The Origins of Chinese Tea
Tea aficionados are often surprised to learn that all tea comes from the same source: the Camellia Sinensis bush. While there are hundreds are varieties of Chinese teas, most fall into four basic categories:
● White tea: White tea is made from immature tea leaves that are picked shortly before the buds have fully opened. Its reputation is as the tea with the most health benefits.
● Green tea: Green tea is not fermented during processing and thus retains the original color of the tea leaves. The most famous green tea is the expensive Dragon Well tea, grown on the hillsides of Hangzhou.
● Black tea: Also known as "red tea," black teas are made from fermented leaves, which accounts for their darker color. Popular varieties of black tea include Bo lei, a Cantonese tea often drunk with dim sum, and luk on—a milder tea that is favored by the elderly.
● Oolong tea: Finally, oolong teas are partially fermented, resulting in a black-green tea. Examples of oolong tea include Soi sin, a bitter-tasting brew cultivated in the Fukien province.