White teas are produced in the Fujian province of China’s east coast; the productions are limited and rare. White teas are picked before the tea buds open up. They’re put through a quick-drying process with steam and fire to prevent oxidation. Their leaves tend to be more pale and less fragrant than other teas. One becomes aware of subtle changes in breath (and mouth) while drinking these teas. Pai Mu Tan (white hairy monkey tea), Pai Loong Chu (white dragon ball tea) and Pai Hai Yin Chin (silver needle tea) are the most popular and well-known kinds of white teas.

Green teas are greenish in color often with a yellowish tone. The leaves are freshly picked, then heat-treated to stop any oxidation; they’re also called non-fermented teas. The leaves are then traditionally left to dry on bamboo racks exposed to the open air and sun. This differs from other teas which are put through an oxidation process which darkens the leaves. The unique process is responsible for the leaves distinct green color and other properties. Lo Chu Ch’a (gunpowder tea), Polee tea, Ho Chin (pine needle tea), Jasmine, Lung Ching tea and Matcha Uji (Japanese powdered green tea) are some of the well-known kinds of green teas.

Most of the sellers list Oolong teas as a Green tea. However, the drying process is slightly different--Oolong teas are semi-fermented (Green teas are non-fermented). They’re produced along the western border of the Fujian province in China and Taiwan. The leaves must not be picked too soon and have to be processed immediately after plucking. During the period of oxidation, the leaves turn slightly yellow with reddish color on the edges. Oolongs are always formed as whole leaf teas and often used as a base for Jasmine and other scented teas. Different regions have produced their own famous Oolong teas. WuYi Rock Tea is considered to be the most famous in Northern province while Tee GuanYin is the most well-known in the South. Phoenix ShuiXian tends to be the best example in Canton, and Dong-Ding in Taiwan.

The process of producing black teas is unlike the ways that green teas and Oolong teas are made. Black teas are fully fermented while Oolong teas are semi-fermented and green teas are non-fermented. These teas go through four basic steps in their production: withering, rolling, fermenting and drying. Leaves have to be exposed to the air after being rolled and crushed, then oxidized, causing a major chemical change. This is evident as the leaves changing from green to a coppery red color. The taste of black teas are generally bittersweet, slightly varying with additional sips. Black teas are the most common tea in contrast to the other varieties. Keemun, Lapsang Souchong, Assam, Darjeeling, Earl Grey and English Breakfast are some of the best known black teas.

As society becomes more environmentally and health conscience, organic teas gain popularity . They’re developed absolutely free of chemicals avoiding commercial fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Today, some of the finest quality organic teas are produced in India, Africa and Sri Lanka.

Herbal teas are also considered caffeine-free teas, and are not made from the same plants as green, oolong and black teas. Instead, they’re made from flowers, seeds and barks and possess refreshing, calming, and exotic features.