When you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle without sacrificing the strong flavors you love, tea is the perfect drink option. Packed full of essential vitamins, a freshly steeped cup of tea can work wonders on the body and mind. Depending on your preferred blend, you can even pair this drink with a myriad of snack and meal options. However, if you’re new to the world of tea, choosing the one that’s right for you can be an intimidating challenge. Use this helpful guide to the different types of tea to aid you in your research.
One of the most popular teas in the world, black tea has the highest concentration of caffeine—second only to coffee. This makes it a great choice for morning tea drinkers, as it’s a surefire way to wake you up and get you ready to take on the day. Black teas are a darker, copper-like color and possess a stronger, richer flavor. This is due to their preparation process, which involves allowing them to oxidize prior to drying them out. The oxidation process speeds up the rate of decay, which pulls out more of the leave’s natural taste and potency.
Characterized by its lighter coloring and more delicate flavor profile, white tea is also very popular. Though derived from the same type of leaf, the Camellia sinensis, white tea is instantly dried upon harvesting. Because of this, the plant doesn’t have time to darken due to its exposure to oxygen. The result is a series of fine teas with a fruitier taste and lower caffeine measurement.
Green teas are like white in that they aren’t oxidized. However, this doesn’t mean that they taste the same. In this case, Camellia sinensis leaves are lightly heated or steamed, pulling out a lighter and fresher taste with hints of grassiness. Green tea boasts a wide range of flavors that include fruity, earthy, and even savory. But, if you want to make the most of brewing this tea, it’s vital that you use it in its loose-leaf form.
Another important variety to mention in this guide to the different types of tea is oolong. This tea also sits between black and white blends in terms of oxidization. It’s important to note that the amount of oxidation these leaves undergo can vary. Depending on how long this process takes, these traditional Chinese teas can have anywhere from a crisp, fruity taste to a sweeter, floral profile. So, you may need to experiment to find the right blend for you.
Pu-erh tea is important to mention as well. While this tea is less popular than some others, it has a significant niche following due to its unique aging process. These leaves ferment in a humid environment, preventing oxidation yet still pulling out a series of distinct tastes. It tends to be dark and rich like black tea, but the flavor is much fresher and more defined.
In understanding the different teas, you can enter the world of this drink with confidence. Now, you can start off your search for your preferred drink on a more efficient path.