If you’re a tea lover who wishes to know more about specialty teas, then you are in for a treat. This article is your short but comprehensive guide for different categories of tea—specifically, specialty teas.
Specialty tea is a high-quality loose-leaf tea produced by small-tea estates. There are different categories of specialty tea, and each has varied methods for preparation and consumption.
5 Types Of Specialty Teas
In contrast to mass-market and commercial tea, specialty tea consists of whole or partial leaves. And because of that, their flavors are superior. This makes them a highly popular drink among tea aficionados.
Tea manufacturers source specialty teas from the farms of Kenya, but some types are sourced from China as well. Each type of specialty tea is sourced and processed in different ways. Continue reading below to learn the most popular types of specialty teas and how they are prepared differently:
- Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is one of the most popular types of tea among western nations. Oolong tea’s oxidation can range from eight to 85%. This implies that you will encounter a wide range of flavors with each sip.
Oolong is also an expensive type of specialty tea because of the complicated process involved in its production. This complicated process, however, results in a complex flavor that changes with each drink.
When preparing Oolong tea, it is ideal to use hot water just shy of the boiling point to generate the greatest flavor profile. For brewing, aim for 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. For the most accurate temperature control, use a thermometer or just allow boiling water to cool for a minute before adding it to your clay teapot or pitcher.
- Black And Red Tea
Black tea actually has an amber color. It is fully oxidized, producing a strong flavor profile with a rich body and depth. Western countries use it to make popular tea blends like Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Chai.
When preparing black tea, it is ideal to use 2.5 grams of tea, or half a teaspoon, per 150 ml of hot water. It is possible to add an extra half teaspoon if you prefer your drink bitter. For a more intense flavor, steep black tea in boiling water for three to five minutes.
- Green Tea
Green teas brew up a light green or yellow color. The flavor profile ranges from earthy and grassy to umami and floral. They contain half the caffeine of black tea (about a quarter of a cup of coffee). Some of the most popular green teas include Jasmine Yin Cloud, Gunpowder, and Moroccan Mint. When preparing green tea, it is ideal to use water between 175 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Then for every 8 ounces of water, steep one teaspoon of green tea leaves for three to five minutes.
- White Tea
White tea has a delicate flavor and light body with a fresh, clean finish. White tea typically contains very little caffeine, while certain silver-tip teas could have a little more. White tea goes through a minimal and delicate process that is highly sought after by newbie tea drinkers, experts, and connoisseurs.
When preparing white tea, it is ideal to use hot water at just under 170 degrees Fahrenheit (not boiling water). It is best to use a kettle to monitor the temperature to ensure the water is suitable. Use one to two teaspoons for every eight ounces of water and steep it for up to five minutes, depending on how strong you want the flavors to be.
- Fermented/Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea is a partially fermented and aged tea that tastes like black tea. The leaves are doubly fermented before being compacted into cakes or bricks. The flavor profile of fermented or pu-erh teas is earthy and woodsy. Compared to raw pu-erh, ripe pu-erh is smoother and has a richer body. The flavor develops nuances and complexity as the leaves get older.
When preparing pu-erh tea, it is ideal to use spring water heated to 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep the leaves for two to four minutes using one teaspoon for every eight ounces of water. Put the loose leaves in a tea infuser to accomplish this. Pour hot water over the leaves in the sieve and cup. Before preparing tea as usual, give the water a final swirl before discarding it.
There is the art of tea making and tea drinking. For thousands of years, people have believed drinking tea is the secret to happiness, wisdom, and good health.
Specialty teas are indeed a niche market, and so few tea shops serve authentic varieties. However, because of their health benefits and flavor profile, the demand is growing, and they are easier to find in big cities.
Understanding the various varieties of tea will help you choose one that best suits your tastes, whether you enjoy sweet, light cups or robust, powerful ones. With the help of this blog post, you can choose the type of tea that best matches your palate. You can choose from one of the well-liked teas on the list, or be daring and try something you’ve never had before.