Did you know that all types of tea – green, black, white, and oolong – come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis? The differences between teas arise from the processing method after the leaves are picked!
Despite years spent being tea lovers, the learning process never truly ends! With a multitude of tea types, grasping the nuances of each and recalling their distinct properties can prove to be a fascinating yet challenging task. If you’re new to the tea world, then I offer you a warm welcome!
In this complete guide, we’ll talk about some basics to help you understand the classification of teas. Then we will briefly cover different tea types, which will include the following aspects :
- Main benefits
- Does it contain caffein?
We will finish with a simple table on how to make them, the temperature and the steeping time for all tea types.
So, grab a cup of your favorite tea and get ready for some readin’ & sippin’ time!
Understanding the basics of tea VARIATIONS
The true types of tea, varieties, and blends or infusions are differentiated primarily by the plant they come from, the processing methods used, the age of the tea leaves at the time of picking, the region and if any flavors are added.
True Tea Types
The tea types all come from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to East Asia. The difference between the tea types lies in how the leaves are processed after they’re harvested. Here are the general categories:
- Green Tea: The leaves are quickly heated after picking to stop the oxidation process. This preserves the green color and results in a lighter flavor.
- Black Tea: The leaves are fully oxidized, which gives the tea a darker color and stronger flavor.
- Oolong Tea: This type is oxidized to a degree somewhere between green and black tea.
- White Tea: This involves minimal processing and is often made from the youngest leaves and buds. The leaves are allowed to wither and dry in natural sunlight.
- Yellow Tea: A rare and expensive variety of tea. It is similar to green tea but with a slightly longer oxidation process.
- Pu-erh Tea: This tea is fermented and aged, which gives it a unique flavor profile that can change over time.
The main difference between them is the oxidation process. For example, green tea is not allowed to oxidize for long, which preserves its green color and lighter flavor. Black tea, on the other hand, is fully oxidized, which gives it a darker color and stronger flavor. And so on!
Varieties of Tea
The varieties are specific versions of the true tea types, often associated with regional production, specific processing techniques, or added flavorings. For example, Darjeeling is a variety of black tea named for the region in India where it grows. Earl Grey is a variety of black tea that’s flavored with bergamot oil. Here are the others examples of tea types in that classification that will be discussed in this article:
- Darjeeling Tea (Black Tea)
- Earl Grey Tea (Black Tea with Bergamot Oil)
- Genmaicha Tea (Green Tea with Roasted Rice)
- Jasmine Tea (usually Green or White Tea scented with Jasmine)
- Matcha Tea (specific variety of Green Tea ground into a powder)
- Sencha Tea (specific variety of Green Tea from Japan)
- Masala Chai (Black Tea with Spices and often Milk)
Blends, Infusions, or Other Beverages
Those drinksare made with tea or other plant matter, but they’re not technically “teas” in the strictest sense because they’re not solely made from the Camellia sinensis plant. For instance :
- Herbal Tea: This is an infusion made from any plant other than Camellia sinensis. Common examples include chamomile, peppermint, and rooibos.
- Blends: These are mixtures of different types of tea or tea with added flavors. Examples include English Breakfast (a blend of several black teas) and masala chai (black tea with a blend of spices).
- Infusions: These are drinks made by steeping plant matter (leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, etc.) in water, but not necessarily tea leaves. Fruit teas are an example of this.
Here are examples of tea types in that category that will be discussed later on :
- Barley Tea (an infusion of roasted barley)
- Bubble Tea (a drink often made with Black Tea, Milk, Sugar, and Tapioca Pearls)
- Chai (Spiced Tea – can refer to Masala Chai or other tea-spice blends)
- Fruit Tea (an infusion of various fruits)
- Herbal Tea (an infusion of herbs, not tea leaves)
- Iced Tea (can be made from any type of tea, served chilled)
- Kokeicha (a type of Japanese green tea made from the powdered tea leaves)
- Kombucha (Fermented Tea, often from Black or Green Tea)
- Mushroom Tea (an infusion of various types of mushrooms)
- Purple Tea (a type of tea from a specific varietal of Camellia sinensis)
- Rooibos Tea (an infusion of the South African Rooibos plant)
- Yerba Mate Tea (an infusion of the leaves of the South American Yerba Mate plant)
These categories can be fluid, as many teas are flavored or blended, and the categorization can depend on whether you’re looking at the base tea, the final flavor, the production process, or other factors. For example, Bubble Tea can be made with different types of true tea, so it’s categorized here based on the final drink rather than the tea used in it.
