Tea Types and Production

Overview

tea growers

All tea comes from the "Camellia sinensis" plant, however, where the tea is grown, the climate, soil conditions, altitude, etc, and how the tea is processed, determines the flavor characteristics of the tea. Based on the method of production teas can be divided into three categories - black, oolong, and green.

Production Methods
Black tea is withered, fully oxidized (fermented) and dried. Black teas are available from various estates, countries and regions, with added flavorings and also as specialty blends.
The two main types of manufacture for black teas are Orthodox (rolled whole leaf) and CTC-Cut Torn and Curled (appears like little ball bearings). The Orthodox method produces the traditional looking tea leaf - long and wiry whole leaf types. This is achieved as follows - the withered leaf is fed into what appears to be a very large mixing bowl with a large paddle that mashes the tea. During the process the tea is torn apart to a certain degree and also crushed. To achieve 'clean' tea, several series of stalk extractors are used. Orthodox teas tend to be lighter and less full bodied as compared to CTC manufactured teas.
CTC manufacturing
The CTC manufacturing process turns the tea into what appears to be small balls of tea. The withered tea leaf passes between two large rollers that are revolving opposite to one another. On each roller are a multitude of sharp blades set at an angle that mesh with the opposing roller. As the tea passes through this series of blades the tea is cut and torn apart and is compressed or curled into little balls.
CTC is a popular variety of manufacturing since producers realize higher yields form acreages under tea cultivation. Also CTC teas are more suitable to tea bagging since they flow more easily to gravity fed bagging machines. CTC teas tend to be more full bodied and robust and are well suited to 'gutsy' blends.
Processes in tea production:

Some of the processes involved in Tea Production are:

Plucking: Top quality tea is hand plucked and the best tea comes from the new shoots which are the top two leaves and the bud of this shoot. It takes 4.5 pounds of green leaf to produce one pound of black tea.
Withering:The leaves are spread out on long trays in warm temperatures for 12-16 hours so that they loose water (approx 50% of moisture content).
Rolling: The withered leaves are first rolled by machine then often crushed torn and curled (CTC method) to break open the tea cells.
Fermentation:The tea is left open to the air for one to two hours. Oxidation occurs affecting both the taste and the color of the tea.
Drying : After the fermentation stage the leaves are passed through a drier stopping the oxidization process.
After Processing

After processing, the tea is sorted and tasted and, if desired, the tea is blended and/or flavored. Oolong tea is withered, partially oxidized (fermented), and dried. Green tea is an unfermented tea. After withering (if withered at all) it is immediately steamed or heated via firing or pan frying to prevent oxidization, and then rolled and dried.Green tea may or may not go through a withering process. The leaves are immediately pan fired, steamed or baked to prevent oxidization, thus no chemical change. The tea leaves are then rolled and dried.A special type of green tea is White Tea. Like green teas this tea is unfermented. White teas go through the least amount of processing of all the teas. White teas are withered and then immediately dried by steaming.
Rooibos or "Red" tea

Rooibos or "Red" tea is made from the Rooibos ("red bush" in Afrikaans) and is made from the fermented leaves. The potassium and magnesium content makes it useful in hot climates and during any dehydrating conditions, such as colds or hangovers.


200 ml (about 7 ounces) of brewed Rooibos contains the following nutrients:
Nutrient Function in the Body, per 200 ml
Iron (Fe) Essential for transport of oxygen in the blood 0.07 mg
Potassium (K) Assists certain metabolic functions 7.12 mg
Calcium (Ca) Necessary for strong teeth and bones 1.09 mg
Copper (Cu) Assists certain metabolic processes 0.07 mg
Zinc (Zn) Necessary for normal growth and development of healthy skin 0.04 mg
Magnesium (Mg) Promotes a healthy nervous system and other metabolic processes 1.57 mg
Fluoride (F) Necessary for strong teeth and bones 0.22 mg
Manganese (Mn) Assists metabolic processes and bone growth and development 0.04 mg
Sodium (Na) Necessary for fluid and acid-base balance 6.16 mg

Fruit and Herb tea
Fruit and Herb tea is generally based in Hibiscus and Rose hips, with a wide variety of additional flavorings available. Fruit and Herb teas contain no caffeine, and are all natural.
Herbal tea
Herbal tea is generally a pure herbal substance such as chamomile or spearmint, although sometimes used to flavor green tea as in a mint flavored green tea.

