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A New Look at Tea Classification

History of Tea Classification Throughout history, tea has been categorized many ways: by the color of the finished leaves, by the color of the tea liquor, and by the percentage of oxidation the tea leaves have gone through during processing. The goal of categorizing tea is to provide a clear foundation for education by lumping together teas with similar qualities. Each of the above classification methods fall short of providing a method of classification by which all tea styles can be categoriz...
Tags: Tea, China, Taxonomy, Green Tea, Black Tea, Classification, Fermented Tea, Tony Gebely, Guan Yin, White Tea, Yellow Tea, HUSBANDRY, Terroir, Tea Epicure Blog, Altered Tea, Puer Tea


Tea Processing Chart

Tea processing is the most important quantifier when determining or producing a tea type. Green tea, yellow tea, white tea, wulong tea, black tea and fermented teas all begin as fresh Camellia sinensis leaves and go through different processing steps. While there are an infinite number of variations that result in an infinite number of tea styles, the same underlying processing methodologies largely define the tea’s type. There are many similar charts that attempt to accurately depict the tea pr...
Tags: Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, Classification, Fermented Tea, Tony Gebely, White Tea, Yellow Tea, Loose Tea, Tea Processing, Tea Epicure Blog, Altered Tea, Wulong Tea


Tea Processing: Withering

What does “withering” mean in tea processing? That the moment a tea leaf is plucked from the tea plant, it begins to wilt naturally, a process we call withering. But once the tea leaves reach the processing facility, this process is controlled by the tea producer. The purpose of a controlled wither is to prepare the leaves for further processing by reducing their moisture content. This allows for the development of aroma and flavor compounds in the leaves. Controlling the withering process mean...
Tags: Tea, Nuwara Eliya, Tony Gebely, Processing, Tea Processing, Wither, Tea Epicure Blog, Pedro Estate, Sri Lanka Great


The Oolong Compendium

This content is an excerpt from Tony’s book, Tea: A User’s Guide. For more information on the book, please visit the book’s web site. The word Wulong translates to black dragon. The proper pinyin is wūlóng (乌龙), but oolong (a haphazard transliteration) has become the most popular spelling in the West. Wulong leaves are semi-oxidized. This means that during production, oxidation is initiated, controlled and halted at some point before the leaves are considered fully oxidized. This is why you will...
Tags: Tea, China, Taiwan, GUI, Guangdong, Northern Taiwan, Tony, Wu, Alishan, Fujian province, Fujian, Hsinchu City, Min River, Da Hong Pao, Tie Guan Yin, GABA


Tea Varieties and Cultivars

Plant Classification All plants are classified hierarchically by their division, class, subclass, order, family, genus, and species. They are also classified by variety and cultivar when necessary. Here’s how the tea plant shakes out: Division → Magnoliophyta Class → Magnoliopsida Subclass → Dilleniidae Order → Theales Family → Theaceae Genus → Camellia Species → Sinensis Since we’ll only be dealing with the varieties and cultivars of the genus Camellia and the species sinensis we’ll leave ...
Tags: Tea, Taxonomy, Camellia, Variety, Horticulture, Tony Gebely, Cultivar, Tea Epicure Blog, Varietal


Nuances of Tea Classification

What is a Tea Processing Chart? What is a tea processing chart? A tea processing chart refers to a chart that shows the processing steps that different tea types go through after being plucked and before they reach your cup as a means of tea classification. Tea processing charts have been essential items in the toolbelt of tea educators for years. However, nearly every processing chart that exists today excludes many styles of tea and sometimes entire types of tea. I posted the first version of...
Tags: Tea, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan, United States, Nepal, Green Tea, Black Tea, East Asia, Huang, Anhui, Sri Lanka India, Fujian province, Sheng, Classification


The Six Immutable Laws of Tea Storage

Storing tea can be very simple. If you keep your tea in an airtight container and then store your container in a dark, cool, dry place free from strong odors, you will likely consume it before any degradation in aroma or taste occurs. However, tea is constantly deteriorating, very slowly, as soon as the leaves are picked off the plant. When we talk about a tea deteriorating, we are mostly talking about oxidation. Teas that are prevented from oxidizing during production and teas that are not heav...
Tags: Tea, Nigel, Tea Storage, Tony Gebely, Aged Tea, Nigel Melican, Tea Epicure Blog, Aging Tea, Storing Tea Evak Airless Storage Containers, N Seal Vacuum Storage Containers, Airscape Lite Containers


