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Fermentation - what is it and what does it do...

Posted by Louise on 11th January 2013

Fermentation - what is it and what does it do...

Green , white, oolong, black tea – the difference is all in the fermentation!

First things first – the tea bush. Green, white, oolong and black tea all come from the very same plant camellia sinensis – the tea bush.  The green leaves from the tea bush are not fermented at all if you are making green and white teas, this means that the leaves are not allowed to oxidised. An example of oxidation is best explained with an apple – brown is oxidised and white/fresh is not!  So if you are making black tea then the tea bush leaves are allowed to turn all the way from green leaf to dark brown.  Oolong (photo above) is the one which is even more more tricky the leaves are part fermented, the art is in stopping the fermentation process with drying before it turns from green tea to black tea.