The various varieties of tea plants and families of teas

Tea comes from two varieties of camellia: The Chinese tea plant (Camelia Sinensis) and the Assam tea plant (Camelia Assamica). From these two plants derive all kinds of tea. The quality of teas and the tastes vary according to the tea plant, the soil, the altitude, the climate, the weather conditions at the time of the picking, the harvest technique, the method of processing, the conditioning, the transport and the storage. It is the processing and in particular the degree of fermentation that differentiates the four main families of tea: non-fermented teas (white and green), semi-fermented (oolong), fully fermented (black) and fermented without oxidation (pu-erh).

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