Who doesn’t enjoy a steaming hot cup of tea every once in a while? Tea can improve the ambiance of any situation. Whether you are reading a good book on a rainy evening or looking for some respite on a chilly winter morning, tea is the solution to all of life’s problems.
Tea is the most versatile of all the beverages. There are so many types of teas in stores today, from traditional Japanese green teas to modern fruity concoctions. Basically, if a plant can be boiled – it can be turned into a tea!
With so many kinds of tea in circulation today, it can be hard to pick just one! To help you decide your go-to tea choices, keep reading ‘The 18 Most Popular Types of Teas.’
The Most Popular Types of Teas:
Black tea is a classic tea variety. It is perhaps the most popular of all types of teas. They are the most oxidized of all the teas meaning they have a darker, richer taste and higher caffeine and tannin content.
However, did you know that this beloved drink comes in a range of different varieties and blends? Let us take a look at some of the most popular black tea varieties.
1. Earl Grey Tea:
The Earl Grey tea blend gets its unique taste from the oil of bergamot (an Orange Extract, which is added to plain black tea to flavor it and turn it into Earl Grey). The rind’s fragrant oil is not only delicious, but it has several health benefits too! For example, it can help with digestion and lower cholesterol levels. Earl Grey Tea is best enjoyed without milk.
2. English Breakfast Tea:
English breakfast tea or is a traditional blend of black teas originating from Assam, Ceylon, and Kenya. This tea has a relatively high caffeine content (although it has nowhere near the amount of caffeine as in coffee). This tea is energizing, robust, and wonderfully versatile- enjoy it with a splash of milk or as a strong blend with a wedge of lemon.
3. Assam Tea:
Most teas originate from China, but the Chinese variety of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is not the only version available today. Assam tea originates from Assam, India, and has a distinctly different flavor to the Chinese variety.
As with any type of tea, soil, weather, and country of origin have a drastic effect on the flavor of the tea. Assam tea has a signature full-bodied flavor, rich red color, and brisk taste.
White tea is a minimally processed (slightly oxidized) variety of tea that uses young leaves instead of fully matured ones. This gives it a characteristically mild flavor that falls right in the middle of black and green teas (in terms of taste). White tea is one of the rarest types of teas in the world today.
4. Silver Needle Tea:
Silver Needle White Tea is the most expensive white tea in the world today. The tea originates from China, although it is now cultivated in the tropical climate of Sri Lanka as well. The tea has a history as rich as its flavor.
Silver needle tea has been a favorite of the ancient Chinese emperor dynasties for many centuries. The tea requires extreme care to harvest appropriately and thus was (and still is) a precious tea fit for a king.
5. White Peony Tea:
White Peony Tea is famous for being plucked in ‘bud sets’ – one silver, unopened bud, and two young leaves per set. This gives the tea a richer, stronger flavor than silver needle tea and thicker consistency. The tea is naturally quite sweet and much milder than black tea.
Green tea comes from the same plant as black and white teas do. The only difference is that green tea does not go through the withering and oxidization process that black tea is subjected to.
This means green tea has a lower caffeine content than other types of teas and additional health benefits. Green tea can speed up your metabolism, combat flu symptoms (sore throat, congestion), and help with digestion.
Matcha is a traditional Japanese green tea powder, made by finely grinding up dried green tea leaves. The tea is brewed by slowly combining hot water with the Matcha powder and mixing with a wooden brush. Matcha green tea has a unique, sophisticated texture and mouthfeel.
The flavor is stronger, and the tea is more potent because it has been mixed into the water instead of steeped (like other types of tea usually are). Matcha powder has several other uses in cooking and baking as it’s a complex flavor, and powder form makes it perfect for everything from baked goods to hearty broths. This makes match the most versatile of all the types of teas.
7. Gunpowder Tea:
Gunpowder tea is made by rolling green tea leaves until they form small pellets. It was named ‘gunpowder tea’ due to its resemblance to gunpowder pellets.
The reason gunpowder tea is popular is that its patented shape allows the leaf to retain its nutrients better. Gunpowder tea is more efficient at delivering tannins and caffeine into your body as a result.
8. Flavoured Green Tea
Green tea is best enjoyed as a light brew without milk and sugar. It is why the drink is so popular among health-conscious people and people who want to lose weight. That doesn’t mean that people don’t flavor their green tea in other ways.
Mint leaves, fruit, and lemon are all used to enhance the flavor of green tea (which can be slightly bitter in its natural state).
Herbal and Fruit Teas:
Not all ‘teas’ actually come from the tea plant! For centuries, ‘tea’ used to mean an infusion of water, made by boiling a plant. Therefore, there are many more kinds of herbal and fruit teas than there are traditional teas.
Herbal teas can be pure infusions or flavorings of black, white, and green teas using a medley of different herbs and roots. Another appeal of herbal teas (besides the delicious taste) is that pure herbal tea is completely caffeine-free!
9. Chamomile Tea:
Chamomile tea is a gentle, floral tea made using the buds, petals, and leaves of the Chamomile flower. The tea is fragrant, naturally sweet, and pleasantly soothing. Chamomile tea is very effective for those with insomnia and is generally an excellent tea to drink before bed.
