Classifications of Tea

Tea can be classified into 8 groups.
They are green, yellow, red, white, oolong, black, compressed aged  and scented teas.
These groups have varieties that are based on geographical production, elevation, curing and processing techniques.

1.Green tea
  • Non-fermented variety or least processed and raw. 
  • The main goal is to retain the pure and natural flavor of the chlorophyll in the green leaves.
  • The scent is usually a fresh green, slightly floral with a refreshing, mellow and rich taste.
  • Taiwan oolong green tea and Japanese green tea is set apart by the latter being raw,unseasoned and uncured ground leaves, and the former being slightly cured.
  • Japanese green tea is harder on the digestion due to the fact that it is raw and uncured.
  • Excellent with salty foods or savory desserts.
  • Green tea versus oolong tea.............

2.Yellow tea
  • Mildly processed and fermented.
  • processing is quit
  • e similar to green tea.
  • Appearance is usually straight and furry with a refined refreshing taste.
3.Red tea
  • To achieve the strong sometimes mellow but harmonious taste of this tea, the green leaves are left to turn black by piling them up for fermentation.
  • The scent of this tea can range from a smoky pine to camphorous with a rich liquor aftertaste.
  • Excellent with sweet desserts.
4. White tea
  • The processing in this group entails drying in the shade and curing it in the breeze.
  • Made from tender shoots  of the tea trees.
  • Has the lowest caffeine content.
  • It has a furry, silvery appearance.
  • The taste is refreshing, refined and mild.
  • Excellent to stimulate the digestion after a heavy meal.
5. Oolong tea/Semi-fermented
  • This is a semi fermented tea.
  • This is not green tea contrary to the popular misnomer.
  • Oolong means black dragon due to its curled and twisted dried leaves and not for its color. 
  • The processing is a combination of techniques used for green and black teas.
  • Processing techniques may be any of these techniques of air drying, hand rolling or hand twisting.
  • After curing, the appearance of the leaves will vary from tightly curled rolls or fine, round, twisted and with a green luster.
  • This is a delicately seasoned tea.
  • The appearance of the tea is usually tightly twisted, hand rolled naturally.
  • The flavor ranges from a mellow sweetness, very moistening with a floral and honey overtones.
  • The best of this tea comes from Taiwan.
  • Excellent after a seafood meal.
  • Has properties to emulsify fat and cholesterol.
  • Green tea versus oolong tea..........
6. Black teas
  • This is a fully fermented and highly cured tea.
  • Among the Chinese this sometimes known as "red tea."
  • The processing entails drying, rolling, firing and aging.
  • Has an appearance that ranges from a fine dust to solid and twisted.
  • Aroma is usually rich, robust and fresh with hints of caramelized sugars.
  • Excellent with or after a heavy, oily or greasy meal.
  • Contains fat emulsifying and cholesterol properties.
7. Compressed aged tea
  • This tea is made from processed tea leaves.
  • Usually from tea trees that are between 150 to 1000 years old.
  • It is then compressed into different shapes and has 3 classifications            
 i. Bing Cha means tea cake
ii. Tuo Cha means peg-top (refers to the shapes of the tea)
iii. Zhuang Tea means brick tea
  • This tea is priced when it is given time to age and is therefore increase in value as it ages. Like fine wine.
  • The fragrance of this tea ranges from an aromatic fruit to camphor to aged wood.
  • Appearance of this tea is usually solid to rough roll.
  • It has to be broken down into smaller parts with a tool that looks like a letter-opener.
  • The flavor of this taste will range from a sweet to mellow with a dark liquor after taste.
8. Scented tea
  • Sometimes also called flower scented teas.
  • The base of the tea will range from any of the previous 7 classifications of tea.
  • It is then scented with flowers - jasmine, rose, osmanthus or milk or pine needles or fruits.
  • It adds higher floral notes to the existing tea.
  • Excellent with pungent or spicy food.
  • Popular in Northern China.