Organic Handmade Tea

Different types of tea and their usefulness

Today many varieties of drinks are being sold as tea. But except black tea, white tea, green tea, orthodox tea and Oolong tea, others cannot be treated as tea. Only the tea of Indian and Chinese origin is the actual tea. About the refreshing quality of tea, it can be said that from ancient times people of the eastern-most part of India and China have been drinking tea as they realised the medicinal qualities of tea. An ancient book named Cha Ching was written by a Chinese tea agriculturist by the name of Lui where he wrote in details that tea has many medicinal qualities. Tea refreshes one’s mind, reduces body ache, joint pain, head ache and lessens body fatigue.

Different kinds of tea are produced from the species of Cammelia sinensis and Camellia sinensis vrs Assamica.
Below are the varieties of tea produced in Assam.

  1. Green Tea,
  2. Orthodox tea
  3. Black tea
  4. Oolong tea
  5. White tea
  6. Camellia blossom tea
  7. Yellow tea.

Green Tea

The first question that comes to our mind is what is green tea? The people of Assam are used to the taste of the red liquor made from tea. For them and for the other Indian people too, organic tea is a new thing. The use of green tea is limited because of its cost and only health conscious people use this tea. Green tea is available both in organic and inorganic qualities.

Preparation of green tea:

1 tablespoon green tea (2gms), water 100 ml. Boil the water between 610C (1420F) and 870C (1890F). Dip the leaves for 3 seconds to 3 minutes. You should wait till the tea is little cold; that will give you the perfect taste of green tea. But you should not take green tea in empty stomach, only after breakfast or lunch, or any such meal should you drink green tea. Green tea can be used also as an alternate drink for the habitual drinker of alcohol.

White Tea

White tea is prepared from the tea buds. As this tea looks like white hair, it is called therefore “Silver White Needle” in English. This tea is prepared with the help of solar heat and its taste is mild sweet. White tea is produced from the fresh buds of Camellia sinensis. It is notable that white tea cannot be produced from all varieties of tea plants. Only two or three species of tea plants can be used for the purpose. White tea is produced in Sri Lanka, Assam and Nilgiris (India). Cost of production makes the tea very costly.

History of white tea:

It was during the rule of Tang dynasty in China (614-907 AD) that white tea was first discovered. In the beginning, the tea buds were boiled but later they were first dried before boiling. White tea was served in the royal meetings during the Song Dynasty in China (960-1279 AD). In that time the tea was powdered and boiled. During the reign of emperor Hui Zong, it was found after several experiments that buds dried under the sun were best suited for making white tea. White tea is now referred to as Yin Znen (silver needle) and Bae Mulon (White Peony) in China. The Chinese introduce this white tea to the world between 1491 and 1922.

There are five varieties of white tea – Silver Needle, White Peony, Gongmei (Tribute Eyebrow), Shou Mei (Noble Tong Life Eyebrow), and Fuji an New Craft (Da Baicha). Among these Silver Needle and White Peony are most popular. White tea is also referred to as Art of Tea.

A question comes to our mind as to the difference between Silver Needle and White Peony.
Silver Needle tea is prepared using only the buds, with light yellow green liquor.
White Peony is prepared by using the bud and two fresh leaves. It has a light sweet taste with light yellow colour.

Merits of white tea :

White tea is a very healthy drink.
It increases the quantity of oxygen in your body.
According to medical research in China, white tea is good for skin and hair.
It also prevents wrinkles on the skin.
It prevents cancer.
Prevents diabetes.
Controls heart diseases.
Strengthens teeth.
Helps reducing body weight.
Pace Foundation USA reported after a research in 2008 that what tea helps maintain balance in body.

Preparing a cup of white tea:

Before buying white tea, it has to be made sure that the tea is organically manufactured. Secondly, the water to be used for preparing tea must be pure and free from iron or impurities as white tea has very mild flavour. Water should be boiled up to 700C to 800C. Take a clean cup or tea pot made of transparent glass and put a spoonful of white tea in it. Pour 100 ml water. Be careful that you do not pour boiling water. Within a minute tea will be ready for drinking

Yellow Tea

What is yellow tea? Yellow tea was in use in China’s Anheu and Sichan provinces of China in the 17th century. In China, it is called ‘Huangya’ while in Korea, it is named Hwangcha. Yellow tea is costly and therefore its use is limited. Preparation of yellow tea has to be done in a very careful way. Only with proper care that the actual taste and flavour of this tea can be derived

How to prepare yellow tea:

Plain clean water free from iron content should be boiled till 70º to 75ºC. Hot water should be poured on tea kept in a pot. First the tea leaves will float and after two-three minutes, it will drop to the bottom of the pot. Now using a strainer the leaves should be separated and it will be ready for drinking. First the taste will be like plain water but soon the tongue will experience taste that is somewhat sweet but totally different from normal sugar taste.

Orthodox tea

In many tea gardens in Assam, orthodox tea is produced. CTC tea is produced by cutting the leaves of tea into pieces but orthodox tea is made of one bud and two leaves. Instead of cutting the leaves into pieces, it is rolled and that is why it is called leaf tea in English. Darjeeling and Nilgiris also produce orthodox tea.
Organic orthodox tea is well reputed all over the world and is gaining more and more popularity. Many small tea growers also have started producing this variety of tea.

Oolong Tea

The name Oolong tea is a new addition to the world of tea. Oolong tea was first produced in China and there are many varieties of this tea produced in China. The variety of Oolong tea is named according the province where the tea is produced. Some Oolong tea look like curved hair and some are rolled into long leaves. The name Oolong is derived from English language. In Chinese Wulong Cha (Pinyin) means Dragon tea and Quingcha, dark green tea. The mode of production of this tea may be different but the origin of this tea is Camellia sinensis.

Preparing Oolong Tea

1 cup of tea will need 2 spoonful of Oolong tea. Water is to be heated up to 93o-96o centigrade. Taking the tea in a mug, boiled water is poured on it. After separating the tea leaves from the water through a strainer, the tea becomes ready for drinking. One can enjoy this tea with milk also. Oolong tea has the quality of freshening up your mind and body.

Camellia blossom tea

There is something called Camellia blossom tea that is made from tea flowers that bloom in the tea plant during winter only, i.e., once in a year. The sweet and mild tea has healthy qualities. It contains very little Caffeine compared to other varieties of tea. This is a rare variety of tea and is produced only in the Pavojan Tea Estate, Golaghat in Assam. This variety of tea can be taken both as cold tea as well as hot tea. To prepare a hot cup of Camellia blossom tea, take 202 ml of water and boil it 980C. Now pour the water into the Camellia blossom tea. Wait for 5-7 minutes and then separate the leaves through a strainer. It is ready for drinking. For a cold cup of tea, keep the tea dipped in hot water. Now separate the leaves. Wait for 15 minutes. Next put ice on the water to cool and separate the tea from water and pour it in cup. Add sugar syrup if you like or take it plainly.