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Tea is made from the young, tender leaves of the tea tree. The differences among the many kinds of tea available are based on the particular methods used to process the leaves. The key to the whole process is the roasting and fermentation. Through fermentation, the originally deep green leaves become reddish-brown in color. The longer the fermentation, the darker the color. Depending on the length of the roasting and degree of fermentation, the fragrance can range from floral, to fruity, to malts.

Tea that has not been fermented is called GREEN TEA. Tea steeped from green tea leaves is jade green to yellow-green in color, and gives off the fragrance of fresh vegetables. Examples of green tea are "Dragon Well" (Lung-ching) and "Green Snail Spring" (Pi-lo-chun). The Chinese call tea that undergoes full fermentation "red tea" (hung-cha); in the West it is known as BLACK TEA. Tea made from black tea leaves is reddish-brown in color and has a malt-like aroma. Oolong (Wu-Lung) tea is an example of a partially-fermented tea. This tea is unique to China, and Taiwan is one of its most representative areas of production.

Oolong tea comes in three degrees of fermenta¬tion: lightly fermented, moderately fermented and fully fermented. The identifying fea¬tures of lightly ferment¬ed Oolong tea, such as Paochung, are a full aroma, clarity, and a golden color.

Moderately fermented types such as "Iron Buddha" (Tie Kuan Yin), and "Frozen Peak" (Tung Ting), have a brown color, a full MATURE flavor that appeals more to the sense of taste than that of smell, and a vaguely sweet aftertaste. Tea infused from moderately to heavily fermented tea leaves like "White Tip" Oolong (Oriental Beauty) has a red-orange color and a fruity aroma.