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What is Tea?

Tea is the most favourited beverage in the world, with its consumption surpassed only by water. Having a rich history of over 4000 years, tea drinking was originated in China. According to legend, tea drinking was invented by Shen Nong, the second emperor of China. A gust of wind accidentally blew some tealeaves into the emperor’s pot of boiling water, and attracted by the resulting rich brown infusion and appealing smell, the emperor tasted the drink. He loves it, and soon after that tea was widely spread throughout China and beyond.

While there are many different types of tea, they all come from the one plant - Camellia Sinensis. Depending on the varieties of the plant, processing and crafting methods, different types of teas could be produced. In a similar manner as wine, the taste profiles and quality of teas could change with the influence of soil, temperature, humility, latitude, rainfall, elevation of the plantation and other varying factors.

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Classification of tea

  • Tealeaves are picked green; it is the manner of processing that determines whether the tea becomes black, green white or oolong. (storm in a teacup) According to the degree of fermentation, tea can be categorized into three main categories: lightly-fermented or non-fermented tea (white and green tea), semi-fermented tea (oolong tea), and fully-fermented tea (black tea)
  • Green tea: A very well known and loved tea around the world. Green tea has undergone minimal fermentation during processing. It originates from China and has had great impacts in many cultures in Asia countries such as Japan and South Korea. It has recently become popular in the western countries, as an alternative of traditional black tea. Along with its refreshing taste, scientists have proven there are a lot of health benefits by drinking green tea.
  • Look for our premium green tea selection: Jasmine Pearl Green Tea, Long Jing Green Tea
  • White tea: With a pale infusion and light flavor, white tea is processed from the delicate buds and younger leaves of the Chinese variant of Camellia Sinensis. Bathed in natural sunlight and lightly processed to prevent further oxidation, the white tea is filled with a uniquely natural and mild flavor.
  • Oolong tea: Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea produced through an unique process. It is one of the most time-consuming teas to create which gives it a more complex flavor, stronger fragrance and aftertaste over green tea, with very smooth, soft astringency and rich in floral, fruity or woody flavors. It is a firm connoisseur favorite and widely loved around the world since 150 years ago. Oolong is semi-fermented tea involving around 7 steps to make, with rolling and oxidizing done repeatedly. The level of fermentation ranges from 8% to 85%, depending on the varieties and production style. Some oolongs have undergone roasting process to create unique aroma.
  • Look for our premium Oolong tea selection: Oriental Beauty Tea, Dong Ding Oolong, Four Seasons Oolong, Amber Red Oolong
  • Black tea: Featuring stronger flavor and infusion, Black tea undergone further fermentation than the oolong, green and white teas. It is usually graded on one of four scales of quality. Whole leaf teas are highest quality followed by broken leaves, fannings, and dusts. Whole leaf teas are produced with little or no alteration to the tea leaf. This results in a finished product with a coarser texture than that of bagged teas. Whole leaf teas are widely considered the most valuable, especially if they contain leaf tips.

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