Chemical Compounds in Tea

Tea chemistry is complex. Just how complex? Well, on the bush, tea leaves contain thousands of chemical compounds. When tea leaves are processed, the chemical compounds within them break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds. When steeping tea leaves, our senses are tingled by the thousands of volatile compounds (collectively known as the “aroma complex”) rising from the tea liquor and the thousands of non-volatile compounds that are floating within the tea liquor. Because...
Tags: Tea, London, Biology, Turkey, Chemistry, EC, Caffeine, Plant Sciences, Bhatia, Organic Chemistry, Tony Gebely, EGCG EGCG, Harbowy Matthew E, Douglas A Balentine, Neva Gungor, Zhen Yong


Kinetics of Steeping Tea

Steeping is the final step in the lives of tea leaves. And in their final act, they slowly unfold and unravel, creating a beverage that tells the story of where they came from. Every time we drink liquor from the steeped leaves, it tells us what the weather was like before they were plucked and how they were handled, processed, and stored before they reached your cup. Chemically speaking, steeping refers to the act of infusing tea leaves in a solvent (water) to make a solution that is on average...
Tags: Tea, Science, Epa, Water Quality, Tony Gebely, Kinetics, Steeping, Tea Epicure Blog, Tea Association of the United States


Tea Processing Step: Oxidation

What is Oxidation? Oxidation refers to a series of chemical reactions that result in the browning of tea leaves and the production of flavor and aroma compounds in finished teas. Depending on the type of tea being made, oxidation is either prevented altogether or deliberately initiated, controlled and then stopped. Much of the oxidation process revolves around polyphenols, particularly the enzymes polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase. When the cells inside tea leaves are damaged and the components...
Tags: Tea, China, Fixing, CTC, Harney, Basu, Tony Gebely, Michael Harney, Ullah, Oxidation, Tea Processing, Tea Epicure Blog, Shaqing, Control of Oxidation Control


Tea Varieties and Cultivars

Plant Classification All plants are classified hierarchically by their division, class, subclass, order, family, genus, and species. They are also classified by variety and cultivar when necessary. Here’s how the tea plant shakes out: Division → Magnoliophyta Class → Magnoliopsida Subclass → Dilleniidae Order → Theales Family → Theaceae Genus → Camellia Species → Sinensis Since we’ll only be dealing with the varieties and cultivars of the genus Camellia and the species sinensis we’ll leave ...
Tags: Tea, Taxonomy, Camellia, Variety, Horticulture, Tony Gebely, Cultivar, Tea Epicure Blog, Varietal


The Six Immutable Laws of Tea Storage

Storing tea can be very simple. If you keep your tea in an airtight container and then store your container in a dark, cool, dry place free from strong odors, you will likely consume it before any degradation in aroma or taste occurs. However, tea is constantly deteriorating, very slowly, as soon as the leaves are picked off the plant. When we talk about a tea deteriorating, we are mostly talking about oxidation. Teas that are prevented from oxidizing during production and teas that are not heav...
Tags: Tea, Nigel, Tea Storage, Tony Gebely, Aged Tea, Nigel Melican, Tea Epicure Blog, Aging Tea, Storing Tea Evak Airless Storage Containers, N Seal Vacuum Storage Containers, Airscape Lite Containers


Chemical Compounds in Tea

Tea chemistry is complex. Just how complex? Well, on the bush, tea leaves contain thousands of chemical compounds. When tea leaves are processed, the chemical compounds within them break down, form complexes with one another and form new compounds. When steeping tea leaves, our senses are tingled by the thousands of volatile compounds (collectively known as the “aroma complex”) rising from the tea liquor and the thousands of non-volatile compounds that are floating within the tea liquor. Because...
Tags: Tea, London, Biology, Turkey, Chemistry, EC, Caffeine, Plant Sciences, Bhatia, Organic Chemistry, Tony Gebely, EGCG EGCG, Harbowy Matthew E, Douglas A Balentine, Neva Gungor, Zhen Yong


