Today, I would like to address the four main varieties of tea, their characteristics, and some ideas for food parings.
This tea has a very delicate, sweet, and light flavor and is produced in Southeast China. It contains very little caffeine and is the least processed tea and is very high in anti oxidants. Pair white tea with only the mildest of flavors; i.e., maybe a risotto dish or savories at tea.
Green Tea is produced in China and Japan and has a grassy, vegetal, or nutty taste. This tea is non-oxidized and high in anti oxidants. You might pair a green tea with rice, salads, melon, chicken, or savories at tea.
Oolong tea is produced in China and Taiwan and has a rich and fruity taste. It is partially oxidized and aids in digestion. Pair the greener oolongs with sweet or rich foods such as scallops or lobster. Pair darker oolongs with duck or grilled meats. An oolong tea would also pair nicely with scones at tea.
This tea is probably the tea that most Americans are familiar with as it is usually used to steep iced tea. It is produced in China, India, and Sri Lanka. Black tea has a rich taste and milk, lemon, sugar, or honey may be added. Black tea is fully oxidized and may lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Pair this tea with meat, spicy dishes, breakfast foods, and your sweets at tea.
In addition to the four main varieties of tea, there is another category called "Tisanes." Tisanes are herbal infusions and made from flowers, bark, fruit, and leaves, but NOT from the Camellia Senensis plant. Tisanes are great to sip when you have a sore throat, upset tummy, or can't sleep. They do not, however, contain the anti oxidants found in tea from the Camellia Senensis plant.
Teabags contain only the dust and fannings of the tea leaves. Tea sachets contain whole leaf loose tea and are very convenient. Loose teas are typically whole leaves as well and expand the most during the steeping process.
So now you know a little about the History of Tea, How Tea is processed, and the Varieties of Tea. Thank you for visiting with me and I hope you have time to enjoy a hot cup of tea during the day.
Oops, I almost forgot--thank you to Belle at Life of a Southern Belle , a true Southern lady and Donna at Designs on 47th Street , who gives us all these fabulous decorating tips, for giving me this cute lemonade award (being a blogger with a great attitude). Please visit these girls, as they both have awesome blogs!