Selecting Tea

Selecting Tea

Just because we love coffee doesn’t mean we can’t love tea too! There is a lot to know when it comes to tea; history, preparation, flavor and health benefits. There are many types of tea, however it can be helpful to understand the six tea categories:

Fermented: These are basic black teas like English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Assam or Orange Pekoe and commonly used in Western culture as hot or iced brew. They have the highest caffeine content of all the tea types and the darkest liquor. They are generally stronger, heavier bodied and commonly produced in China, India, Africa and Ceylon. Historically, black teas were processed before drying to extend their shelf life for long export ship voyages. 

Semi-Fermented: This group includes oolong teas which are only partially fermented resulting in a lighter but still flavorful brew. Oolong teas typically have less caffeine than black tea and more caffeine than green tea. Depending on the tea maker and their tea making process, oolongs can produce a range of colors, flavors and body. OCC’s Tawianese Oolong is a light, amber brew with pleasant peach flavor notes. 

Green: Believe it or not, green tea is made with the exact same plant as black or oolong teas, Camellia Sinensis. Green teas are not oxidized and are minimally heated and rolled to retain the leaf’s grassy, fresh flavor. Produced around the world, they range in flavor and color from green to yellow to light brown and typically have less caffeine than black and oolong teas. 

White: These are the lightest and contain the least caffeine of all the Camellia Sinensis varieties. Made from plucked young buds of the evergreen, white teas are delicate and boast subtle flavor profiles.

Herbal: Also referred to as Tisane, herbal teas are infusions made from flowers, spices, or herbs like chamomile, spearmint and hibiscus, NOT Camellia Sinensis. Herbal teas have no caffeine and a variety of flavors, liquors and health benefits. 

Flavored Teas: Flavored teas include any of the above varieties of tea with added natural or artificial flavors. Earl Grey may be the most famous kind of flavored tea like OCC’s, made with high quality black tea and natural bergamot oil. Jasmine green tea is another example which simply includes green tea and dried jasmine flowers.

Shop our wide selection of teas here.