After water, the second most consumed beverage is Tea. It comes in various flavors and color, but all of them are a product of the same evergreen shrub whose scientific name is Camellia Sinensis.
Yes, you read that right all types of tea apart from the fruit tree, or infused teas are all a gift of the same tree. Only a tea lover can understand the value of tea in their life. It’s impressive aroma, and the resplendent taste is to die for.
To understand better which is your cup of tea, let us take a look at various types of tea:
General Types Of Tea
• White Tea
If you wish to consume the least processed tea, then white tea is your pick. This tea is picked when a white down appears on the tender shoot, after which the tea shoots are allowed to wither then dried to prevent oxidization.
It is said that white tea has the most delicate taste and aroma. It has a naturally sweet flavor. The various types of White tea available to us are:
- White Peony: This white tea has a strong taste and is darker than the silver needle. The bud and the leaf of this type of white tea are covered with silver hair.
- Tribute Eyebrow: This type of white tea is different from the rest as it is plucked from a different yet special bush.
- Silver Needle: This is one of the quality white tea. It has a delicate and mildly sweet flavor to it.
- Long Life Eyebrow: This is not one of the premium quality white tea yet it has a decent taste.
• Black Tea
Black tea is trendy in the west and is called Red tea in China. The leaves for this tea are completely oxidized. They were first cultivated in China and now can be found throughout the world.
The best black teas are the ones processed by hands. Those processed by machines are usually used in tea bags as they are not as good in quality as the ones processed by hands.
Black tea has a strong flavor which they retain for long periods of time. Just like White tea, even black tea has further types, which are:
- Keemun Black Tea: It is a product of China, and the flavor is often described as Wine like Tobacco-like and yet fruity taste.
- Yunnan Black Tea: Another Chinese product which has a very chocolate like malty flavor to it. These teas are partially fermented.
- Darjeeling Black Tea: One of the best tea varieties in the world, the Darjeeling Tea has a fruity, floral and light taste in itself. It is best consumed without adding any milk, sugar or any other ingredient.
- Assam Black Tea: If you wish to enjoy a bold and robust cup of black tea then this is the right pick for you. The Assamese tea is usually the base for the English tea used for breakfast.
- Ceylon Black Tea: Ceylon tea are a native of Sri Lanka with a robust flavor and sometimes with a chocolatey and spicy kick to it.
- Bai Lin Gong Fu Black Tea: It is a rare variety as it is purely handmade.
- Nilgiri Black Tea: Usually tastes best when served as Ice tea.
- Lapsang Souchong Black Tea: Wish to consume a smoked cup of tea? Then this is your pick. Its flavor varies from a little smoky to the dense ashtray smoke.
• Green Tea
This is another light and delicately flavored tea which is prevented from excess oxidization by rapidly heating the leaves by pan-firing or roasting the leaves while the Japanese people usually prevent oxidization by steaming the leaves at high temperature. All these processes of prevention add a different flavor to the tea.
A straight of green tea without any flavor addition has a delicate test and aroma but, usually, it is consumed with scented flowers or fruits to add more flavor to it. Many other leaves and herbs often when ground and brewed like tea have a green appearance and are thus classified as green tea. Some of them are:
- Tencha: The tea leaves are covered for a good duration before plucking, and then the leaver is steamed and dried after which the veins and stem are removed from the leave leaving behind dry flakes which are used in and as sencha tea.
- Shincha: During the extreme winters all nutrient get stored in the shoots of the tea plant, The first picking of the season for tea is often called Shincha and it is very rich in its taste and nutrient content.
- Sencha: This is the most commonly available variant of Green tea, in this, the tea leaves are usually steamed and rolled up to make the crudest form of Green Tea.
- Fukamushi Sencha: The process of making Fukamushi Sencha is very similar to that of Sencha just the steaming time is doubled thus, giving it a stronger taste and a robust aroma.
- Gyokuro: This form of tea is grown in a manner which suppresses the stringent flavors and just keeps the richness intact.
- Genmaicha: Mix brown rice and green tea in half and half ratio and enjoy the delectable light flavor of the Genmaicha.
- Kabusecha: Similar to the Gyokuro tea just a little more strongly as the Gyokuro leaves are covered for a long time as compared to the ones picked for Kabusecha.
- Hojicha: Take any one of the green tea varieties and roast it to receive this highly aromatic tea. It has a light and savory taste which can be enjoyed by people of all ages equally.
• Oolong Tea
This tea is usually considered a Chinese tea, and its name means a Black dragon. This tea has semi-oxidized leaves giving it an intricate flavor and extreme fragrance. Each tea planter has its level of oxidization for these leaves giving every cup of Oolong a different taste and aroma. The true tea appreciators often compare the aroma of this tea to fresh flowers.
• Pu-erh Tea
This type of tea is fermented using bacteria or microflora. Just like wine this tea is then left foraging. The tea’s flavor keeps changing with its age. The best quality tea in this category is as old as 30 years. This tea is usually robust with a highly intriguing flavor to it, even though the taste is deep but. It’s not bitter. Its various available variants are:
- Sheng Tea: The Sheng Pu-erh tea is the one which is fermented naturally and left foraging. It has a complex and a subtle flavor to it.
