National Hot Tea Month
All tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, a warm weather evergreen. Whether tea is black, oolong, green or white depends on how the fresh leaves of the tea plant are processed after they are plucked and their level of contact with oxygen. During oxidation, tea leaves undergo natural chemical reactions that result in distinctive color and taste characteristics. Black tea is allowed to oxidize for two to four hours. Green tea is not oxidized at all – the leaves are steamed, rolled and dried. Oolong tea falls somewhere between green and black teas in that the leaves are only partially oxidized. White tea is not oxidized at all, and in fact, is picked in the spring before the leaf buds even unfurl.
Nutritionally green and black tea has important antioxidants and compounds that help in maintaining good health.
The difference in fine tea and mass-marketed tea is that fine tea is made from top quality whole leaves and mass-marketed tea is produced from the bits and pieces. No matter what type of tea you buy, this beverage is good for you.