Red Tea Origins
China is considered to be the birthplace of tea. China produces many different styles of tea that are grown and processed through different regions of the country. There are seven categories of Chinese Tea – green tea, red tea (what is usually called black tea in the US), white tea, yellow tea, oolong tea, puerh tea, and black (or dark tea). Each of these categories contains teas that are grown and specifically processed in different regions of China.
Red tea, or hong cha, is often called black tea in the western world (black tea refers to a separate category within Chinese tea). Red teas are full oxidized, which results in a sweet, robust taste within the finished tea.
Many of the teas most people are familiar with have their origins in India. The tea plant was introduced to India in the 1800’s by the British to break the Chinese monopoly within the tea trade. Most Indian teas are made from the Assam tea plant – which is the larger leaf Camellia sinensis var. assamica, but others, such as Darjeeling teas, are made from the smaller leafed variety of Camellia sinensis. Indian teas are processed in similar ways as Chinese teas. They can be processed as black teas, green teas, white teas, and even oolong teas. The flavors of Indian Teas vary by growing region, but many of the teas have characteristic floral, sweet, muscatel flavors.