By Joseph Parish
Many people are completely taken back by the suggestion that all tea originates from the same plant - Camellia Sinensis. The fashionable Green tea is actually the outcome of vigilantly curing young camellia leaf by a multiplicity of different methods and by using varied amounts of heat in the preparation. In some countries you will discover that some types of green tea are cured with ovens comparable to those found in the home and surprisingly a few are actually pan fried in what appears to resemble a giant wok known in the industry as a ding.
The longer and the slower that the tea is cured the richer you will find the flavor of the finished tea. You could expend many hours searching for a green tea in China as that is a country of hundreds of diverse green teas. There is merely one style of tea prepared in China that uses a slower drying process then the green tea and that is the rare yellow tea. Now I would once again like to remind you that all teas including the green and the yellow use the same plant – the difference in them is the curing time.
The final products are characterized by their appearances as well as their province of origin. Usually the visual indications of the quality related to the various teas rest upon the size of the tea leaves. Generally, in this case bigger is not necessarily better as the higher quality teas actually have the smaller leaves.
Since powdered teas known as fanning, are the left over residue from the various tea processes it is naturally the cheapest of the tea. This powdered tea tends to seep quickly when placed in teabags, however since the surface of the tea has increased it stands a larger chance of oxidizing with the surrounding air. It is this reason that your higher quality green teas are never ground up. The best green tea that you can find is usually maintained in whole tea leave form; it is carefully packaged in airtight containers and preferably consumed within a two year period.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish