A Newbie’s Information to Tea: Half Two


We proceed our in-depth exploration of tea by oolong, black, fermented, and natural tea.


Cowl photograph by Drew Jemmett through Unsplash

A number of weeks in the past, we launched part one of the ”A Newbie’s Information to Tea” sequence, the place we explored the place tea comes from and two of the principle kinds of tea: white and inexperienced. As we speak, we’re persevering with our dialogue by delving into the opposite foremost kinds of tea: oolong, black, fermented, and natural.

Oolong tea leaves are predominantly grown in China and Taiwan and harvested within the late spring to early summer season. Photograph by Petr Sidorov through Unsplash.

Oolong Tea

Oolong is {a partially} oxidized or semi-oxidized tea, which signifies that enzymes within the tea leaves are allowed to work together with oxygen, darkening the tea leaves and producing a stronger, earthier taste. Grown primarily in China and Taiwan, the tea leaves for oolong are harvested in late spring and early summer season. The leaves are then gently bruised, releasing the enzymes, and unfold out in direct daylight to dry. In the course of the drying course of, farmers will flip the leaves frequently to make sure that they’re evenly oxidized. After drying out within the solar, the leaves are pan-fired, bringing oxidation to a halt.

Oolong tea ranges in colour from mild yellow to darkish amber, with flavors starting from mild, candy, and floral to sturdy, smoky, and earthy. Mild oolong teas have an ethereal physique, whereas darker oolong teas have a thick mouthfeel.

Brewing Oolong Tea

To brew a 6-8-ounce cup of oolong tea, use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and water heated to about 175-200 levels Fahrenheit. Steep the tea leaves for as much as 5 minutes, relying on how sturdy you like your tea.

Black tea is daring and earthy, and requires extra intensive manufacturing than the opposite kinds of teas. Photograph by Akhilesh Sharma through Unsplash.

Black Tea

Out of all the foremost kinds of tea, black tea requires a number of the most intensive manufacturing. After harvesting, tea leaves are withered in direct daylight, then processed utilizing both the CTC technique (crush, tear, curl) or the orthodox technique. With the CTC technique, tea leaves are fed via machines that crush, tear, and curl them, leading to small brown pellets. As a result of the CTC technique usually makes use of lower-quality leaves, it’s a typical selection when producing tea luggage.

Excessive-quality black teas are usually produced utilizing the orthodox technique, which is extra time-consuming and requires extra human labor. In orthodox processing, tea leaves are produced within the conventional approach—with plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. This course of may be finished with machines or by hand and is rigorously overseen by educated tea professionals to make sure that one of the best flavors are extracted from the leaves.

When it comes to taste, black tea is daring and earthy, typically showcasing floral or nutty undertones and a savory, “umami” high quality with refined hints of sweetness.

Brewing Black Tea

Extra delicate teas are finest brewed with water that’s barely under boiling level. Black tea, nevertheless, is finest brewed with boiling water—the excessive temperatures draw out the sturdy flavors it’s recognized for. When brewing black tea, use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves for each 6-8 ounces of water, and steep your tea for about 3-5 minutes.

Fermented tea is comprised of tea leaves which have been aged over time.
Photograph by Petr Sidorov through Unsplash.

Fermented Tea

Fermented tea is comprised of aged tea leaves, and the most typical type of fermented tea is pu-erh. Whereas different teas endure oxidation, fermented teas endure fermentation (a course of additionally used when making beer, yogurt, and kombucha). Throughout fermentation, the tea leaves break down and decompose.

To provide fermented tea, tea leaves are harvested then dry-roasted, flippantly bruised via rolling and rubbing, and dried within the solar. To start the fermentation course of, the tea leaves are then positioned in a moist setting for months and even years. Some teas are aged over a long time and go for as much as hundreds of {dollars} a pound. Relying on how lengthy the tea was aged for, fermented tea exhibits nice depth and complexity in taste.  Fermented tea is usually woodsy and earthy with a full physique.

Brewing Fermented Tea

Historically, fermented tea leaves are rinsed with scorching water earlier than brewing. For each 8 ounces of water, use about 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and water heated to about 195 levels Fahrenheit. Brew your tea for 2-4 minutes.

”Natural tea” refers to tea that comes from crops outdoors of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Pictured: Constellation Coffee’s ginger guava tea. Photograph courtesy of Kevin Kim.

Natural Tea

No tea information can be full with out together with natural tea. “Natural tea” refers to any water-based infusion comprised of crops that aren’t the Camellia sinensis plant. One other frequent title for natural tea is “tisane.“ In style natural teas are comprised of flowers like lavender or chamomile, herbs like peppermint or calendula, and spices like cinnamon or cinnamon. Natural teas are typically caffeine-free, and every one presents distinctive flavors and therapeutic advantages.

Brewing Natural Tea

When brewing natural tea, about 1 teaspoon of herbs/flowers ought to be used for each 6-8 ounces of water. Water temperature and steeping time will range relying on the kind of herbs used, however most ought to be steeped for at the least 5 minutes. Perform some research to seek out one of the best brewing strategies for the actual tisane you’re ingesting.


Primarily based in Los Angeles, Emily Pleasure Meneses (she/her) is a author and musician captivated with tradition and collective care. You’ll be able to frequently discover her at Echo Park Lake, ingesting a cortado and journaling about astrology, artwork, Animal Crossing, and her goals. Discover her poetry, brief tales, and soundscapes on her website.

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