Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tea Varietals

Wu Long? Green? Black?

What's your cup of tea?
Or something more exotic like pu-erh or white tea?
The major difference between all of these types of tea is how the leaves are processed after they are picked. No matter which your preference, all tea comes from the same plant - Camellia sinensis.
The others are primarily used as flowering shrubs. There are as many as 300 species of Camellia, but only one of them is used to make tea. Camellia is a genus of the family Theaceae. Even so, not all tea leaves are equal.
The assamica variety will grow to a larger plant than sinensis and has larger, thinner leaves. The sinensis variety has relatively small and narrow leaves and is more tolerant to cold. assamica (Assam tea or Indian tea). sinensis (China tea) and Camellia sinensis var.

The "tea Camellia" (Camellia sinensis) has two varieties - Camellia sinensis var.
Varietals have special characteristics that make them suitable for growing in a particular area or for producing a certain type of tea. As with most Camellias, Camellia sinensis is very easy to hybridize and this had led to the development of more than 3000 tea ‘varietals'.
Other varietals may have higher resistance to diseases which can affect the tea plant. White tea, for example, is produced from a varietal that has an abundance of fine hairs on the young leaf shoots. Varietals can be identified by leaf shape, coloring, leaf size, or other desirable characteristics.
‘Da Bai' (big white) is a varietal used to make the Japanese green tea of the same name. Many varietals are given names that describe the appearance or the use of the tea leaf.
A varietal traditionally used for white tea could be processed into wu long tea, or a black tea varietal could be used to make green tea. Most varietals have come to be associated with a certain type of tea, but this does not mean that specific varietals cannot be used for other teas.
The taste of tea is affected by the soil, the climate, the season, the varietal, the variety, the processing method, the skill of the tea processor, the brewing method, and the brewing utensils. One of the reasons why tea is so interesting is because of its limitless possibilities.
No wonder then that tea has been so popular for so many years - it's a taste of life. All of these factors affect the flavor and quality of the tea.
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Information about the types of tea, tea production, tea growing, the health benefits of tea, and making and serving tea can be found at Tea Genius is a complete knowledge base of tea. Paul Dickson is a contributing writer Tea
If you are a tea lover or simply want to know more about the wonderful beverage called tea, visit



I have purchased my WuLong Tea in loose form for years and it has helped me to keep my cholesterol and weight in check I use this loose leaf tea cup infuser and I can re-brew my tea leaves several times.

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