10. Peppermint Tea:
Peppermint tea is sharp, refreshing, and invigorating. The minty flavor is perfect in summer or winter (although peppermint tea is traditionally drunk at Christmas time). Peppermint is known to help with digestion, acne, and weight loss.
11. Cinnamon Apple Tea:
Cinnamon and Apple Tea is an all-time winter favorite. Like all fruit teas, Cinnamon Apple Tea can be made by boiling apple slices and skins or by infusing apples into black or green tea. The pinch of cinnamon gives the drink an added kick that ties it all together.
12. Jasmine Tea:
Jasmine tea includes the use of jasmine flower blossoms. It is usually combined with green tea, but blends of jasmine tea with black and white tea also exist.
Some people prefer jasmine tea made without any traditional tea base as it has a stronger aroma and potent flavor. Jasmine Tea has all the benefits of plain green tea with the added fragrance of jasmine flowers.
13. Ginger Tea:
Ginger is a powerful aromatic that has been added to dishes and drinks across Asia. The root has a trademark earthy, slightly spicy kick that makes it a popular choice for flavoring tea. Ginger tea is usually combined with black tea leaves to enhance the robust flavor.
Pure Ginger Tea is usually served in East and South-East Asia either as a beverage or for medicinal purposes. Every Asian culture makes its own claims about the benefits of Ginger Tea.
The tea is said to cure sore throats, headaches, bloating, nausea, and an upset stomach. Ginger tea is enjoyed in many different ways, with or without milk and sugar.
14. Hibiscus Tea:
Hibiscus tea is another floral tea, easily recognized by its vibrant ruby red color. The tea is made by steeping the dried calyces (the part of the plant that supports the flower) of the hibiscus flower in hot water.
The resulting concoction is tart, tangy, and reminiscent of cranberries. Hibiscus tea is known to help combat heart disease and high blood pressure, as well as increase good cholesterol levels.
15. Rooibos Tea:
Rooibos tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of a shrub, commonly referred to as the ‘redbush.’ The tea has been consumed in South Africa for many years but has recently become popular in the West and other parts of the world.
Like most herbal teas, rooibos tea is free from caffeine and tannins, making it the right choice for bedtime.
16. Oolong Tea:
Oolong tea is the most unique of all the types of teas in the sense that it cannot be categorized in any of the traditional tea classifications. It is neither black tea nor green tea – nor is it a herbal tea because it is made from the leaves of the camellia Sinensis plant (the tea plant).
Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese tea that has the qualities of both green and black teas. Oolong tea is partially oxidized, and this partial oxidation is responsible for oolong tea’s color and taste.
17. Other Teas:
Herbal teas can be made using any plant in the world. You can even experiment yourself (although, be sure to use plants that are edible and not poisonous!). Boil fennel seeds, peaches, caraway seeds, or cardamom, and you are bound to stumble upon a great herbal tea infusion!
18. Iced Tea:
Tea is not just a winter’s drink! Iced tea is a family favorite all around the world as an easy, refreshing summer cooler.
To make Iced Tea at home, simply make a batch of your favorite tea and leave it to cool. Top it up with a fair amount of ice and voila! Your Iced Tea is ready.
Iced tea can be made with any tea you want and can be as sweet as you like. Some people even flavor their Iced Tea with fruit syrups or juices. Peach, lemon, orange, and mint Iced Teas are all very popular types of teas amongst tea drinkers worldwide.
Benefits of Drinking Different Types of Teas
Tea is not just a flavourful beverage. It is a powerful potion, packed with nutrients. There have been numerous studies proving the innumerable health benefits of drinking tea.
Firstly, drinking some types of teas can reduce the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that people who drink tea had healthier hearts.
The effects were better with regular tea drinkers, and green tea was more effective at curbing cardiovascular disease than black tea. Therefore, you should consider adding a cup of tea to your daily routine!
Secondly, tea can reduce your blood pressure. Lower blood pressure has proven to be linked to a reduced risk of having a stroke. Tea is good at lowering blood pressure because it is packed full of flavonoids. These flavonoids are bioactive compounds that can reduce stress and relieve inflammation.
Tea is also much better than coffee as it contains much less caffeine (no caffeine if you are drinking herbal types of teas). Caffeine can cause anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues, and muscle breakdown.
Not to mention – coffee is extremely addictive, and once you start drinking it, it can be hard to even get up in the morning! Tea is a great substitution for coffee as it is much less addictive and does not have any of the unsavory side effects of coffee.
What Types of Teas Should You Drink?
So, as we can see, there are four main types of teas – black, white, green, and herbal. Each type of tea has its own benefits and drawbacks. Black and white teas have dark, robust flavors, whereas green and herbal teas have milder, sweeter, and grassier tastes.
Green tea is generally thought to be the best tea to drink if you want to avail of all the health benefits of the camellia Sinensis plant. However, herbal teas have additional benefits that regular types of teas do not. Therefore, a combination of herbs and teas would make for the best, most healthy drink there is.
Tea can cure everything from an upset stomach to an upset heart (literally and figuratively!). No matter what types of tea you enjoy most, this magical drink will soothe your very soul!
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