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Types of tea

Tea varieties and tea types

White tea - 白茶 Bai cha

Among the types of tea, white tea is the least processed. White tea, known for its mild taste, aroma and refreshing properties, is a specialty of the Fujian province. Its three main production areas are Fuding, Zhenghe and Jianyang. Today's trend is that white teas have started to be made in Yunnan in southern China as well as in several other countries of the world (e.g. India, Nepal).

The raw material picked during the most valuable first two-week period of the spring harvest undergoes only minimal processing. After picking, they are dried, then sorted and finally packed. Meanwhile, the leaves are slightly oxidized. The most valuable white tea is Yin Zhen ("Silver Needles", "Silver Needles"), which contains only silvery, fluffy buds, followed by Bai Mu Dan ("White Peony", "White Peony"), which contains a combination of buds and leaves, then leaves only containing Gong Mei ("Tribute Eyebrow") and finally Shou Mei ("Longevity Eyebrow"). These categories also differ in the time of collection. So Silver Needle is the first spring picking, Shou Mei is the last. It is interesting that we have already received some Shou Mei tea from the Chen family that also contained buds. So the above categories are not set in stone and there can be many differences between the different types of tea.

Our white teas

Yellow tea - 黄茶 Huang cha

The production of yellow tea is initially similar to the production of green tea. The cut leaves are withered slightly longer than a green tea, so they lose some of their moisture. Then comes the "sha qing" or "kill green" part, i.e. the heat treatment of the leaves to stop oxidation. Then the still slightly wet raw material is piled up and covered with a linen material that helps the "yellowing" process. In Chinese, this is called "Men Huang" for yellow teas. (similar to the term Wo Dui = wet pile for puer teas) During this time, the slightly raw, green taste disappears from the covered leaves and the softness characteristic of white teas returns again. In a controlled, humid and warm environment, the tea pile is turned over several times and covered again to make the process even. At the end of the process, the whole thing is completely dried in a wok or with hot air. The taste of yellow teas combines the freshness of green teas and the sweet softness of white teas. Rarely available, typically gift tea.

Green tea - green tea Lü cha

Perhaps the most popular type of tea in Hungary is green tea. The raw material for the best greens is taken in a combination of two leaves and one bud, one leaf and one bud, or just the bud. They are wilted for a short time so that the leaves lose some of their moisture content, but they are fried as quickly as possible ("sha qing", "kill green" in English) (typically steamed in Japan) to stop the oxidation by enzymes.

This can be done in four different ways: sun drying (resulting in slightly oxidized tea), steaming, hot air frying and wok frying. The point is that the raw material gets to the plant in the gentlest and fastest way after picking. If our green tea gives a yellow tea liqueur, it shows that the raw material was not treated with the right care. Most green tea is picked in the spring (March / April), but there are also harvests in the summer - of course with a more bitter taste.

Our green teas

Green tea in the form of loose tea only began to be consumed in the 12th century - before that, the leaves were steamed, powdered and pressed. Various baking solutions appeared in the 16th century. Tea was brought to Japan in the 12th century by Buddhist monks returning from China, and the old steaming method is still used there today, and matcha is also reminiscent of the tea that was ground into powder during the Chinese Song period. Steamed green teas always have slightly rawer, more vegetal notes, and roasted green teas have slightly toasted flavors. Good green tea is not bitter. Of course, this is influenced by many factors, but above all the quality of the raw material

You can read more about green tea here

More about matcha tea here

Oolong tea - 乌龙茶 Wulong cha

Oolong teas are a very broad, partially oxidized (20-85%) category with countless famous teas. The name means "Black Dragon" and a legend of a tea-picking boy from Anxi is attached to it. Wulong is made from more mature leaves, so it is picked later than early spring green teas.

Depending on the area, they can be harvested in spring, summer, autumn or even winter. Often three to five larger, mature leaves are also picked along with the stem. Later, the stems are either left on the finished tea (Taiwan) or removed (Anxi-China). In the case of wulong rolled into balls, the stem is processed and shaped together with the leaves. The dragon-shaped e.g. The stems of "Wuyi wulongs", "Dancongs" are removed after the first drying. Their shape can therefore be rolled into balls or elongated. The fresh leaves are spread out on the roof of the plant or in the yard, they are withered - controlling the amount of sunlight reaching them, and then they are shaken, rolled and pressed in a complex, multi-step process that often lasts all night, which breaks up the cellular structure of the leaves. As a result, the enzymes and cell juices are brought to the surface where they react with the oxygen in the air or create delicious aromas when baked. Interestingly, even in China, many people call this process "fermentation", but the leaves are actually oxidized. The tea prepared after a long process really praises the work and expertise of the tea master.

The tea can be roasted in the traditional way, over charcoal embers (Wuyi wulongs) or in an electric oven. Once or even several times, with several months of rest between bakings. Heat not only helps drying, but also plays a big role in the final flavor of the tea. The production of wulong tea probably first developed around the 16th century on Wudong Mountain (Phoenix Mountain), then it arrived in Anxi (Tie guan yin) and from there to the Wuyi Mountains and then to Taiwan.

