Tea Tea TV Episode 1: Tea 101 - Tea Basics

Jesse Jacobs: I'm Jesse Jacobs and I'm here today with Christine Savage of Samovar Tea Lounge, and we're here to talk abut tea, of which we are looking quite a few types and let's start with just Tea 101 Christine.

Christine Savage: As you see, all of these teas really look different from each other. But all tea is made from the same plant, this plant is Camellia sinensis and it's a plant indigenous to the China, Burma, Northern Vietnam, Assam region of the world.

What distinguishes each kind of tea from one another is the way that it's processed.

Jesse Jacobs: So these are all the same plant, just processed differently?

Christine Savage: There are about five or six different kinds of teas, there is white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea, pu-erh tea, and the tea that's really seen outside of China, which is called yellow tea.

You want to think about white tea as being the least processed tea.

You can think of green tea as being the least oxidized of tea.

White tea is the least processed, green tea is the least oxidized. Oolong tea is the class of teas that is semi-oxidized. So where a green tea is the least oxidized and the black tea can be the most oxidized, oolong tea falls somewhere in between.

And there's a range of processing, there are some oolongs that are very green and some oolongs that are very dark, like dark roasted.

Jesse Jacobs: So what is black tea, tell us about that?

Christine Savage: Black tea is a tea that's been encouraged to fully oxidized and so it's changing from the clear or like polyphenols to theaflavins, which is the color of the infusion of a oolong to thearubigins, which has a darker more reddish color.

Jesse Jacobs: Hmm, okay.

Christine Savage: And thearubigin is known for being good for your circulatory system in cleaning out your arteries.

In China black tea is known as red tea, because if you look at the wet leaves or the infusion, it has more of a reddish color, like a dark rust color, than it has a black color.

Jesse Jacobs: So, that you so much for joining us today and giving us a little Tea 101, and I will see you around in the tea rooms of America.

Christine Savage: Thank you.

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