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Red teas (Chinese "black" teas)

Red teas (Chinese "black" teas)

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. The Chinese call "red teas" the oxidized teas, refering to the more or less copper colour of their liquor. The oxidation process takes several hours, its length depending on the climate, humidity and heat. These "red teas" are not to be confused with rooibos, the national drink of South Africa, also often called "red tea", but in fact devoid of caffeine and produced with an other plant, named Aspalthus Linearis.