Black, Green, White, Oolong: what’s the difference?
July 12, 2015

All teas come from the plant Camellia Sinensis.  Different flavours are the result of different climate, location, varietal and process.  Here at Bean & Bud we choose a small changing selection of the thousands of speciality teas available to bring you not only the best quality teas, but also a great variety of flavours and experiences.  This is why we rarely feature flavoured teas: because there are so many options of pure tea.  So when we say we offer white, green, yellow, oolong, black and puerh teas you may reasonably ask: what’s the difference?

White teas are withered and dried slowly in natural conditions.  This minimal processing produces a tea with a delicate and mellow flavour with notes of melon.

Green teas are unoxidised, though after withering are steamed or pan roasted.  They are green in colour with grassy and bright flavours.  We feature mostly Chinese green teas, though we do have a wonderful Japanese Sencha which has a gorgeous grassy flavour.

Yellow teas are only produced in China.  The long production time including resting and wrapping processes produces a ripe, sweet and mellow flavour.  Yellow teas are quite rare and full of wonderful flavours.

DSCF2291-300x225.jpgOolong teas are semi-oxidised, so lying between green and black teas in terms of processing and flavours.  The leaves are also rolled or twisted.  Less oxidised, greener oolongs have floral and fruit notes and creamy mouthfeel, while the more oxidised, darker oolongs have complex, rich notes of chocolate and vanilla with hints of smoke.

Black teas are the ones mostly consumed in the UK.  They are fully oxidised and the leaves can then either be rolled (orthodox method) or cut.  Flavours of black teas can range from light Darjeeling through winey Keemun to full-bodied Malawi.

Puerh teas are aged and matured in controlled environments.  Then cooked puerh is fermented and steamed, while raw puerh is aged naturally.  Puerh teas have flavour notes of plum, earth and smoke.

We are happy to discuss which tea is right for you, or work your way through the menu.  Finally, a word about milk in tea.  We believe milk should never be added to tea!  We will give you milk on the side of black tea (only), but we ask that you try it first.  How did the English become the only people to add milk to their tea?  The story goes that in Victorian times milk was added to tea in order to reduce the temperature and therefore to prevent cracking of poor grade porcelain!

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