Grateful Tea Loose Leaf Tea Types & Differences
Love Some Tea and Grateful Tea focus on 3 general types of base teas for our products; those are Green Tea, Black Tea, and Oolong Tea. We also from time to time carry more rare yellow, silver, and white teas but we will focus on these three varietals for now. All of these teas are grown on the mountains of Northern Thailand by Hill Tribe Farmers, in what we term ‘plantation free’ growing. We would like to explain below the qualities of each tea type and the differences between each of them.
First, all of our teas are grown from the Camellia Sinensis Assamica seeds, which as we have explained produce higher qualities loose leaf tea but take more time to grow and harvest properly.
Our green tea is grown in a similar process that most Chinese teas use, which is to either steam or pan fry the leaves very quickly after they are harvested to ensure the original qualities are preserved. Love Some Tea uses the pan frying method which allows the green tea leaves to have a lighter, toasted flavor. The leaves will then be rolled and dried after they’ve been heated, by hand by our Hill Tribe partners. Our green tea grows at an elevation of about 1200 m and was from an old Miang Plantation. The trees are between 20 and 100 years in age.
Our black tea leaves are picked and then they are completely oxidized, after which they are then exposed to strong heat. This results in a rich and flavorful tea that includes lots of tannins. Although it’s called black tea the color tends to be more of an amber color, and in places like China can also be called Red Tea. We use a process where the tea leaves are first dried and then rolled prior to the oxidation process. This is a more time consuming process that results in the tea to be of a higher grade and quality. As a base we use a black tea from the Lahu village in the mountains. This tea grows at an elevation of 1600 m. This plantation was planted about 60 years ago by the leader of the Lahu people.
Oolong teas are processed in a number of different ways so as a base tea it has the most varieties of colors and flavors of all the different teas. As opposed to green tea, Oolong teas are harvested from the most mature leaves, which allows them to be the most adaptable of the base tea leaves. The most significant difference is that Oolong tea leaves are oxidized anywhere from about 7% - 80%. The longer they are oxidized the darker the color and the richer the flavor, the less they are oxidized the lighter the color and flavor. The flora varieties of Oolong teas tend to be oxidized less while the more robust flavors are oxidized for a longer period of time. Our Oolong teas are grown by Hill Tribe Farmers in the mountains of Northern Thailand at an elevation of about 1200 M.