In part 1 of our overview of “true” tea, we cleared up the common misconception that all true tea only comes from a single source: the Camellia sinensis plant. We also noted that there are six varieties of true tea: white tea, yellow tea, green tea, black tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea.
In part 2, we took a deeper look at white tea, yellow tea and oolong tea. Now in part 3, we’ll look at the remaining three: black tea, green tea and pu-erh tea.
Black teas are native to China (Anhui province and Yunnan province), India (Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri), and Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon). Black teas are also grown in Australia, Kenya, Indonesia, Nepal and Turkey.
Black tea is produced by plucking Camellia sinensis leaves and allowing them to wither, after which they are rolled and crushed (this can be done by machine or hand, or sometimes a mixture of both). This crushing process triggers the oxidation process, which is also why the leaves turn black (and hence the name of this variety). The leaves are fired in ovens when the desired oxidation level has been achieved. Black teas are the most oxidized of all true teas, and have about 40-60 milligrams of caffeine per 8 oz serving.
Green tea is processed from withered and flaccid Camellia sinensis leaves that are rapidly steamed or roasted, in order to stop the enzymes from reacting with the oxygen. As with the other true teas that we’ve looked at, the amount of processing time is what gives green tea its signature color, and hence its name.
Now, there’s a good chance that you’ve had many, many cups of green tea so far, and yet always seem to have the same question each time: why does this green tea taste so different from the last green tea?
The answer is that brewing green tea “just right” is extremely difficult. Under-brewing leads to a weak and flat flavor (like drinking hot green-tinted water!), while over-brewing results in a bitter flavor that makes it taste almost medicine-like.
Furthermore, the underlying flavor depends on several factors, including when the tea was harvested, the kind of soil, weather, and cultivation practices. There are many different regions that produce green tea, and each has its own signature style.
Pu-erh teas (also spelled Pu’erh and Pu’er) have a signature smooth taste and are naturally fermented. The longer the fermentation period, the more sophisticated and sublime the flavor. All of the pu-erh teas we use in our Physique selections are cave-aged for at least 10 years, which is why they’re of such high quality compare to what can be found elsewhere online or in stores.
Pu-erh tea is sourced from leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant that grows in China’s Yunnan province. These are dried and rolled and then undergo a special two-stage fermentation process. The first stage involves using semi-fermented green tea, and the second stage happens over a six month period, during which the tea is kept in a carefully climate-controlled warm and humid environment. This allows bacteria and microflora to naturally blossom, and give Pu-erh its truly unique mellow taste that has a hint of sweetness.
One of our favorite Pu-erh teas is Crimson (which tastes like a delicious apple pie)! Our Crimson fusion blend is an all-natural weight management beverage highlighting our Himalayan Detox Blend. Our proprietary formula is designed to support the body’s weight-control efforts by supporting body fat metabolism, relieving digestive issues, and managing blood sugar levels.
If you’re new to the world of true tea varieties, then we invite you to try any of our selections today – or better yet, pick up a multi-pack and enjoy several selections to experience and enjoy each one!
As noted, we ONLY use premium quality Oolong and Pu-erh whole loose leaf tea leaves in our selections. There is no dust or fannings (i.e. the ‘filler’ that you find in generic teas), and our silk tea sachets are the ideal way to enjoy a cup or pot whenever you wish. Each sachet can even be re-used 2-4 times a day!
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