In general, the distinction lies in the plant’s origin, the processing method, the ingredients used and the age of the tea leaves at the time of picking. In fact, that last factor car influence the flavor and the quality of the tea :
- Buds/Young Leaves: Young leaves or buds (the new growths at the top of the plant) are often used to make the highest-quality teas, as they tend to be more flavorful and aromatic. For example, Silver Needle white tea is made only from buds, and many fine green teas use a combination of the bud and the first one or two leaves.
- Mature Leaves: Mature leaves, further down the stem, are generally less tender and flavorful, but they are still used in many types of tea. For example, many black teas are made with a combination of buds and more mature leaves.
- Older Leaves/Stems: The oldest leaves, and sometimes the stems, are generally the least desirable for tea making. They can be tough and lack the fine flavors of the younger leaves and buds. However, some types of tea do use these parts of the plant. For example, Kukicha, or twig tea, is a Japanese green tea made mostly from stems and older leaves.
The time of year when the leaves are harvested, known as the flush, can also make a difference. For instance, Darjeeling tea has a first flush (spring picking) that’s lighter and more delicate, and a second flush (summer picking) that’s more robust and fruity.
Now let’s get to the heart of the matter and explore the most common tea types!
Tea Types (In Alphabetical Order)
Here are the 25 most common tea types, including true teas, varieties, blends, infusions or other beverages that include tea. The tea types are in alphabetical order, so you can just scroll down, or you may use the table of contents or the page search function by pressing Ctrl + F (Command + F on Mac) on your keyboard.
Savor the comforting warmth of barley tea as you bask in its earthy, toasty flavors that evoke memories of cozy nights by the fire. Originating from East Asia, this caffeine-free beverage is made from roasted barley and offers a plethora of health benefits such as improved digestion, better sleep, and antioxidant properties.
To brew this soul-soothing tea, simply steep roasted barley grains in hot water for a few minutes before straining and enjoying it either hot or cold. A versatile drink enjoyed throughout the year, some popular varieties include Korean boricha and Japanese mugicha.
|Description||Made from roasted barley grains|
|Origin||East Asia (Japan, Korea, and China)|
|Examples||Mugicha (Japan), Boricha (Korea)|
|Main Benefits||May aid digestion, packed with antioxidants|
As you relish the freedom to explore these different takes on barley tea at your leisure, get ready to embark on another unique flavor journey of tea types with black tea.
Black tea, known for its rich and bold flavor, boasts numerous health benefits and has a fascinating history rooted in ancient trade routes. As one of the most popular types of tea, it’s no surprise that this beverage is enjoyed by countless people each day seeking warmth, comfort, and a sense of freedom from their daily routine.
With origins tracing back to China and India, black tea undergoes a complete oxidation process which results in its characteristic dark color and robust taste. Among the many types of tea and their benefits, black tea stands out for promoting heart health, improving focus due to its caffeine content, and even aiding in digestion.
Whether you’re sipping on classic English Breakfast or exploring more unique varieties like Darjeeling or Assam, brewing your perfect cup involves steeping the leaves at high temperature water.
Also, let’s just mention that there are MANY black tea types, and in that article we cover the most common ones, their origins, benefits, taste and more!
|Description||Made from fully oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant|
|Flavor||Strong, robust flavor, can be sweet or bitter|
|Origin||China and India|
|Main Benefits||May improve heart health, contains antioxidants|
So go ahead: take a break from your busy life with a steaming mug of black tea – you deserve it! But don’t stop there; next up on our complete guide of tea types is bubble tea!
As you journey through the world of teas, let’s not forget about the fun and trendy bubble tea! Originating from Taiwan in the 1980s, this unique beverage often combines a base of black, green, or oolong tea with milk or fruit syrup and features chewy tapioca pearls known as “boba.”The refreshing drink can be served hot or cold and comes in various flavors to suit your personal taste.
|Description||A tea-based drink that includes tapioca pearls and typically uses black, green, or oolong tea as a base|
|Flavor||Varies greatly depending on added flavors, generally sweet and creamy|
|Examples||Pearl milk tea (classic bubble tea), Fruit bubble tea|
|Main Benefits||Provides hydration, can be a source of calcium and vitamin C (when made with milk and/or fruit)|
|Contains Caffeine?||Yes, if made with a caffeinated tea base|
Bubble tea’s delightful combination of flavors and textures make it a popular choice for those seeking a more adventurous experience. And speaking of cool experiences, get ready to explore the chai tea!
