Tea is a beverage that has been consumed for centuries. There are many different types of tea, each one being a little different from the next.
If you’re new to the world of teas, understanding them can be difficult at first due to their complex varieties.
The difference in tea types is determined by where the tea was grown, the type of tea plant used, how it was processed and prepared, among other things.
Below is an overview of some popular types of tea that you may find in grocery stores or at specialty tea shops along with their benefits and preparation methods.
The Main Types Of Tea
Here are the most popular types of tea you’ll probably find in every store around you:
1. Green Tea
Green tea is a delicious, refreshing beverage that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years.
It is made from leaves harvested in early summer when they are still young and tender. These delicate leaves are withered, steamed or baked, dried, and sorted.
It can be served hot or cold and it goes well with fruit, honey, and lemon.
According to Let’s Drink Tea, the color of green tea ranges depending on the type of green tea used and how it was processed.
Green teas are known for their healthy antioxidants that help fight free radicals that contribute to aging, acne, inflammation, and other conditions.
They are also rich in caffeine, which gives them a mild, stimulating effect.
For optimal results, they should be steeped anywhere between 75-180 seconds and the temperature of the water should be between 160-180 degrees.
2. Black Tea
Black teas are among the most popular types of tea in America and around the world. They are made from leaves that have been fully oxidized to achieve a dark, red-brown color and rich flavor.
To make black teas, the leaves are first rolled to break open their cells and release the essential oils. The leaves are then left to wither in direct sunlight which causes them to lose moisture and soften. They are then spread out so that they can be evenly dried by the sun or machine, which prepares them for the next step of processing.
Black tea can be steeped at any point between 2-5 minutes to achieve optimal flavor based on personal preference. However, it is important to note that the longer you steep it, the stronger the tea will taste.
3. White Tea
The least processed out of all the types of tea, white tea comes from young tea leaves which are harvested before they have fully opened.
White tea derives its name due to the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, giving it its slightly grayish color.
To produce white teas, only the top two leaves and a bud are plucked and then laid flat to dry in thin layers so that less heat is applied overall.
During production, there is no withering process involved since this would break down too many of the leaf cells, thereby reducing the quality of the tea.
Antioxidants found in white tea leaves can help prevent cell damage and aid in the production of collagen.
Besides obvious health benefits, they also have a calming effect and can be served hot or cold.
White tea should be steeped for 3 minutes in boiling water so that it doesn’t produce a bitter taste.
4. Herbal Tea
These types of teas come from any number of different plant leaves, flowers, roots, fruits, and seeds other than the tea plant and do not contain caffeine.
Many herbal teas are considered to be medicinal and can aid with ailments such as headaches, insomnia, heartburn, stomach problems, toothaches, and others.
The best time to drink medicinal herbal teas is in the evening before bed because they may keep you up at night due to sedative effects since some herbs are used to make them act like mild tranquilizers.
Herbal teas do not contain caffeine, so they can be enjoyed by those who are sensitive or allergic to it. They also tend to taste better when sweetened with sugar or honey.
It is important to consult a doctor before consuming herbal teas for medicinal purposes.
5. Chai Tea
Chai tea is a blend of black tea, milk, and warming spices such as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
The easiest way to make chai tea is by brewing it in a special powder form that can be added to hot water along with the milk and any other desired flavorings.
Chai can be made spicy or mild depending on preference and should not contain any sugar since the sweetness from the milk and spices are usually enough.
The caffeine found in chai will give you an energy boost while also calming your nerves so that you may feel more focused. This combination makes it popular in the morning or afternoon when people need a little extra lift to power through the rest of their day.
As you can see, there are many different types of tea available and each one has its distinct flavor and health benefits.
Different varieties of tea have been enjoyed for thousands of years and will continue to be a staple in homes around the world.
Considering the many benefits of consuming different tea daily, you might as well join the tea party!