Kinetics of Steeping Tea

Steeping is the final step in the lives of tea leaves. And in their final act, they slowly unfold and unravel, creating a beverage that tells the story of where they came from. Every time we drink liquor from the steeped leaves, it tells us what the weather was like before they were plucked and how they were handled, processed, and stored before they reached your cup. Chemically speaking, steeping refers to the act of infusing tea leaves in a solvent (water) to make a solution that is on average...
Tags: Tea, Science, Epa, Water Quality, Tony Gebely, Kinetics, Steeping, Tea Epicure Blog, Tea Association of the United States


A New Look at Tea Classification

History of Tea Classification Throughout history, tea has been categorized many ways: by the color of the finished leaves, by the color of the tea liquor, and by the percentage of oxidation the tea leaves have gone through during processing. The goal of categorizing tea is to provide a clear foundation for education by lumping together teas with similar qualities. Each of the above classification methods fall short of providing a method of classification by which all tea styles can be categoriz...
Tags: Tea, China, Taxonomy, Green Tea, Black Tea, Classification, Fermented Tea, Tony Gebely, Guan Yin, White Tea, Yellow Tea, HUSBANDRY, Terroir, Tea Epicure Blog, Altered Tea, Puer Tea


Tea Processing Chart

Tea processing is the most important quantifier when determining or producing a tea type. Green tea, yellow tea, white tea, wulong tea, black tea and fermented teas all begin as fresh Camellia sinensis leaves and go through different processing steps. While there are an infinite number of variations that result in an infinite number of tea styles, the same underlying processing methodologies largely define the tea’s type. There are many similar charts that attempt to accurately depict the tea pr...
Tags: Tea, Green Tea, Black Tea, Classification, Fermented Tea, Tony Gebely, White Tea, Yellow Tea, Loose Tea, Tea Processing, Tea Epicure Blog, Altered Tea, Wulong Tea


Nuances of Tea Classification

What is a Tea Processing Chart? What is a tea processing chart? A tea processing chart refers to a chart that shows the processing steps that different tea types go through after being plucked and before they reach your cup as a means of tea classification. Tea processing charts have been essential items in the toolbelt of tea educators for years. However, nearly every processing chart that exists today excludes many styles of tea and sometimes entire types of tea. I posted the first version of...
Tags: Tea, South Korea, China, India, Taiwan, United States, Nepal, Green Tea, Black Tea, East Asia, Huang, Anhui, Sri Lanka India, Fujian province, Sheng, Classification


Tea Processing Step: Oxidation

What is Oxidation? Oxidation refers to a series of chemical reactions that result in the browning of tea leaves and the production of flavor and aroma compounds in finished teas. Depending on the type of tea being made, oxidation is either prevented altogether or deliberately initiated, controlled and then stopped. Much of the oxidation process revolves around polyphenols, particularly the enzymes polyphenol oxidase and peroxidase. When the cells inside tea leaves are damaged and the components...
Tags: Tea, China, Fixing, CTC, Harney, Basu, Tony Gebely, Michael Harney, Ullah, Oxidation, Tea Processing, Tea Epicure Blog, Shaqing, Control of Oxidation Control


Tea Processing: Withering

What does “withering” mean in tea processing? That the moment a tea leaf is plucked from the tea plant, it begins to wilt naturally, a process we call withering. But once the tea leaves reach the processing facility, this process is controlled by the tea producer. The purpose of a controlled wither is to prepare the leaves for further processing by reducing their moisture content. This allows for the development of aroma and flavor compounds in the leaves. Controlling the withering process mean...
Tags: Tea, Nuwara Eliya, Tony Gebely, Processing, Tea Processing, Wither, Tea Epicure Blog, Pedro Estate, Sri Lanka Great


The Oolong Compendium

This content is an excerpt from Tony’s book, Tea: A User’s Guide. For more information on the book, please visit the book’s web site. The word Wulong translates to black dragon. The proper pinyin is wūlóng (乌龙), but oolong (a haphazard transliteration) has become the most popular spelling in the West. Wulong leaves are semi-oxidized. This means that during production, oxidation is initiated, controlled and halted at some point before the leaves are considered fully oxidized. This is why you will...
Tags: Tea, China, Taiwan, GUI, Guangdong, Northern Taiwan, Tony, Wu, Alishan, Fujian province, Fujian, Hsinchu City, Min River, Da Hong Pao, Tie Guan Yin, GABA