The traditional way of producing black tea begins with whithering. The plucked leaves are placed on shelves called whithering racks, where excess moisture is removed. They are then rolled in special machines releasing the leaves enzymes and juices, which give tea its aroma and taste. Following the fermentation and drying process, the leaves are finally chopped to perfection.
Green tea is made by steaming or heating the leaves immediately after plucking to prevent the fermentation process that makes black tea. The leaves are then rolled and dried. Green tea has numerous health benefits such as low caffeine, anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fluoride.
Oolong tea fermented partially to a point between black and green. While the leaves wilt naturally, enzymes begin to ferment them. Oolong is created by interrupting the process by stirring the leaves in heated pans, then rolling and drying them.
White Tea is produced on a very limited scale. Buds are picked before they open, letting them whither slightly and then drying them with hot air to prevent oxidation. The leaves are delicate, with pale liquor. The more heat and manipulation of the leaves, the hotter the water required to release the facinating flavors of the tea qualities. Different varieties of this plant grow in different geographic areas. Today, tea gardens can be found in India (Assam), Nepal, China, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Japan and many more.