All tea is produced from a plant called Camellia sinensis. There are thousands of varieties of tea available across the world, basis a) the region it was grown in b) the time of year it was picked and c) the processing method followed.
Each type of tea has its own taste and health benefit. Given below are the most popular types of tea.
Green tea is the most popular type of tea and is the favourite choice amongst Asians.Some loose green teas are scented with flowers or mixed with fruits to create scented or flavoured teas. Straight green tea has a clean and delicious taste.
Black tea is what most of us have grown up drinking. Full-bodied and strong, black tea tastes great alone or can be had with milk and sugar. And it makes great iced tea.
White tea is the purest and least processed of all teas. White tea has a light colour and flavour and is appreciated by tea connoisseurs for its unmatched subtlety, natural sweetness and delicacy .
Oolong tea, (pronounced as wu long tea), is most commonly recognised as Chinese tea served at a Chinese restaurant.
Herbal tea is the only tea that does not contain any leaves from the Camellia plant family . It can be of three types a) Rooibos tea b) Mate tea c) Herbal infusions. Herbal infusions consist of pure herbs, flowers, and fruits. They can be delicious hot or iced.
Mate tea is considered the coffee lover’s favourite tea as it tastes like coffee. Mate is a wild shrub from Argentina that makes for a delicious, flavourful tea.Often consumed in a gourd with a filtered straw and shared among friends, these herbal teas are full of bold flavours.
Rooibos teas are herbal infusions made from a South African red bush. It is popularly called `Red tea’. It is delicious, comes in a variety of flavours and can be had either hot or ice cold.
Also called artisan or flowering teas, these teas actually `bloom’ as they steep. They are hand tied by tea artists and often include some type of flavour or scent along with the beautiful design. These romantic teas also make for a great gift as they look beautiful.
Tea blends combine more than one type of premium tea, giving it a great flavour.
DID YOU KNOW
After being sold at a record price of $1,850 per kg recently, Darjeeling’s Makaibari tea estate has become one of the most expensive tea producers in India and the world.
INTERESTING TRIVIA ABOUT TEA
1) Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, water being the first.
2) Tea tasting is very much like wine tasting.
3) The less processed the tea leaf, the greater the antioxidants. This means that green tea has more antioxidants than black tea. White tea being the least processed has the maximum antioxidants.
4) Black tea can be preserved for long periods of time, which is why China would send black tea out to the rest of the world. So, while the Chinese still consume green tea, the rest of world consumes more black tea.