Monday, January 16, 2012

A-Z Tea

I know it's been like 4 months, what the hey...... I can't believe I did that!! Its not like I haven't had some awesome tea this year and would love to share it with all of my fellow Tea Lovers, what can I say its been a crazy last few months.
I thought I would try to make a list, of all the teas I have had a chance to sample some from around the world. But I realized that would take FOREVER, and I don't have another four months to do that, so instead I decided to create an A-Z of Tea. To be honest that wasn't as easy as you may think... There are some tough letters out there to find a tea for. But I pulled through, I took up the challenge and I did it, (ok I cheated on a few and listed some growing regions, but cut me some slack, you try to find a tea that starts with X or Z... {if you do let me know})

Here is a list from A-Z of Tea:

Assam- black tea named after the region of its production, Assam, in India.

Bancha- Japanese green tea, that is harvested from the second flush of sencha between summer and autumn.

Ceylon- Now known as Sri Lanka, known for its black tea, with a crisp, citric aroma.

Dragon Well- Also known as Longjing tea this is a variety of roasted green tea from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Its rated as one of the finest green teas.

Earl Grey- A tea blended with with the rind of the bergamot orange giving a distinctive flavor and aroma.

Fugian Province- An area of China well known for its tea production including oolong, Wuyi Yancha, and Fuzhou jasmine tea.

Genmaicha - The Japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice.

Hojicha- Japanese green tea that is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal; Most Japanese tea is steamed so this makes it a unique tea all by itself, (one of my personal favorites).

Iced (its a stretch but it works)- The most common tea drink in America (85%), its normally black tea, served with a lemon slice.

Jasmine Pearls- Green or White tea scented with Jasmine flowers, the most famous tea scent in China.

Kukicha- Known as Twig Tea, this is made from the stems and twigs of Sencha or Matcha.

Lapsang Souchong - This distinct tea is traditionally smoked over pine needles.

Matcha- Fresh leaves from a supreme Gyokuro green tea are stone ground into a fine powder. In the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, Matcha, literally “powdered tea,” is elegantly delivered by bamboo spoon into a bowl of hot water, then whipped with a bamboo whisk into a frothy, rich brew sipped right from the bowl.

Naked Pu-Erh- A post-fermentation tea where the leaves undergo a microbial fermentation process after they are dried and rolled. It stems from Yunnan, China and delivers a deep red infusion with a sweet woodsy aroma and mild earthy finish.

Orange Pekoe- A term used in the Western tea trade to describe a particular genre of black teas, not a flavor of tea.

Purple Oolong- Purple Oolong is Oxidized at 99%, its a very rich brew that delivers a full roasted dark purple infusion with solid notes of cinnamon, musk, and amber. A rare treat from Sumatra, Indonesia. This tea can be steeped multiple times.

Qilan- A very mild Wuyi Oolong tea, it has an obvious sweet and nutty aroma.

Russian Caravan- A blend of Oolong, Keemun, and Lapsang Souchong. It is described as an aromatic and full-bodied tea with a sweet, malty taste.its name originates from the 18th century camel caravans that facilitated the transcontinental tea trade from tea-producing areas (namely India, Ceylon and China) to Europe via Russia.

Sencha- Japanese green tea, specifically one made without grinding the tea leaves. It is the most popular tea in Japan, and represents about 80 percent of the tea produced in Japan.

Tirguanyin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) - Named after the Chinese Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, who is known in Japan as Kannon and in Korea as Guam-eum. Named after the legend of a poor farmer named Wei who after cleaning the temple repeatedly. One night, Guanyin appeared to him in a dream. She told him of a cave behind the temple where treasure awaited. He was to take the treasure and share it with others. In the cave, the farmer found a single tea shoot. He planted it in his field and nurtured it into a large bush, from which the finest tea was produced. He gave cuttings of this rare plant to all his neighbors and began selling the tea under the name Tieguanyin, Iron Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Over time, Mr. Wei and all his neighbors prospered; the rundown temple of Guanyin was repaired and became a beacon for the region. Mr. Wei took joy in the daily trip to his tea fields, never failing to stop in appreciation of the beautiful temple.

Uji Gyokuro- The most precious and sought after Japanese green tea. Select Tencha leaves are shade grown for two weeks then promptly deep steamed after harvesting, maintaining elevated levels of chlorophyll and resulting in a bright green vegetal cup.

Vanilla Chai- Traditionally Masala Chai is a beverage meaning literally "mixed spice tea", often mixed with milk. However western adaptations have come to include non traditional ingredients like vanilla, or even chocolate.

White Tea- A lightly oxidized tea grown and harvested almost exclusively in China, primarily in the Fujian province. It comes from the delicate buds and younger leaves of the Chinese Camellia sinensis plant. These buds and leaves are allowed to wither in natural sunlight before they are lightly processed to prevent oxidation or further tea processing. This preserves the characteristic flavor of the white tea.

Xiaguan- This tea factory is a major producer of compressed pu'erh tea, most notably túochá. Aged túochá and bĭngchá, particularly those produced in the 1970s and 1980s, are highly valued by collectors.

Yerba Mate- Not really tea in the purest sense since it isn't of the Camellia Sinensis plant. It is a species of holly (family Aquifoliaceae), which is native to subtropical South America in northeastern Argentina, Bolivia, southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. It's traditionally served in a hollowed out gourd called a guampa with a metal straw.

Zhenghe- Actually not a tea but a growing region for Bai Hao Yinzhen (silver needle), but I couldn't find a tea that started with Z. Silver Needle is the most sought after white tea and is only harvested for a few days each year. This magnificent tea has a light golden flush with a unique savory aroma and a woodsy body. The finish is pleasant with a lingering, yet balanced sweetness.

So there we are the list A-Z teas, I look forward to being able to do more with the blog this year. Let me know what you think, I want to make sure its worth reading and consequently worth writing, not that I have any doubts about weather or not tea is worth writing about, but rather that my insight and knowledge is worth it.

Hope you have a wonderful January and I look forward to next month!!


No comments:

Post a Comment