Partially Fermented Tea: A Unique and Complex Tea from Taiwan

Partially fermented tea holds a revered place in Taiwan's rich tea tradition, celebrated for its distinctive hue, fragrance, and flavor. This exceptional tea variety occupies a middle ground between unfermented and fully fermented tea, offering a nuanced and complex taste profile. The production of partially fermented tea entails a meticulous process that demands attention to detail.

The degree of oxidation in partially fermented tea leaves is determined by assessing the oxidation level of polyphenols, including catechins, within the leaves. The leaves undergo a controlled process of withering, transitioning from exposure to sunlight or hot air to indoor withering. Uniform moisture loss and optimal oxidation are achieved through careful stirring during this phase, which not only defines the extent of oxidation but also significantly influences the tea's quality.

Partially fermented teas come in various types, each possessing unique attributes to cater to diverse tastes and preferences. Lightly fermented teas, such as white tea, exhibit around 10% oxidation, while more heavily fermented varieties like Oriental Beauty reach levels of 50-60% oxidation. Popular choices like Tie Guan Yin typically range from 40-50% oxidation.

The production of partially fermented tea is profoundly influenced by tea leaf characteristics and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Emphasizing aroma and flavor, this tea type imposes strict requirements on the quality of tea leaves. Consequently, the production process is characterized by meticulous care and attention to detail, ensuring ideal harvesting and withering conditions to yield teas of the highest quality.

In conclusion, partially fermented tea is a cherished component of Taiwan's tea landscape, celebrated for its unique characteristics in terms of color, aroma, and taste. The oxidation degree in these teas is determined by assessing the oxidation levels of polyphenols like catechins. The production process is intricate and meticulous, with careful consideration given to the quality of tea leaves and the specific environmental conditions for withering. Offering a range of tea types, partially fermented teas cater to a variety of preferences, making them a sought-after choice among tea enthusiasts worldwide.