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Old 01-11-2003, 05:54 PM
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Default 3000 types of tea?

In article , Ripon wrote:
AK wrote in message
I went to brooklyn Ten Ren yesterday and bought some white tea and an
oolong (that tastes more like gunpowder green). The nice lady gave me a
scan of a ny times story about tea. It said there are 3000 types of tea.
Is that true? Are most of them perceptibly different? (more so than
different harvest of the same type)?


Dear AK:

I already spent a long amount of time with Tea and I still ask myself
the same question. I am drinking tea from my childhood but for the
last 7 years I have been seriously drinking tea with some basic
background. For the last 1 and a half years I am crazily drinking and
working on tea. 3,000 types,humm. I don't think so. I have been told
the same thing(3,ooo types) by many tea experts. But when I asked
them to give me a full list, believe me -- none of them could provide
me the list. Then I went throught extensive research and so far my
list couldn't climb up even near 3,000. But there is a possibility of
this fact of 3,000 type. For example:-

Chinese KEEMUN can be named like- Keemun Mao feng, Keemun Hao Ya A,
Keemun Hao ya B,Keemun Hao Ya Grade C, Chi-Men, Fowliang,Keemun China
Black Grade 1132, Keemun China Black grade 1143, Keemun Congue, Keemun
First grade, Keemun Grand TGFOP, Keemun Ning Hong Ying Hao,Keemun OP,
Keemun premium, keemun superior, keemun Imperial, Keemun mao feng Wiry
Congou, Keemun Ning Chow bla. bla. bla...

About Chinese Gunpowder green tea:- Gunpowder green teas are known by
their district-Tienkai Gunpowder, Moyune Gunpowder, Hunan Gunpowder,
Fukien Gunpowder etc. Also sometimes Gunpowder is graded by numbers.
Its all very confusing.

Think of Oolong:-Famous Ti Kwan Yin- 1st grade, Elegant queen,
K100,Monkey picked,Special grade,Spring floral,Superior,Sweet lady,Tei
Baoota,Top Confou....

So you see in this way I believe there can be even more then 3,000
types. There are also different types of teas from Srilanka, India,
Bangladesh, Nepal,Japan,Taiwan,Indoneshia,Kenya many other countries.

Last year while I was having a glass of exotic Thai iced tea, I asked
the tea master, where that tea came from. For my basic Thai language
knowledge with his kind help, I was able to visit Chang-rai(The tea
estate area in Thailand by the golden triangle. I found out they grow
6 types of Oolong, the red tea used in Thai ice tea and also some
green tea. I was surprised to see the varities.

Basically there are three types of tea -- black, oolong, and green.
But now white and yellow teas are available too not to mention so many

But now come back to the reality- TASTE, I don't think there are 3,000
varities of taste. Like all those exotically named Keemuns taste quite
the same, the differences are some are more smokey, fruity,richer
aroma. But yes some are really exceptionaly tasty, such as-Keemun mao
Feng, Hao Ya A or Hao Ya B. For your information, there are also
Keemun Mao Feng green.

So far I have been able to compile 180 types of Chinese black tea, 179
types of Chinese green tea, and 147 types of Chinese Oolong tea. There
are also similar lists (though not as extensive) from India,Srilanka,
Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc.

Enjoy your cup of tea.

(From Bangladesh)

Thanks Ripon, Derek.. That's what I thought, too, but I was curious
still :-)