Come learn with me!
I’ve been absolutely in the dark on cultivars and the many intricacies these teas possess. While I by no means have an extensive knowledge on the matter, it’s important to understand the difference between a tea variety and a tea cultivar. I’d love your discussion points and welcome your knowledge regarding my oversimplification of this material!
Plainly speaking, our tea varieties exist naturally and the two main ones are as follows: -Camellia sinensis var. sinensis: primarily smaller and used in Chinese tea
-Camellia sinensis var. assamica: larger variety and used in Indian tea (exceptions like Darjeeling and some Taiwanese Black teas)
Cultivars are cultivated varieties - hybrids that are nurtured for various flavors, preferences, and utilities; blossoming into new and exciting teas.
To understand cultivars and No. 21 specifically as it pertains to my exploration, I had to look into where it all started, Taiwan!
It was around 1900 when under occupation, Japan sought to make Taiwan an exporter of black teas to the rest of the globe. The research institute, TRES(Taiwan Tea Research and Extension Station) was formed; educating tea farmers and creating cultivars. .
Cultivar No. 21 is a hybrid of the keemun leaf - possessing notes of stone fruit, unsweetened cocoa, and gently smoke, and the assamica leaf - a hardy leaf with a rich palette of flavors and profiles.
I’ll be taking a look through Cultivar No. 21 as it’s been processed as a White tea, Yellow Tea, and Black Tea. Each were ordered through @unytea.store and as you can see in the photo above, they’re so different!
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