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You'll know the difference between a black tea and a green tea when you taste it. But what makes a tea 'black'? And what is an Oolong? Read on and we'll explain all.

Tea Types

To be accurate, there are 6 types of tea: black, green, oolong, white, dark and yellow.
The different types are based on the way the tea is made and mainly have to do with the level of oxidation allowed on the leaves. Oxidation is what happens when leaves start turning brown after they are picked through contact with the air. Compare this with cutting an apple - if you leave it long enough, it'll start turning brown.

Oxidation levels

In black tea, leaves are left to fully oxidise - until they can't get more brown. In green tea, leaves aren't allowed to oxidise at all - hence the name, leaves are kept entirely 'green'. Oolong tea is somewhere in the middle, with oxidation ranging anywhere between 20-80% (from so-called green Oolongs to dark Oolongs). As far as flavour goes, black tea is typically bold and robust where green tea tends to be more herbacious. Green oolongs are closest in flavour to green tea, but might have a more complex flavour profile. While dark oolongs tend to be closer to black tea, and typically somewhat smokey in flavour.
What about white tea?
White tea actually gets its name because to make white tea, only the buds, or sometimes a bud and a small leaf, are picked. Buds are typically covered in little white hairs, which explains the name. If we've now got you wondering about oxidation - white tea has next to no oxidation, although some will happen naturally as the leaves dry in the sun. White tea typically has a very delicate mild flavour which doesn't stand up as well when mixed with other bold ingredients. For this reason, we don't typically use white tea in our blends.
Fermented tea
Dark tea refers to Pu-erh tea. The process of making this tea is altogether different because it is fermented (wet heat) rather than dried. It gives it a very malty, earthy flavour. We've used Pu-erh tea in our Coco & Joe blend.
Yellow tea isn't very common, and after we tasted some we know why! It's a fermented tea which in our opinion doesn't have much flavour.

Herbal infusions
Any blend that doesn't contain actual tealeaves, is called a herbal infusion. They're equally delicious - explore more about our other ingredients here.

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