By Eileen Wen Mooney
BEIJING, May 17 -- When you think of Chinese tea, green tea and now increasingly often, white tea, springs to mind. However, black tea, also known as red tea, is just as much a staple tea in some regions of the country. Not only that, there exists a very common roast that is classified as both green and red.
All teas come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The differences between the types of tea are determined by the processing method, where the tea plant is grown and also by the appearance and taste of the infused tea.
The length of time leaves are fermented determines the color, taste, aroma and character of the tea.
The longer leaves are roasted, the darker the color. The less the leaves are fermented and roasted, the more natural the taste of the tea. Black teas are fermented and green teas are not.
Chinese teas can be categorized into four different groups: green, black, oolong (which is semi-fermented and thus is considered as both a green and red tea) and finally flower-scented teas known as huacha.