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All the teas are from the same tea plant which botanic name is “camellia sinensis”. The place and the way it is cultivated influence considerably the tea aromas.
The green tea making:
After the gathering, the leaves are often withered and heat up very quickly at high heat to destroy the enzymes and stop the fermentation process. Afterwards they are rolled and dried several times.
The Chinese method is to use copper basin heat up on the fire, whereas the Japanese method uses steam drying.
The black tea making:
The black teas often commercialized in Occident are from a making process created by English people in India in the middle of XIXth century. The English people took their inspiration from the Chinese methods that they largely rationalised and simplify by introducing the use of machines (crusher, dryers, strainer…) whereas the Chinese keep preparing the tea handily.
Here is the more widespread black tea making:
1st step: the withering is meant to remove humidity from the fresh leaves. It lasts 18 to 32 hours.
2nd step: the rolling of leaves is meant to break the leaves cellules which will free the enzymes which provide a better fermentation.
3rd step: The leaves are chilled during 1to3 hours in a warm and humid room: it is the fermentation process.
4th step: to stop the leaves fermentation process, they are submitted to a 90°C temperature. This drying process lasts about 20min.
5th step: during the straining process, the leaves are chosen and packed.
The white tea making
From Chinese origin, white teas are very refined teas that don’t suffer from any fermentation process. White is originated from the 3 first full leaves and of the bud of the tea plant. They are naturally dried into the open air.
After the gathering, the leaves are often withered and heat up very quickly at very high heat to destroy the enzymes and stop the fermentation process. They are then rolled and dried several times.
The Oolong tea-making (or blue-green tea)
The Oolong tea is originated from Formosa Island (China) and is half-fermented.
Its leaves are first sun withered to begin the fermentation process and braced in a warm (25°C) and humid (85%) room.
The longer this step is, the stronger the fermentation is.
Smoked teas are black teas originated from China.
After being rolled on warm plate and spread on bamboo riddles above a spruce fire which gives them a smoked aromatic note.
The red tea making (or Rooïbos)
The red tea or rooïbos doesn’t come from the tea plant or Camellia Sinensis but come from South Africa bush called Aspalathus Linearis.
This bush leaf looks like a needle. It is first rolled, then pasteurized and dried into the open air, in the area where the temperature regularly goes up to 40°C.
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