower buds, fruit, and a wide variety of plants.
True teas come in 4 different categories ranging from white tea, green tea, oolong, black tea, and pu’erh tea.
Even if these lovely teas come from the same plant what makes them stand out individually is how they are dried, oxidized, and processed.
White tea being the least oxidized with its light delicate flavor, Green tea with its green hue being heated quickly as to not oxidize too much but enough for the green color, Oolong the smooth middle child between Green and Black, Black tea with it being fully oxidized creating a deep brownish red color, and then there is the special post-oxidized into fermentation tea called Pu’erh that is a sub-type of green tea.
White is considered the most “healthy” out of all the true teas. It has the most antioxidants out of its true tea family which protect the cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.
An overflow of free-radical damage is linked to aging, a weakened immune system, inflammation and other various diseases.
This tea has the least amount of caffeine but is not totally free of caffeine!
This tea’s process is much gentler than its True Tea siblings. The tea makers take the youngest buds of the tea plant and instead of being exposed to rolling or being roasted it comes out tender with a straight-from-the-garden taste.
This tea has an elegantly light taste to it with a vast amount of flavor profiles including subtle, fruity, honey, vanilla, floral, grassy, and citrus, plus more!
Green tea is barely oxidized at all, so the leaves keep some of their original green leaf color.
For novices, Green Tea can taste grassy. The taste gets better if the high quality is a factor. It can have a mellow honey-like taste to a more citrusy essence.
It can range from a pale yellow to a cute light green hue.
The caffeine level in this is pretty mild, it is less than black tea but more than white tea.
Created by a tea master, oolong doesn’t have just one taste. Depending on the master, they will oxidize for less or extended periods. Oolong tea leaves are traditionally rolled, twisted or curled into tight balls or thin strands.
Oolong is mostly processed in china or taiwan. The best place for oolong is in Taiwan because of its combination of a subtropical climate and high elevations. Which helps produce ideal conditions for growing oolong tea.
Oolong tea is partially oxidized Camellia Sinensis leaves. It falls between green tea and black tea.
Oolong contains more caffeine than green tea, so it’s best to drink if you are wanting to retain energy throughout the day.
I like to steep my Oolong for 5-7 minutes and add honey for some sweetness.
Between coffee, black tea and green tea, coffee generally has the most caffeine content per cup, then black tea, followed by green tea.
Black tea is allowed to fully oxidize during processing, giving the tea leaves their dark color and rich malty aroma they’re known for.
Not just one type of black tea, there are many types. Some examples are Assam tea, Earl Grey, and Keemun.
It has an almost chocolatey, coffee, caramel, malty like flavor.
Is grown all over the world but is mostly grown in India.
Originally from China, the process for creating pu’erh tea is a little different than the rest of the pack.
Aged for 15-20 years for best results; this tea is something unique among its true tea family.
Because pu’erh is fermented and aged for such a vast amount of time the caffeine content becomes less prominent the older it becomes.
If stored correctly the older the tea the better the flavor. It can also be much darker than Black tea.
The taste of Pu’erh tea can be sweet, bitter, floral, mellow, woody, astringent, sour, earthy, watery, or even tasteless.
All True teas come from the camellia sinensis plant. Camellia sensius can be grown all over the world. Depending on the regions, certain teas are better for growth for specific products.
Because true teas come from the camellia sinensis they contain caffeine. White tea being the least caffeinated and black tea being the most caffeinated.
The camellia sinensis is an amazing plant as it produces different types of teas that have their own unique abilities. Each true tea is created for its own reasons.