More about Tea Types

Assam Tea
Gingia G.T.O.P. and Tarajulie F.B.O.P. are two of the nicest Assams available. The golden liquor has classic thickness that is juicy and deliciously malty. They are extraordinary well graded.
Flavored Black
First... we only use high grown teas from the top 3 tea growing regions of Sri Lanka - Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula and Uva.

Second... we use flavoring oils not crystals to give the tea drinker an olfactory holiday before indulging in a liquid tea treat.

Third… we specify natural flavors. High quality tea tastes good and natural flavors do not mask the natural taste of the high grown Ceylon tea.
Darjeeling
Mim is in the Darjeeling area of Northern India. From the town center on a clear day the peak of Mount Everest can be seen. The genus of the Darjeeling tea bush is the Chinese Jat, which gives it the distinctive muscatel character.
Fruit and Herb
are a healthy alternative to sugared sodas, soft drinks and artificially flavored tea-type drinks. Our herb & fruit teas taste better than all the above, (in our humble opinion), have no sugar, (it's a bona fide fact), and are really good for you, (they're packed with Vitamin C - who can argue?), Oh, and there's one more thing. These are absolutely fantabulous when brewed to make iced tea. (That's our not so humble opinion right there!)
Green Tea
Chinese Jasmine, Classics like the Pinhead Gunpowder, and other Regional Specialties, Japanese Bancha, Sencha, Kenya Kapchorua, Sencha Kyoto Cherry Blossom Festival, with it's beautiful scent and flower petals. see the Tea Profiles page for full details
Herbal
The first known instance of herbs being collected for the purpose of ingesting them took place 60,000 years ago. Recent archaeological findings appear to indicate that even way back then, our Neanderthal relatives understood the many ways that herbs can heal and soothe the body. So raise a cup to the past! Or, use our herbals to concoct your own custom tea blends.
Oolong
Oolong means semi fermented. After rolling, the tea is allowed to ferment only until the edges of the
leaves start to turn brown. The tea is then fired which arrests the fermenting process and captures the
interesting character associated with Oolong tea. In Taiwan, producing oolong tea involves highly
specialized skills in the control of the withering, oxidation and firing. A slight variance in any of these gives
each variety a distinctive aroma, flavor, color and finish.
Rooibos
Means "red bush" in Afrikaans, and check out the nutritional spectrum this amazing bush delivers:
200 ml (about 7 ounces) of brewed Rooibos contains the following nutrients:
Nutrient Function in the Body, per 200 ml
Iron (Fe) Essential for transport of oxygen in the blood 0.07 mg
Potassium (K) Assists certain metabolic functions 7.12 mg
Calcium (Ca) Necessary for strong teeth and bones 1.09 mg
Copper (Cu) Assists certain metabolic processes 0.07 mg
Zinc (Zn) Necessary for normal growth and development of healthy skin 0.04 mg
Magnesium (Mg) Promotes a healthy nervous system and other metabolic processes 1.57 mg
Fluoride (F) Necessary for strong teeth and bones 0.22 mg
Manganese (Mn) Assists metabolic processes and bone growth and development 0.04 mg
Sodium (Na) Necessary for fluid and acid-base balance 6.16 mg
White
White teas are considered by some to be the purest in the world. Spring buds are plucked, dried and sorted - no pan firing or steaming, no fermentation, just pure tea. Traditionally these are grown on small freehold plots - some growers produce only a few hundred pounds per year. Our trusted relationships with finished leaf manufacturers ensure that we're able to secure quantities of even the rarest whites, often before they reach auction, helping to keep profits in growers' pockets. Note: White tea has a very high polyphenol count.
Special Blends
These include standards such as English and Irish Breakfast, Buckingham Palace Garden party, Lapsang Souchong and more.

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Bottom of the Cup is your Fine Specialty Tea Source. We have over 100 teas available for you. Our tea is top grade, all natural, AIB, Ethical Tea Partnership and Fair Trade certified wherever available!