In China, the most commonly enjoyed tea is definitely green tea. Greens are easy to process, easy to store, and easy to brew – and they have the added benefits of tasting good and improving your health. Also, green tea is a good base for blends with flowers like jasmine, chrysanthemum and osmanthus.
Chamomile and lavender are two unique flowers, both valued for their calming and relaxing effects on the human body and mind. Lavender tends to reach the mind/body channel through the olfactories, while chamomile is less pungent and is typically ingested or used topically. However, both flowers are used in a variety of different ways: tisanes, creams, oils, perfumes, and in cooking.
White tea is a very special tea because it is very labor intensive in the beginning, when each fuzzy white baby leaf is plucked by hand from the plant. The highest quality white tea is comprised of uniform white leaves only. The descending grades are basically larger or older white leaves and/or white leaves mixed with darker green leaves and stems.
Summer is the season of sensual delights—long days, warm breezes, and that brilliant energy of foliage in full bloom. Jasmine tea blends fit right in with that relaxing and invigorating pace of life and are an excellent choice to quench your thirst or compliment summer’s many delightful and fresh meals.
There’s a lot of web-literature about tea out there, and the drink is now becoming popular, but actual knowledge and experience drinking tea is still somewhat lacking. This is a good thing, because it allows tea merchants to organize tastings for “tea newbies” and observe and enjoy everybody’s reactions as they drink their first good green tea, their first Da Hong Pao, their first aged oolong.