White tea is made from Camellia sinensis.
Currently there is no general accepted definition of white tea and very little international agreement. One source says that white tea is minimal processed tea (just drying, no fermentation or other procedures) Another says that "white tea is made from buds and young leaves, which are steamed or fired to inactivate polyphenol oxidase, and then dried.”
It is harvested primarily in China, mostly in the Fujian province, but more recently it is grown in Eastern Nepal, Taiwan, Northern Thailand, Galle (Southern Sri Lanka) and India.
White tea comes from the buds and leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The leaves and buds are allowed to wither and dry in natural sun.
The name "white tea" derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which gives the plant a whitish appearance. The beverage itself is not white or colourless but pale yellow, light to the taste, and is free shaped.
Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originated in China Vietnam, India, but it has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. Green tea has recently become relatively widespread in the Western World where black tea has been traditionally consumed.
Green tea has become the raw material for extracts used in various beverages, dietary supplements, and cosmetic items. Many varieties of green tea have been created in the countries where it is grown. These varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time.
Many claims have been made for the beneficial health effects of green tea consumption, but they have generally not been borne out by scientific investigation; excessive consumption is associated with some harmful health effects but moderate, regular consumption is safe.
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Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering the plant under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation can range from 8 to 85%, depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia, as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.
Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the species are used – the small-leaved Chinese variety plant (C. sinensis subsp. sinensis), used for most other types of teas, and the large-leaved Assamese plant (C. sinensis subsp. assamica), which was traditionally mainly used for black tea, although in recent years some green and white have been produced.
Herbal tea, or tisane, is any beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material in hot water, and usually does not contain caffeine. These drinks are distinguished from true teas (black, green, white, yellow, oolong, etc., which are prepared from the cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis), as well as from decaffeinated tea, in which the caffeine has been removed. In many countries, the word 'tea' can only be used for leaves of the Camellia sinensis and therefore the phrase 'herbal tea' cannot be used. These beverages are therefore labelled infusion or tisane.
Rooibos meaning "red bush"; (scientific name Aspalathus linearis) is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants growing in South Africa's fynbos.
The generic name comes from the plant Calicotome villosa, aspalathos in Greek. This plant has very similar growth and flowers to the rooibos plant. The specific name linearis comes from the plant's linear growing structure and needle-like leaves.
The leaves are used to make a herbal tea called rooibos or bush tea (especially in Southern Africa) or sometimes redbush tea (especially in Great Britain). The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. It is sometimes spelled rooibosch in accordance with the old Dutch etymology.