They are typically fragrant, and their taste can be more floral, creamy or mineral. The more mature leaves have a more moderate caffeine content, so they can be consumed even in the afternoon.

Our oolong teas

Red tea (black tea) - 红茶 Hong cha

Red tea is a flavor-rich, aromatic, fully oxidized type of tea. The red brewed tea of ​​the Chinese is called black tea in the West - because of the color of the leaves. (This has nothing to do with the South African 'rooibos', which is made from a completely different plant.) Of course, anyone can use the name black or red tea, we will understand. The leaves are withered, rolled and then left to oxidize for a long time. Here, too, a legend is connected to the discovery of the tea type: in short, it is that military troops passed through the Wuyi Mountains at the time wulong tea was being made, and that is why the raw material oxidized for too long. They didn't want to throw it away, so they completely processed it, dried it over a fire and sold it that way. This was the first Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong, meaning “Lapsang Souchong”. Due to its richness of taste, it suddenly gained great popularity. It can be made from buds only, bud-leaf combinations or more mature leaves. A constant higher temperature, continuous control of the tea master, turning and twisting of the raw material and the polyphenols in the leaves, which are completely transformed at the end of the process, are necessary for the uniform oxidation process. In general, it can be said that 1 kg of fresh tea leaves, after drying, approx. Yields 225 grams of finished tea (with approximately 3% residual moisture.)

It can have very complex flavor notes. It can be honeyed, malty, even cocoa-like like the Yunnan reds, floral, lighter or smoky like the Wuyi Mountain reds or Qimen reds, or spicy like the Taiwanese reds. Its active ingredient content is not as complex as that of green tea or puer. Its caffeine is quickly absorbed and has an invigorating and warming effect on the body. Ideal as morning tea.

Our red teas

Post-ripened, dark teas – Black tea  hey cha

"Hei cha" is a specifically Chinese special category of tea, literally translated as "dark" or "black tea". During production, controlled post-ripening and fermentation take place, where the accelerated ripening tea in an oxygen-poor environment, as a result of the transformative work of microorganisms, is completely soft characterchanges to Unusual, powerful, more mature fragrance notes come to the fore. There are several types of dark teas, depending on the region. Among them, the best known is the dark "Puer" from Yunnan, another is "Liu Bao" from Guangxi province. Anhui, Hunan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Sichuan provinces also have their own dark tea. This type of tea was previously transported to Tibet on the "Tea Horse Road", but the sparsely vegetated Tibetan Plateau and the northern regions are still one of the main markets for post-ripened teas. Since the tannic acids in these teas have already decomposed (or will decompose - see sheng puer), they are easily absorbed by the body and gentle on the stomach and digestive system. They help digestion and are very good sources of minerals. It can be a good choice at any time of the day, more alert due to their caffeine content, their high mineral content (e.g. lithium) helps to create a relaxed body feeling.

Two types of puer tea

Our sheng puer teas

Our Shu puer teas

There is a similarity between the preparation processes, but it can vary a little from region to region and tea type.

There are two major categories of puer: the one that has undergone accelerated maturation (fermentation). dark puer. By another name shu-puer. The other is a green, alive vagy sheng-puer. The preparation of the latter practically starts like a green tea. The heat treatment does not take place at too high a temperature, because the work of certain enzymes will still be needed during the later maturation of the tea. The finished ingredient is 'mao cha'. This is either immediately pressed into teacakes, or stored in fibrous form for a while and only then pressed. After that, it only depends on the time and the location and expertise of the storage, whether the values ​​inherent in the raw material unfold or not. (storage in geographical locations with dry and humid climates exists - the end result will be tea with a different flavor and faster ripening than in wet conditions) Since long-term storage of an already expensive raw material is a serious investment, by the time the tea reaches the market, it will become more expensive. Wealthy collectors in the know will easily pay the value of even a car or real estate for a rare piece of tea. "Rare" means either older tea or tea made from exceptionally good ingredients. (often a combination of the two). Of course, there is also plenty of cheap, mass-produced puer on the market, because there is a high demand for it.

You can read more about puerh or puerh tea here

Since at that time many people liked the taste of more mature teas but only a few could afford them, the managers of several Yunnan tea factories started making tea similar to the more mature taste of the already popular Liu Bao and Liu An' teas in the early 70s. Actually, it is a kind of composting, carried out under completely controlled industrial conditions about fermentation. The raw material is placed in piles, where its moisture content is constantly replenished (watered, re-steamed) and a constant temperature is ensured, and it is turned over several times. In a process lasting approximately two to three months, the chemical structure of the tea leaves is completely transformed as a result of the work of various microorganisms (bacteria, fungi). After the final drying, they are stored or pressed immediately.

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