Kínai teafajták
osztályozása a fermentáció mértéke szerint

Teakult, a Terebess Online különlapja


So called "fermentation" in tea manufacture is natural process of chemical changes of some leaf compounds (mostly catechins, namely thanks to polyphenol oxidase ~ except of MICROBIAL FERMENTATION) according to desired particular flavor and color of final product. CATECHINS ('tannin' bodies) are important members of a large group of polyphenols - an organic substances occurred in fresh tea-leaves. Polyphenol oxidase is a tea-leaves' ENZYME (= complex protein substances produced by living cells) which together with atmospheric oxygen are brought into contact with catechins (when tea-leaves are rolled) and "enzymatic fermentation" takes place... forming yellow (theaflavins) and then red-brown (thearubigins) compounds giving peculiar flavor and color to fermented-tea extract (liquor)...
WHITEFEHÉR TEA, WHITE TEA (in Chinese: BAI-CHA / Japanese: haku-cha)
Leaves are withered (lain idle - outdoor or indoor) = softened, undergoing weak enzymatic oxidation: moisture in leaves decreases by evaporating and permeability of the cell-walls increases, allowing its content to interact (increasing content of desired aroma and other components) - and finally dried (= to stop all chemical activities and enable tea leaves storage)
Fermentation rate: 10-20%
Average water-extract color degree: 1 (lightest)
TYPICALLY PRODUCED in: China [e.g."Fu-jian BAI-HAO YIN-ZHEN"...]
YELLOWSÁRGA TEA, YELLOW TEA (C: HUANG-CHA / J: oo-cha) (inaccurately classified as 'GREEN')
Fresh-tea-leaves enzymes are INACTIVATED by heating, and leaves are rolled (and parched) and put in small closed container where lying idle under stuffy-heating conditions (moist & heaped / gradually alternating with parching - as the case may be) - and finally dried
Fermentation rate: 20-30%
Average water-extract color degree: 2
BLUEKÉKES-ZÖLD TEA, BLUE-GREEN TEA (C: QING-CHA / J: sei cha \ inaccurately known as "OOLONG" / =J: uuroncha)
Leaves are withered with some shaking ~undergoing weaker or deeper enzymatic oxidation (usu. mainly at the edges of leaves, slightly damaged by shaking-turn-over treatment)~ and then gradually heated and rolled (by turns) and finally dried
Fermentation rate: 15-30-70%
Average water-extract color degree: 3
TYPICALLY PRODUCED in: China [e.g."Fu-jian AN-XI TIE-GUAN-YIN"...]
REDVÖRÖS TEA, RED TEA (C: HONG-CHA / J: KOO-CHA) (=BLACK TEA in Western languages)
(can be processed to Compressed Tea)
Leaves are withered (= softened for following mechanical operations), rolled (as for ORTHODOX method) or processed by CTC (Crush-Tear-Curl) or ROTORVANE or LEGG-CUT methods... (for all methods: leaf-cells are broken up and its chemical components are mixed with enzymes.../ deep enzymatic oxidation of polyphenols is started), and lain idle to "incubate" in humid warm room - (oxidation is accelerated in entire leaf, since damaged and macerated by rolling or even more damaged by other processes) - and then dried
Fermentation rate: 80-90%
Average water-extract color degree: 4
TYPICALLY PRODUCED in: China [e.g."An-hui QI-MEN GONG-FU"...], India, Sri Lanka, JAPAN,...
DARKSÖTÉT TEA, DARK TEA (C: HEI-CHA / J: KOKU-CHA \ inaccurately known as "PU'ERH" / =J: Pu'aaru)
(often processed to COMPRESSED TEA: +damp-piled, pressed, dried)
[* Incl. subcategory of PICKLED TEAS (=J: TSUKEMONOCHA) = lactic-acid bacteria fermented]
Usually tea-enzymes are INACTIVATED by heating (=parching or steaming), and leaves are rolled, parched and sun-dried (parching & drying sometimes omitted) and then damp-and-piled (covered lain idle for number of days) =fermented by multiplied wild yeast, and finally dried. It can be 'mellowed' (aged - stored under certain conditions) for years to improve its quality ("round" taste).
Fermentation rate: 100%
Average water-extract color degree: 5 (darkest)
TYPICALLY PRODUCED in: China [e.g."Yun-nan PU-ER CHA"...], JAPAN [e.g."GO'ISHI CHA"]


GREENZÖLD TEA, GREEN TEA (in Chinese: LÜ-CHA / Japanese: RYOKU-CHA or popularly known also as: O-Cha):
(can be processed ~steamed, pressed, dried~ to COMPRESSED TEA)
[Green color retained - leaves' chlorophyll is not broken down by enzymes activity. The aim of green-tea manufacture is to preserve good qualities of raw tea leaves, but to improve tea-flavor]
Tea enzymes are INACTIVATED by heating (sassei) - shorter or longer stir-steaming in rotating drum (or steaming through moving belt / or boiling - coarse teas) or parching (stirred in high-heated metal drum or pan) =leaf flexibility increase to facilitate following process of rolling (=kneaded to release leaf-juices + squeeze moisture content of leaves out to their surface , then remove by hot air... / and to make processed leaves uniform in shape) and gradually dried ( to enable tea leaves storage...), or in some special cases are dried without any rolling
Fermentation rate: 0% (infused leaves have green color only)
TYPICALLY PRODUCED in: China [e.g."Zhe-jiang XI-HU LONG-JING"...], JAPAN,...