Camellia sinensis is the exotic sounding botanical name for a plant that many of us enjoy on a daily basis. It is the one plant that provides tealeaves. In fact, camellia sinensis gives us an astonishing three thousand different kinds of tea.
Many of the teas derived from camellia sinensis are exotic and limited to small regions of the world. Like grapes that produce fine wines, the distinctive flavour and pedigree of these exotic teas is dependant on varying soil and weather conditions, plantation heights and geographic locations, as well as blending, processing and tea-making methods.
The types of tea are broadly categorized under three general groups: green tea, black tea, and oolong tea. White and Puerh are less common categories of tea. Each type of tea has unique qualities and distinct characteristics derived from the processing methods used to make them.
Currently accounting for about seventy percent of the world’s tea consumption, black tea is processed using several hours of oxidation.
Popular varieties of black tea are Assam, Ceylon, Darjeeling, English breakfast, Irish breakfast and Keemun.