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India, the district of Assam produces the main tea used in blends like
English and Irish Breakfast. When
brewed straight, it is rich and full-bodied, pungent, and yummy with
milk. Other Indian teas, such as Darjeeling and Ceylon, are also used in
the British tea blends. Darjeeling
think the teas grown in China are best without milk or cream. Their
black teas, such as Keemun and Yunnan, are both very full flavored, with
Keemun known for its smoothness, and Yunnan for its flowery aroma. For a flat-out weird tea, thereís Lapsang Souchong, its
unusual flavors probably not for everyone. The leaves are smoked with
pine, producing a pronounced smoky bacon-like smell. It's kind of out
there, but worth trying just for the novelty of it. And, who knows, you
might even like it.
green teas are produced in China and Japan, with Dragonwell (Lung Ching)
the most popular of the Chinese green teas.
Its bright green freshness shocks the mouth, but it finishes with
a warm mellow aftertaste. In Japan, Sencha is the most popular, with its
delicate flavor. Other good ones are Genmaicha and Jasmine. Genmaicha is
a blend of green tea with roasted rice, and it has a lovely toasty
nuttiness to it which adds a little depth to its flavor. With jasmine
tea, the aroma of jasmine flowers wafts out on its steam.
Itís as if the sweet flowers were on the breeze of a hot night,
and not a teacup in a kitchen somewhere on a cold one. Just beautiful.
are many more, of course, than those Iíve already mentioned. Iíve
barely scratched the surface of the different varieties of tea in the
world. There are teas that are hand rolled, picked first of the season,
rolled into pearl-like balls that unfurl when you brew them, steamed
with flowers, you name it. There is so much out there to explore. So be
a little adventurous. Sip slowly. And please, enjoy.
Cynthia Salaysay lives quite happily in Berkeley, California with one fat cat, a poster of bjork, and someone else's shoes at the foot of the bed.
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