Types of Tea

All tea comes from the leaf of an evergreen Asia shrub called Camellia Sinensis.  There are many types of tea but  all come from the one shrub.

Usually made up of just the bud or one bud and one leaf. White tea the least processed being only plucked and allowed to dry.  Producing a delicate and fine liquor.

HOW TO MAKE WHITE TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. White teas like to be around 65° - 80° C

Time: In general, White Teas seem to taste best brewed for 2.5-3.5 minutes. That said, the bud  types take a little longer to develop so extend the time out to 4-5 minutes.  You may prefer your tea lighter and/or stronger. Play around with the times to see what tastes best to you.

 

Green Tea

Green tea is picked, withered and then steamed and/or fired to prevent any oxidization the leaf. Shaping also takes place during firing to maintain or alter the appearance of the leaf. The finest green and white teas are often those made from the first flush  in March/April. The spring rain makes the fresh tea buds swell and reach their greatest concentration of flavour.

HOW TO MAKE GREEN TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. Green teas like to be around 75°-85°C. 

Gyukuro Japanese Green Tea: Water temperature should be at 60°C.

Time: In general, green teas should be brewed anywhere between 1 - 3 minutes. The longer you allow green tea to steep, the more astringent it may become. So keep an eye on your timer.

 

 

This is a rare and royal tea processed similar to Green tea but additionally covered after heating to further enhance the flavours and produce a unique taste. Virtually extinct as a tea type until the 1970-1980s. A concerted between tea farmers and government institutions have brought many yellow teas back into production.  Still relatively unknown in the west but gaining in popularity and availability.  

HOW TO MAKE YELLOW TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. Yellow teas like to be around 75°-85°C. 

Time: In general, yellow teas should be brewed anywhere between 2 - 3 minutes. The longer you allow a yellow tea to steep, the more astringent it may become.  They will generally stay smoother than a green tea but keep an eye on your timer.

 

Oolong Tea (Blue)

Oolong teas are the pinot noirs of the tea world. They are particular and have a depth of flavor that is complex and surprising. Oolong tea is semi-oxidized and rests somewhere between unoxidized green tea and fully oxidized black tea. Oolong tea can be lightly or heavily oxidized depending on the intentions of the tea master responsible for production. More stimulating than green or white tea, oolongs are the world's most diverse and complex tasting teas. The leaves can also be re-infused after you have finished enjoying the first cup with minimal reduction in the strength of the flavour.

HOW TO MAKE OOLONG TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. Oolongs range from light to dark. Water temperature should be adjusted accordingly between 75° to 85°C respectively.

Time:
Generally 3-3.5 minutes increasing slightly between each successive infusions.

 

Black Tea (Red)

Black or Red tea as the Chinese call it, is picked and rolled to expose the juices in the leaf to the air to oxidize fully,   Our black teas from China, India, Ceylon, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya and Nepal are the world's finest, full of complexity, variety and beauty of appearance. And as such should not be compared with the majority of black tea being produced today which is the most ordinary, substandard tea ever made.  

HOW TO MAKE BLACK TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. Black teas like water to be not boiled. Do not let the water boil then cool down.  This reduces the oxygen in the water thereby diminishing the flavour and health benefits of the tea.  Aim to infuse your black tea 90°C

Time: Many guidelines suggest that black tea is best brewed for 2-5 minutes.   These times  are normally suggested for the inclusion of milk.  We strongly discourage adding milk.  Try infusing the leaf for 1.15 minutes and trying it. Slowly increasing the time (if Needed) up to 3 minutes to suit your taste.  Most or our black teas are deeply flavourful and rewarding at 1.15 mins.  However some like the Red Dragon  prefer a full 3 minutes.

 

Dark Tea

Dark ‘post-fermentation’ tea are known widely for their amazing health benefits. Like a fine wine they gets better with age. The well-known Pu-erh falls into this category and are one of the only teas that actually matures and improves with age. Pu-erh tea is China's great mystery tea and exact processing methods are a closely guarded secret. In Ming China, those who wandered in the Emperor's tea gardens would be put to death! Green or black tea can be used as the starting point for the ageing process which can take from anything from one to one hundred years. This is genuinely fermented tea as a culture grows on it over time mellowing, concentrating and enhancing the flavor.

HOW TO MAKE DARK, AGED or PUER TEA

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature: Water temperature is just as important as timing. Dark teas like water to be around 92°C for the first infusion.

Time: Best brewed for dark teas vary widely to suit individual tastes and tea characteristics.  Another factor is the size of the vessel that the infusing is being done in.  We suggest trying a full teaspoon to a cup and infusing for one minute.  These values can then be changed to suit your own taste.  While a little astringency is not always a bad thing it can hide the beautiful complexities of a good pu erh.  

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE HERBALS (Tisanes)

Herbs, fruit, spices and rooibos are technically NOT tea. They are called tisanes or infusions.

Water: Fresh filtered water is preferred. Do not use distilled water. Depending on your area, tap water may contain chemicals or high levels of minerals which may affect the taste of the tea.

Temperature:  No need to worry about temperature! Tisanes love a good rolling boil so crank up the temperature to 100°C

Time:  You can steep  Tisanes until the cows come home. They will don't get astingent. You can walk away from them and come back to a perfect cuppa. In many cases, the longer you steep the more flavor you get out of it