umijoshi wrote:1. Camellia Sinensis is to Camellia Assamica, as Vitis Vinifera is to ______ ? Camellia Assasmica seems to be a sub-species of Camellia Sinensis. If we could compare to grapes, sub species of vitis vinifera are (eg: merlot, riesling, pinot noir, viognier, etc) all extremely different grapes, producing extremely different wines. If my comparison to grapes is not wrong, then regarding tea... :
"What's that you made? Merlot? What's Merlot, OHhhh, you mean you made red wine? Ok, I like red wine"
Do I have this correct?
Camellia Assamica is a tea varietal that was found growing wild in Assam, and that brought about the idea that tea could be grown commercially in India, despite the fact that earlier attempts with Camellia Sinensis var. sinensis had failed.
Assamica can cross-breed with Sinensis, so the distinction isn't always very clear. Efforts were made in India to keep Sinensis out of the Assamica gardens once this was realized, because the cross-breeds didn't tend to make good tea. What would be equivalent to grapes are the cultivars of tea -- sorts of sub-varietal within Assamica and Sinensis. There are also clonal cultivars, that are based off cuttings made from single unique tea bushes, rather than bushes grown from seed.
umijoshi wrote:2. "White Tea is not used for scented Teas" -- Really?
Silver needle white tea was not traditionally scented, but of course if someone is willing to pay for something, it is only a matter of time before it is offered.
umijoshi wrote:3. "Britain is the worlds largest consumer of tea, followed by Ireland" -- Really?
That depends on whether you are going by tea consumed per person or tea consumed as a whole. Britain was once the world's largest consumer of black tea according to the records available at the time, but is not any longer (India is the largest consumer of black tea now, I believe, followed by Russia). Ireland had the record for quantity of black tea consumed per person, but also not any longer.
umijoshi wrote:4. "Japan only makes green tea" -- ?
Not technically true, but basically true.
umijoshi wrote:5. Matcha style black tea seems to exist, how about powder forms of other kinds of tea? Oolong, White, etc
To some degree this is a marketing scam. Most of the "matcha" for non green-tea is something called "tea dust", a byproduct of tea manufacture, and not high-quality whole leaves that have been specifically ground in the Japanese style. Tea dust can make a passable tea, but it should not be expensive.