Tea processing is the most important quantifier when determining or producing a tea type. Green tea, yellow tea, white tea, wulong tea, black tea and fermented teas all begin as fresh Camellia sinensis leaves and go through different processing steps. While there are an infinite number of variations that result in an infinite number of tea styles, the same underlying processing methodologies largely define the tea’s type.
There are many similar charts that attempt to accurately depict the tea process, but many of them add unnecessary levels of complexity, or skip steps. The goal here was to depict very general processes that all tea styles within a particular type would fit into.
This chart outlines the minimum steps that fresh tea leaves must go through to be considered a tea of a specific category.
I believe that it is important to begin with an overly simplified and correct processing chart and add details later on. This is the most efficient and beneficial way to teach tea.
Tea Processing Chart by Tony Gebely is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at Tea Epicure.