October 21, 2012
In University I remember how some professors would make a subject so difficult while others made the most complicated simple and clear.
At The Urban Tea Merchant we have tea experts handy to facilitate and guide you in discovering new flavours and aromas that only teas can bring and are tailored specifically to your palate no matter if you are a heavy coffee, wine or scotch drinker.
With this in mind allow me to shed some light and offer some basic insights on what tea is and general guidelines to follow when enjoying loose leaf tea.
White Teas are the least processed of all the teas. There is a plucking and drying with leaves prevented from oxidization. The liquor and body are considered light and refreshing.
Green Teas are not oxidized either but the drying process is slightly different. They are known for their vegetative or grassy notes depending mainly on if the are processed in China or Japan.
Yellow Teas are fine Green teas which undergo through a longer drying process leaving them less grassy than Green teas.
Oolong Teas are partially oxidized Green teas. Oxidization can range from 15% to 80% which plays a major role in the flavour. They have a lingering quality that is very desirable and are categorized somewhere in between Green and Black teas.
Black Teas are fully oxidized Green teas and are the most processed of all the teas. From your classic English Breakfast to the more unique Keemun black teas are the most widely consumed tea.
Pu Erh are teas that undergo a fermentation and aging process. Incredible health benefits with amazing earthly notes.
Tisanes, Rooibos, Chamomile, Peppermint etc. are classified under Herbals and are technically not Tea.
1. Tea Equipage
The ritual of tea is a full sensory experience. The teapot or vessel you use plays almost as big of a role as the tea quality itself.
2. Water Quality
Ideally filtered water or Spring water.
3. Leaf Quantity
A general rule of thumb is to use 2.5gr which is approximately a round tsp per 7oz cup.
4. Water Temperature
White and Green Teas generally require 80 degrees Celsius as the leaves are more delicate.
Oolongs generally require 90 degrees Celcius as the leaves are more mature.
Black Teas, Pu Erhs and Herbals can take high temperatures of 95 degrees Celsius
5. Length of Infusion
Pu Erhs generally require around 5 minutes
Black Teas generally require between 3-5 minutes depending on desired strength
Green Teas generally require between 1-3 minutes
White Teas generally require between 4-7 minutes
Oolong Teas generally require between 4-7 minutes
Herbals & Rooibos generally require between 5 minutes
The above information is basic and the more advanced tea lover will be aware of more specific preparation methods especially when it comes to Fine Harvest Rare teas. To learn more about how to prepare loose tea accordingly, view The Urban Tea Merchant's Tea Preparation Chart with TWG Tea.
Please visit The Urban Tea Merchant - Downtown Vancouver or buy TWG Tea online
The Urban Tea Merchant
1070 West Georgia Street, Vancouver