There are several types of teas that you can choose to drink. Some people might assume that each type of tea comes from a different type of plant.
The truth is that all common (or ‘true’) teas come from the same plant species called Camellia Sinensis.
The differences between these various teas pertain to how they were processed, the conditions they were grown in, and the geographical location of where they come from.
Even though Camellia Sinensis originally comes from Asia (so it is most widely held), it is being cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions throughout the globe. For this reason, there are actually thousands of different varieties of tea.
With the exception of water, no other beverage is consumed more than tea.
Now let’s learn about the most popular teas. The first five are true teas which come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. The second five are alternative teas which come from other natural sources.
These are not as popular as the true teas, but they do provide people with amazing health benefits.
This is the most common tea that people drink.
It goes through a complete oxidation process where the leaves’ water evaporates, allowing them to absorb excessive amounts of oxygen.
Once the process is finished, the tea leaves are left looking black and brown. It has 50% the amount of caffeine that coffee has.
This tea is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks in the world.
Since it is not put through an oxidation process like black tea, all the natural healthy properties of the tea leaves remain intact.
It is treated with heat to prevent oxidation. Green tea has only 20% of the caffeine that coffee has.
As the name indicates, the tea will appear to have a green colour to it.
This is the least processed tea out of all the others. White tea is not put through an oxidation process. It is manually processed by hand with the plant’s youngest shoots.
There is hardly any caffeine in white tea either. Overall, it is naturally sweet and very good for your health.
This is partially oxidized as the Oolong tea leaves get harvested after the green tea leaves during the same season. It’s great to drink in winter, but also quite a popular spring tea.
The tea leaves are put through a withering process and then shaken around in baskets, leaving them bruised.
Once oxygen hits the leaves, they change into a darker colour.
This is older black tea. The Chinese like this tea because it contains medicinal properties and has gone through the most extensive oxidation process.
This makes the tea look very dark. While the tea is ageing, it is put through a fermentation process too.
The most expensive Pu-erh Tea is about 30 years old.
Other Popular Teas
The tea comes from the popular cereal grain called barley. When it is prepared, the barley is toasted and then placed in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
People will consume the tea in a cup of ice so that it is cold.
This is a combination of black tea, Indian herbs, Indian spices, and steamed milk.
The spices could be anything, such as cardamom or cinnamon.
This allows the preparer to make a unique type of chai tea by experimenting with different spices.
The Chaga mushroom is used to make Chaga tea. It contains bioactive compounds which are believed to have excellent health benefits.
You can make the tea by merely boiling the mushroom.
The Matricaria chamomilla plant contains edible flowers which are used to make this tea.
It is well known as a relaxing tea that encourages a more peaceful sleep – you be the judge!
A popular green tea in Japan. It is prepared by grinding green tea leaves until they become a powdery substance.
The powder is then added to water and whisked. The tea is often served during Japanese celebrations and events. Matcha tea is one of the healthiest green teas on the market.
What’s Your Tea Ritual?
No doubt there are many more teas we could mention – we have not even scratched the surface on Chinese Teas.
These are just a selection of some of the most well known and well loved teas from around the world.
Do you have a favourite winter tea? What do you like to add to your tea? Do you have any special rituals when it comes to tea making and drinking? Let us know in the comments below.
This makes it a great drink to have before going to sleep.