You might be familiar with the different types of tea: green, black, oolong, white and pu-erh tea, also knowing that all of these are good for your health. But did you know that they come from the same tea plant?
These different teas are prepared from the leaves of the same plant, camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. The only thing that separates them from each other is the way the leaves are processed.
Among all of them, white tea is harvested before the leaf bud even opens. This is then air-dried quickly to produce tea with a delicate flavor. Green tea leaves are dried soon after they’re harvested, before they begin to oxidize, while black tea leaves are allowed to oxidize (ferment) before they dry-up.
Oolong tea is produced almost the same way as black tea, except that the leaves are not oxidized for as long as black tea.
Pu-erh tea consists of two varieties—raw and ripened pu-erh. The raw one is a variety of green tea that ages well and does not need to be used quickly. Unlike raw, ripened pu-erh tea is made from well-fermented green tea leaves.