- Shou Tea: When the process of fermentation is carried out technically, and the aging is done artificially.
• Dark Tea
Just like its color, there is a dark mystery to this tea. It is often said that this tea goes through a second fermentation process as well. Though the tea is dark, it’s not as deep in taste like the Pu-erh tea. It has a delectable earthy flavor to it.
• Yellow Tea
It is very similar in many aspects to Green tea, but it does not have the grassy green flavor to it due to a little longer oxidation than the green tea, and also this tea has a long and slow drying period.
• Herbal Tea
Herbal teas can be infusions or just a caffeine-free beverage, they are still called tea just because of their similar flavor, but they may or may not be from the same tree as tea. They come in various flavors and aromas like hibiscus, chamomile, mint or even licorice and ginger.
- Essiac Tea is a variety of herbal tea around which there are claims of it being helpful in curing cancer.
- Anise Tea: It is considered an excellent medicine for painful menstrual cramps, gas, nausea, congestion, cough, and cold.
- Lemongrass Tea: It is often used as a digestive drink after meals.
- Valerian Root Tea: This tea is extremely beneficial in the prevention of stress, it regulates our blood pressure and is also used for its sedative qualities.
- Echinacea Tea: This tea has anti-inflammatory properties. Echinacea Tea is also used to boost our immune system.
- Thyme Tea: This tea breaks down fever, soothes our stomach and helps in prevention of a cough and cold.
- Kava Root Tea: This tea is used to calm mind, induce sleep and to provide relief in anxiety.
- Cannabis Tea: This tea is used in the prevention and cure of headaches, cramps, Chronic Pain, depression, anxiety, and inflammations.
- Patchouli Tea: This tea is known to boost our sex drive and immune system. It relieves our body from anxiety and rejuvenates our body.
• Rooibos Tea
This tea is often also called the red blush and is a native from South Africa. The tea leaves are first ground then fermented, and dried Rooibos green tea is not oxidized and has a very light almost delicate flavor to it.
• Mate Tea
This tea is perfect for coffee lovers as it tastes very similar to coffee. Mate is a shrub. It is a wild native from Argentina. It has a splendid taste which is full of flavor in every sip.
• Blooming Tea
Just think of a beautifully bloomed tea, yes this is exactly what a blooming tea looks like. These teas often are accompanied by some aromatic scents and flavors. Due to their beautiful blooming appearance, they are best suited for gifting purpose.
• Tea Blends
When two great flavors of tea are combined them for a tea blend which in itself is unique and a mix of some delectable tastes.
• Matcha Tea
The matcha tea is made by the powder of the green tea leaves, and the powder is then whisked with some water. Sing the whole leaves are ingested in this tea thus, making this tea extremely healthy to drink. It is a popular part of the Japanese culture to consume this type of tea.
Types of Tea According To Culture or Location
• Masala Chai
The very famous Indian version of black tea wherein milk and sugar are added to tea along with cardamom, Cinnamon or ginger for the masala kick to a normal black tea.
• Fruit Tea
Many fruits are added to tea to enhance its flavor and add a fruity touch to its delicate aroma. Some of the most common fruity teas are:
- Spearmint tea
- Peppermint tea
- Earl Grey
- Spicy Apple
• Flower Tea
Petals of many flowers are ground and infused with tea to combine and form the delectable beverage. Some of the flowers used for this purpose are:
- Rose Tea
- Chrysanthemums Tea
- Hibiscus Tea
- Dandelion Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Jasmine Tea
• Leaf Tea
Just like tea leaves are ground to form tea similarly leaves of these plants are also ground and added to tea to add an extra flavor and soothing effect.
- Senna Tea
- Raspberry Tea
- Nettle Tea
- Moringa tea
• Barley Tea
It is almost the staple beverage of Korea, Japan, and China. It is intensely boiled barley in water and is consumed cold.
• Pau d’arco Tea
Just like leaves, petals, and fruits this tea is made from the bark of Pau d’arco tree. This tea is rather delicate and delectable.
• Mushroom Tea
This tea is often called Chaga tea and is said to have many health benefits and is majorly a staple drink of Siberia. Just by boiling a Chaga mushroom in the water this tea can be made.
For all tea lovers, this is the guide to splurge and indulge in the fantastic aroma and soothing taste of tea. This guide will help you choose the exact flavor you wish to experience
Tea and coffee are two beverages which divide the world population over a debate in which is better. Well in my opinion since tea is less caffeinated than coffee hence, I will always pick tea over coffee.
That being that tea also has its share of disadvantages and benefits, but its best seems to overpower its banes. Still due to caffeine content tea should often be consumed in a limit.
Lastly, I will quote the words of Letitia Baldrige “Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings.” So make your cup and lose yourself to the serene beauty of nature.