Types of Tea
There are countless blends of tea in the world and new blends are being created daily, but when it comes to types of tea, it can be broken down into a handful of different teas. Some say there are 5 basic types of teas. I will be talking about 7 different types of tea. One of the extras you may be very familiar with. The other, you may have never heard of. I can say that I never have and only came across this type while doing some more research about tea. The seven different types of tea I will be talking about would be Green tea, Black tea, White tea, Oolong (or Wulong) tea, Pu'erh tea, Herbal Infusion tea, and Yellow tea.
The fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis are dehydrated to prevent any chance of oxidation. This is what increased the "green" characteristic of this tea. This tea is produced primarily in China and Japan where over 1500 different varieties can be found. Many health benefits can be found correlated to the consumption of green tea.
Black teas undergo the most rigorous oxidation. This is the tea that the west is traditionally most familiar with. In Asia, black tea is known as "red" tea due to the copper color of the infusion they produce. They are also the strongest in taste in comparison to green, white, and oolong teas.
The best white teas consist completely of buds from the best harvests. White teas undergo the least amount of handling and are dried naturally or with the help of fans to help remove moisture. They are light in taste and very refreshing. Typically among the lowest amount in caffeine apart from herbal infusions.
Oolong teas are processed according to a 300 year old tradition, and undergo partial oxidation before being twisted or rolled. The percentage of oxidation will affect the flavor of the tea. Oolong teas that undergo 10%-30% oxidation have a slightly sweet floral aromas. Teas that undergo 40%-70% oxidation will have woody, fruity, and sometimes caramelized tones. "Wulong" means "black dragon". Pretty cool naming, wouldn't you agree?
Pu-erh tea originates in China's Yunnan province and remains a Chinese specialty. This tea is fermented and oxidized after it has been dried and rolled. In China, this is known as black tea. Chinese medical practitioners have used them for centuries for their digestive and cleansing properties. They typically come in two distinct categories of "raw" or "ripe".
Many may argue we should not call this a "real" tea, and in the truest sense it is not because it is not usually derived from tea leaves. It is instead made from various other plants, herbs, fruits, and spices. This tea typically does not have any caffeine, but is very popular because of the many different combinations possible. As it would be different types of herbs or plants, the health benefits for these types of teas would vary from tea to tea.
The rarest and most expensive of them all. The yellow tea undergo slight post-oxidation by steaming under a damp cloth while the leaves are still warm from being dehydrated. This extra step produces a more mellow and less grassy taste than green teas. Yellow tea is only made in China or Korea.
As you can see, there are a lot of different teas out there. What do you prefer? Do you just like them all? Why do you like them? Let me know on the comments below!