The Wonderful World of Teas—An Exploration

It is literally true that there is no soft beverage in the world more bracing than tea. And teas come in such fascinating varieties and blends they are a joy to explore. Generally speaking, there are three kinds of teas: the black, which is commonest; the green, or “unfermented,” teas; and the flowery or “perfumed,” teas.
If you are starting a “sampler” of teas, there are three that may be recommended: darjeeling, Earl Grey, and lapsang souchong. These are mentioned because each has very special qualities that are evident at first sip.

Darjeeling has been called the prince of teas and the tea of princes. It is commonly said to have the finest and most delicate flavor of Indian teas. It has a pure, clean taste and is excellent either for breakfast or as something to awaken the senses.

Earl Grey is a blend of many teas and is produced by several tea concerns. No two formulas may be the same, and yet they are similar. Earl Grey could be called a “romantic” tea, and some blends taste vaguely of dried orange peel. It is an adventure.

Lapsang souchong is the best known of the “smoky” teas. It has an interesting, much-coveted smoky flavor.

As a fourth tea you might well discover, if you do not know them, the flowery teas available. The best known is jasmine, which actually does contain jasmine blossoms that are “reconstituted” when the tea is brewed.

As time goes by you might wish to sample the following black teas: Assam, Ceylon, English breakfast, and keemun (said to have a winy flavor).

The green teas, such as basket fired or gunpowder pearl, have a sharp, almost acrid taste and are frequently associated with Japan.

Among the oolong teas, Formosa oolong is best known. It is frequently said to taste of ripe peaches.

The method of brewing all these teas is the same.

    Part of