So many teas! So little time!

Hosting afternoon tea at home can be as adventurous as it is calming. Of course, tea has naturally calming agents in it (L-theanine, being one agent). And there are so many world-wide sources for different teas – China, India, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Africa, even South Carolina. And does every tea take milk and sugar? (No.) Are lemon slices on the tea table just for looks or do you really add them to tea? (Yes, they really do go very well with some teas.) Does every tea go with every food? (Actually, no.) So, to make these decisions a little less daunting, I came up with a Tea Chart that summarizes at least some of the options. Hope this helps! And as always, please let me know if you have any questions (or suggestions!).

TEA CHART by FêteSuzette

 

 

Types

Examples/

Flavors

Profile

Appearance

Brewing time

Accompany with

Notes

 

China

White

White Peony

Silver Needle

delicate

Milky white

175-180˚ F

2-3 mins

Sweet afternoon tea items

Least processed of all teas

Yellow

 

Floral

Pale, creamy gold

80-175˚ F

3 mins

Raw seafood

(oysters)

Infused with flowers

Green

Gunpowder

 

 

Jasmine

 

Gyokuro

Matcha

Aromatic

Clean to grassy

Sweet on the tongue

Pistachio

175-180˚ F

1-2 mins

 

 

 

140˚ F

175˚ F

Lemon

 

Pair with savoury and sweet afternoon tea items

 

Scones or fruit-based pastries

Short shelf life

Full of antioxidants

 

 

 

(Japanese)

Oolong (or wulong)

Jin Xuan (Milk oolong)

Floral, fruity, light grassy, sweet but slightly astringent,

smokey

golden

May be brewed 3-4 times

195˚ F

2-3 mins

Lemon

 

Afternoon tea sweets course

 

Pecan pie, carrot cake, cinnamon desserts

Most complex to process – partially oxidized

“Champagne of tea”

Most expensive

Black

Keemun

Golden Yunnan

Smoky aroma

Malty

Tannic

Fruity

Chocolate

Full-body

brown

Full, boiling water (212˚ F)

3-5 mins

Milk (fresh or condensed)

Sugar

Honey

Spices

Raspberry jam (Russian style)

All derive from Lapsang Souchong: Camellia sinensis sinensis

Opposite of green tea

Fun fact:  Boston Tea Party tea

Puer

 

Earthy

Dark brown

212˚ F

5 mins

Oily, high in fat, spicy or garlicky foods

Gradually fermented

Yunnan province

 

Indian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darjeeling

Muscatel

Slightly greenish and light golden

212˚ F

3-5 mins

(Stands alone!)

Depending on when leaves are picked, can also be white, green, and oolong

Same varietal as Chinese

 

Assam

Malty

Dark brown

212˚ F

3-5 mins

Milk, sugar optional

Different varietal from Chinese: Camellia sinensis var. assamica

 

Ceylon

Full-bodied, “brisk”

Fruit and citrus notes

Gold

90-95˚ F

2 mins

Milk, sugar optional

Must have Lion Logo of Ceylon Tea board

Started by a Scotsman

   (James Taylor)

White, green, and black varieties

 

English Breakfast

(China black  + some Assam + ?)

Bright, brisk astringency

(lightest of Breakfast teas)

Dark, coppery

212˚ F

3-5 mins

Milk

sugar

(May have been created in Scotland?)

 

Scottish Breakfast

Malty and oaky

Strongest of breakfast teas

Dark, coppery

212˚ F

4-5 mins

Milk

sugar

Originally blended for soft water

 

 

Irish Breakfast (more Assam)

Bold, rich

malty

Dark, coppery

212˚ F

4-5 mins

Blended to pair with milk

sugar

 
 

Earl Grey

Oil of bergamot (from Italian bergamot orange)

 

212˚ F

3-5 mins

Lemon

Citrusy sweets

 

Herbal/

Tisanes

Rooibos

Red

 

212˚ F

4-5 mins or longer

Milk, sugar

Sugar, honey, lemon

Honey

Lemon, ginger, honey

 

Honey, lemon

Honey

Naturally sweet

Anti-inflammatory;

                                 sleep                                          

Immunity booster

 

Anti-inflammatory

 

(All non-caffeinated)

Chamomile

Rose Hips

Peppermint

Hibiscus

Ginger

Echinacea

 

2 responses to “So many teas! So little time!”

  1. Good afternoon Goddess!

    What an impressive ‘post’ (If that in fact is where this is headed). So informative, that I feel like I could ‘retire’ for the day, with a clear conscious, because I’ve learned more than a few things today!

    You are a beautiful source of constant information. And knowledge.

    Now, if only you could organize the ‘ Periodic Table’ in my head – as to improve my ‘immediate’ understanding of same – I could sleep for a month!

    😎

    Sent from my iPhone 12 Pro Max

    >

    • I can always count on you! “A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even though they know you are slightly cracked.” Thank you for your incredible friendship always!

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