What are the differences among black, green, and oolong tea?

Tea is a beloved beverage enjoyed by people all over the world. It can be classified in a number of ways, such as by the level of oxidation. Black tea, for example, is fully oxidized, while green tea is unoxidized and oolong tea is semi-oxidized.

Black tea is produced in countries like India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. These four countries account for 75% of the world’s total tea production. During the full-oxidation process, catechins are transformed into theaflavins or thearubigins, and vitamin C is largely destroyed.

Green tea, on the other hand, is unoxidized. Immediately after being picked, the leaves are steamed or pan-fired, which stops the activity of oxidase, allowing the leaves to remain green in color. Chinese green teas are usually pan-fired, while Japanese green teas like gyokuro, sencha, and bancha are typically steamed. Green tea production makes up 20% of the world’s total tea production, with most green teas produced in China, where they account for 75% of total tea production, and Japan, where almost all teas are green.

Oolong tea, meanwhile, has characteristics of both black and green tea. Many people in Japan think of oolong tea when they imagine Chinese tea. However, oolong tea production only accounts for 9% of China’s total tea production, with most of it produced in Fujian province and Taiwan.

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