I recently found out that all Black, White, Oolong and Green Tea are harvested from one plant called "Camellia sinensis" but are processed differently to produce different levels of oxidation -thus producing a different tea. This does not include herbal teas which really are not true teas but are Tisanes (eg. chamomile, peppermint, etc.) even though they are referred to as teas._
I also learned the best way to brew tea in a pot and get the best flavor involves using a tea sock. It enables you to steep the loose leaves for exactly the right time and then remove the tea since it continues to brew as long as it in contact with the water._
I was able to find one at the Monterey Bay Spice Company._
BLACK TEAS ASSAM It's grown in India and makes an astringent, robust, malty brew. Assam can stand up to milk and sugar and makes a strong breakfast tea.
LAPSANG SOUCHONG This Chinese tea is cured in a smokehouse and has a pronounced toasted aroma. Sip it with savory, spicy foods, not sweet ones.
EARL GREY Produced in Sri Lanka, China, and India, Earl Grey is scented with bergamot oil, which gives it an orange-citrus flavor. It tastes best with a slice of lemon.
DARJEELING Grown in India, Darjeeling is the rarest variety of black tea. It brews into a clear, floral-accented tea, which makes it an aromatic dinner drink.
CEYLON Ceylon tea, from Sri Lanka, is lighter than Assam but not as flowery as Darjeeling. Lively, flavorful, rich, and smooth, it's a good all-day-long tea.
YUNNAN This Chinese tea makes a honey-sweet, floral brew. Because it is assertive and has fruity and spicy notes, Yunnan makes a great iced tea.
KEEMUN This is the well-known tea served in Chinese restaurants. Full-bodied, slightly sweet, light, and toasty.
WHITE TEA SILVER NEEDLE Like all white teas, it is picked before the buds open and has little caffeine. Steep this delicate tea in water that's slightly cooler than boiling.
GREEN TEAS JASMINE This Chinese tea is made by layering green tea leaves with jasmine blossoms, which infuse the tea with a flowery perfume.
GUNPOWDER A fairly strong, smoky, and refreshing dark green tea from from China or Taiwan, where it is called "pearl tea" because each leaf is rolled into a small ball.
BANCHA Japan's everyday tea, Bancha is made from the last harvest of the tea plants. It is pleasantly grassy and pale yellow.
SENCHA Sencha produces an herbaceous yellow-green tea. It is a richer green and more flavorful than Bancha.
OOLONG TEA FORMOSA OOLONG Like all oolongs, it's smooth and fruity--a bridge between black and green. Its flavor complements savory foods.
(Information Courtesy of Real Simple - http://www.pbs.org/realsimple/index.html)
Originally posted on barefoot in the orchard 9-24-07.