Tea 101 | How High Quality Tea is Made
From green to black, there are various types of tea, but do you know what makes them different? To truly understand and appreciate the wide range of tea flavors, aromas, and colors, you need to know the basics of how tea is made. It’s a complex process that differs depending on the skill of the tea farmer and the origin of the tea. So here’s a general overview of how tea is made, how different tea types are created, and what factors determine high quality tea.
How is tea made?
1. Harvest: farmers pick fresh leaves from the fields during the spring and summer seasons
2. Steam: steamed water is used to heat the leaves, which gets them to wilt and turn an olive green color
3. Shape: tea leaves are shaped (usually rolled like tubes) to activate the natural enzymes and nutrients
4. Oxidize: tea leaves are laid in an open area so they can absorb oxygen. This process determines the tea type
5. Dry: tea leaves are dried for long-term storage by baking, pan frying, or air drying
How are different types of tea made?
Different levels of oxidation create different types of tea. Green tea is the least oxidized and black tea is the most oxidized. Increased oxidation creates darker leaves with greater depth in flavor and higher levels of caffeine.
Here’s how Us Two Tea’s tea types vary in oxidation level.
Black tea: 100%
Black tea is the most oxidized, which is why it’s the darkest in color, most robust in flavor, and highest in caffeine.
Oolong tea: 50%
Oolong tea is right in between green and black tea on the oxidation spectrum. This is why the flavor is more complex than green tea with floral and vegetal notes.
Baozhong tea: 30%
Baozhong tea is a lightly oxidized oolong tea. Compared to the oolong tea, baozhong has a lighter body and more refreshing flavor with notes of green melon.
Jasmine tea: 20%
Jasmine tea is created by infusing jasmine flowers in a base of green tea. It's a mellow green color with a sweet floral aroma and lowest in caffeine.
What factors create high quality tea?
Tea is a true collaboration of nature and man. High quality tea requires the right environment and the farmer’s expertise in controlling the tea making process. Tea from Taiwan is praised as the ‘champagne of tea’ for various factors, which are essential to creating high quality tea.
Our Taiwanese tea is grown by farmers who have an extensive ancestral history of making tea. The tea farmer’s technique determines the tea’s flavor, aroma, and quality.
Our tea farmers do not use pesticides or chemicals. Instead, they rely on sustainable, natural processes that create tea that is clean and safe to drink.
Taiwanese tea is grown at high altitude, which provides the optimal climate for growing high quality tea leaves - clean air, consistent mist, and cool temperatures.
Nutrient-rich soil is foundational to growing high quality tea leaves. Taiwan’s soil is naturally rich in essential nutrients and microbes.
Next time you steep a cup of tea, imagine the time and process that went into perfecting the flavor in your cup. Visualize the tea farms on misty hills and farmers laying out tea leaves to oxidize. Us Two Tea’s tea is the product of natural elements and the precise design of expert tea farmers.