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Types of tea
White teas, yellow teas, green teas, red teas, black teas... all come from the same and unique plant! Until the discoveries made by Robert Fortune in the second half of the 19th century, the different colours of teas were believed to correspond to different species of trees. But all teas indeed come from the same plant. It is the processing that makes the different and determine the "colour" of tea : white (the less processed teas), yellow, green, blue-green, red, black... The colour generally refers to the liquor resulting from the brewing of the leaves, rather than to the actual leaves. Wulong teas ("oolong" in English) are called "blue-green" teas, to refer both to the colour of the dry leaves and to the colour of the liquor. Both differ greatly from one tea to another. Oolong teas appeared during the Ming dynasty, in the 16th century, in the south of China (Fujian, Guangdong and also Formose-Taiwan). They are partially oxidized. Oolong teas are often made with older and bigger leaves than green teas, leaves that are harvested later in the season. According to the length of the oxidation process, oolong teas will be more or less coloured and oaky. The oxidation level can vary from 10 to 70%. Therefore, this family of teas offers a large range of flavours. Still not very well known in western countries, oolong teas have numerous qualities, both in terms of taste and health properties. They are poor in caffeine and can be drunk in the evening. The best way to prepare them and develop their essence at the maximum of its potential is by using the gong fu cha method, with a Yi Xing teapot.
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