Your ultimate guide to tea. Here at The Tea Haus we get asked a lot of questions about different teas, how they’re made, where they come from, and which are the best of their kind. Learn more about the origins of each tea and how to spot the best quality. Which tea is your go-to?
Green teas are vibrant and unoxidized. Many tea drinkers believe green tea is decaf. On the contrary, green teas usually have the highest concentration of caffeine. The leaves are traditionally fire-roasted in China or steamed at a high heat in Japan. A different process brings out a different flavour in the tea leaves. The Chinese method of fire-roasting leaves can accentuate citrus, smokey flavours, and light bodied blends. The Japanese method of steaming leaves at a high heat can produce a more pigmented green and a delicate taste.
Matcha is a type of green tea that stands apart from the rest. Matcha is unique because of the way it is processed and grown. The leaves are grown in shaded areas, harvested, and steamed. The tea bushes are covered with netting known as kabuse to provide optimal shade. The leaves are dried and ground into a very fine powder by means of stone mills. Because of the processing, matcha has massive health benefits that outweigh that of other teas.
White tea requires the most strict attention by tea makers. It’s the least processed of all teas and picked only a few days out of the year, usually by hand. The leaves are the least oxidized, most tender, and most carefully cultivated.
The flavours of white tea tend to be delicate and subtle. The taste is fresh as opposed to strong. The aroma may come off as earthy and floral. The tea leaves have whitish-silver hairs that led to its name, the steeped liquid more closely resembles a pale yellow. This is perhaps one of the little known teas world wide.
This type of tea comes from mature leaves picked, withered, rolled and fired. Oolong has the greatest variety of flavours and scents. This tea is very fragrant and can usually be steeped multiple times. Oolongs like Milk Oolong Quangzhou taste best after being infused several times until the milky flavours are most prominent. The flavours are often strong and sometimes smokey. The tea comes from the term “Black Dragon” and has been a long standing classic in China and Taiwan.
Did you know black tea is actually known as “red tea” in China? These tea leaves are fully oxidized and fired up. Many black teas are now cultivated around the world using technology and machines. The best quality and premium black teas are cultivated by hand. Black tea quality, flavours, and aromas vary greatly due to their availability around the world. The well-known Ceylon tea is rooted in Sri Lanka. Trying a Tea Sampler can be the easiest way to taste a variety of black teas.
Tisanes are composed of a fresh range of fruits and spices but don’t contain tea leaves. Although tisanes don’t actually contain any tea leaves they are commonly referred to as caffeine-free herbal teas. Tisanes tend to be the most flavourful and aromatic blends due to their contents that quite literally contain foods (eg. banana pieces, cranberries, or dried lemon).
If you’re trying a new tea, start with the best of quality. If you’re buying a new tea for the first time on its own and are unsure if you’ll be a fan, start small with a 25g or 50g size. A great way to sample a new kind of tea is by trying The Tea Haus Tea Samplers. Let us know which tea is your number one pick on The Tea Haus Facebook page and why. We love to hear from you.