Château Rouge sources some of the most rarest luxurious of Green, Oolong and Black teas. But not many of us know the reason behind the difference in texture, smell and taste of these two very individual varieties of leafs.
Tea comes from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, but the type of tea is determined by the process in which is undergoes once the leaves begin to wilt and thus harvested and left to dry. The three main groups of tea (off course there are plenty of sub-groups) Green, Oolong and Black are categorised according to their oxidation levels – a process referred to as fermentation in the tea world.
Green teas are generally unfermented and normally either steamed, baked or pan heated to prevent oxidation. This is why the leaves retain that lush rich green colour.
Green tea leafs are grown in various locations in the Far East, but the majority of the tea gardens that produce this popular beverage are located on the hills of China, Formosa and Japan.
The three produce very different leafs. Whereas the Chinese and Taiwanese way of cultivating tea results – in the case of the finer teas –a soft almost crystalline coloured liquid.
The Japanese variety is generally darker in colour and the liquor stronger in taste – bearing in mind that there are infinite types of leafs, and the colour, taste and texture is always – much like wine – a result of changing weather and certain crops.
Oolong tea, on the other hand, is partially oxidised. The semi-fermented tea leafs undergo an initial oxidisation process to combine the aromas of Green and Black tea. The Oolong boasts fantastic harmony being altogether smoother than Black and not as ‘grassy’ as Green tea.
Black tea, as we all know, is fully fermented which gives the leafs that lovely dark black/red hue and allows for the strong flavours.
Château Rouge specialises in luxury teas from all their degrees of fermentation. One rather fabulous one is the lightly fermented Pouchongs variety or green Oolongs. This Taiwanese tea has the lightness and freshness of unfermented green tea but is sweeter and much more fragrant.
Oolong teas, however, deserve their own special blog.
Château Rouge is a luxury purveyor of luxury and fine teas sourced from the highest quality produces from around the world. Chateau Rouge Luxury Teas Ltd, Coppergate House, 16 Brune St, London E1 7NJ, England. Company No.5489120 Website by Banksthomas part of the Spinach Group