Source: Margaret Kubicka, Margaret's Fine Imports, www.margaretsfineimports.com
Types of tea:
real tea- all from camellia sinensis, all has caffeine
white- least fermented tea, just buds and young leaves. Use more of it, it's weak. Almost an acquired taste.
green- heated to stop fermentation (oxidation). steamed, pan-fired, or roasted.
oolong- partially fermented. Not really as popular
black- dried first, then fully fermented
rooibos (red)- from aspalathus linearis, aka red bush. caffeine free.
herbal teas- peppermint, chamomile, etc.
Decaffeination: usually with chemicals, or with CO2. (the CO2 is the better method) Sometimes it tastes a little funny or aftertastey.
How to steep:
1 tsp per 6-7oz. water. White or chamomile tea: use twice as much.
white/green: 1-2 minutes, 180-185 degrees (~3-4 min. after boiling)
oolong: 2-3 minutes, hotter water
black: 3-5 minutes, boiling water
rooibos/herbal: 5-7 minutes
Yixing teapots: the original teapots, made from purple clay
Bone china: if it's real bone china, you can see through it
Iron teapots: can put on the stove