Dispatches from Krista:
Since I’m new to the tea business and am learning something – or more accurately, 20 things – every day, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my newly acquired knowledge! Heather, Chuck and Tait have all been kind enough to give Nathan and myself introductions to different types of tea. Each week brings a lesson on a specific type and we’re currently in the middle of the process.
For a brief background, all tea is produced from any combination of stems and/or leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis. (I was previously unaware of this; it’s commonly thought that green and black teas come from different plants). What turns it into a specific tea type – black, green, oolong, white, etc. – is how the leaves are processed. I’ll go into more detail about the processing when I discuss each tea type individually.
An important thing to note when tasting tea is that since the sense of smell significantly impacts taste, it’s a good idea to do a tasting in a scent-neutral location. For instance, you wouldn’t want to do a tasting in a room with fresh cut flowers or one where a scented candle or incense is lit. Dish soap, perfumes and body lotions can also affect how a tea tastes.
Stay tuned for my post dedicated to black tea...