Just in case you were wondering about the different kinds of teas, this is excerpted from an article that came out in the NY Times on Monday, titled Tea -- rainbow of varieties can soothe and cure:
According to [Republic of Tea's] Maredith Post, all tea comes from the same plant -- Camellia sinensi. The difference is the processing.
"On a scale of black to white, there is black, then oolong, then green and then white teas," Post says.
If you're wondering about red teas, they aren't really teas, but come from the rooibos plant, a small shrubby bush that only grows in South Africa. More about them below.
* Black teas are oxidized and fermented during processing, which imparts their distinctive flavors -- a full and rich taste.
* Oolong teas undergo only a small amount of fermentation during processing.
* Next on the continuum, according to Post, is green, which has even less processing and is not fermented, thus being much lighter in flavor. Green teas are touted for their healthful benefits including been full of antioxidants.
* Rare and expensive, white tea is harvested only during a two- to three-day period each year.
"White tea comes from the same plant as the other teas," Post says, "but the leaves are picked and harvested before the leaves are fully opened. They're from the buds of the tea plants which at the time they're picked are still covered by fine white hair."
It's nice to see tea in the news!