There is nothing wrong with that approach but it means that the average tea drinker is missing out on potential flavours and types of tea that are as varied in choice as those enjoyed by the appreciator of wine who is blessed with endless choices. That’s because the varietals, altitude at which the tea is grown, the terroir, the soil composition, variations in climatic conditions and the endless processing techniques all account for thousands of flavour possibilities in our teapots. Then there is of course the art and science of blending, the addition of flavours and finally the different processes of brewing- and it’s all of these factors that make the world of tea so varied, so complex and ultimately so fascinating.
The processes that tea goes through following the picking of the new growth – the top two leaves and buds – is extremely varied and each method has a significant impact on the ultimate flavour of the tea. We recognise 7 key production methods, though there are hundreds of variations within these categories each bringing about their own unique flavours.