Chai (Spiced Tea)
Here, you’ll find a warm and inviting blend of spices that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also offers an array of chai tea benefits.
Originating in India, chai is a combination of black tea and various spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper.
Each sip brings forth a symphony of flavors that dance on your tongue while providing antioxidants for overall wellness.
Chai can be prepared using various brewing methods like boiling water with the tea leaves and spices or steeping the blend in hot water before adding milk to create a creamy texture.
Some popular varieties include Masala Chai and Ginger Chai which offer unique twists on this traditional beverage.
So go ahead and explore the enchanting world of chai – it’s an adventure waiting to happen!
|Description||Chai tea is a mix of spices with tea leaves, usually black tea.|
|Flavor||Warm, spicy, and aromatic due to the blend of spices.|
|Examples||Masala Chai, Ginger Chai|
|Main Benefits||May aid in digestion, potential anti-inflammatory properties.|
Next up on our complete guide journey of tea types: darjeeling tea – another exciting way to indulge in liquid freedom!
As you journey further into the world of exquisite tea types, get ready to be captivated by the distinctive characteristics of Darjeeling tea. Often referred to as the “Champagne of teas,”this elegant beverage originates from the Darjeeling region in India and boasts a unique flavor profile that is both delicate and bold. Take a moment to indulge in its delightful floral notes, fruity undertones, and mild astringency – it’s no wonder this tea has won the hearts of connoisseurs worldwide!
With countless varieties available such as First Flush and Autumnal Flush, there’s always something new to explore with Darjeeling teas.
So go ahead – unleash your adventurous spirit and immerse yourself in this luxurious experience!
|Description||Darjeeling Tea is a black tea from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, grown in the Darjeeling district of India.|
|Flavor||Delicate and floral, with a hint of muskiness and fruit.|
|Origin||Darjeeling district, India|
|Examples||First Flush Darjeeling, Autumn Flush Darjeeling|
|Main Benefits||Contains antioxidants, may support cardiovascular health.|
Now that you’ve discovered the elegance of Darjeeling tea, it’s time for another exciting adventure: earl grey tea!
Earl Grey Tea
You’re in for a treat as we explore the captivating world of Earl Grey tea, where its distinctive bergamot-infused flavor and rich aroma have captured hearts across the globe. This classic black tea blend owes its unique taste to the addition of bergamot oil, extracted from the rind of a citrus fruit native to Italy. Not only is it delicious, but Earl Grey also offers numerous health benefits including improved digestion, reduced stress, and enhanced immune function. Traditionally originating from England, this popular tea can be brewed using hot water.
So go ahead and indulge yourself in a cup of Earl Grey – not only will you experience a delightful taste sensation that transports you to faraway lands, but you’ll also reap the health benefits and embrace your inner yearning for freedom!
|Description||Earl Grey Tea is a black tea infused with the flavor of bergamot orange.|
|Flavor||Distinct citrusy flavor due to bergamot orange oil.|
|Examples||Traditional Earl Grey, Lady Grey (with additional citrus peel and flowers)|
|Main Benefits||Contains antioxidants, may support digestive health.|
Let’s now dive into fruit tea types!
Ready for a burst of natural sweetness and vibrant flavors? Fruit teas are here to take your taste buds on a delightful journey! These caffeine-free infusions are perfect for those looking to indulge in the world of tea without the stimulating effects.
Fruit teas can be made from various dried fruits, flowers, and spices, allowing you to explore an exciting range of options. Indulge in exotic aromas from tropical pineapple and mango blends to sweet strawberry and cherry infusions. Fruit teas offer an assortment of aromatic experiences that will transport you to far-off destinations.
Savor healthful benefits packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Fruit teas not only provide a tasty experience but also contribute positively to your overall well-being. Enjoy these guilt-free indulgences knowing they’re good for both body and soul.
Unleash your creativity and experiment with blending different fruit teas or combine them with other tea types for personalized flavor profiles. The possibilities are endless as you craft unique concoctions that cater specifically to your tastes.
|Description||Fruit Tea is a type of herbal tea that contains pieces of real fruit, fruit peel, and often herbs and spices.|
|Flavor||Varies greatly based on the fruits used, generally sweet and tangy.|
|Examples||Berry blends, tropical blends|
|Main Benefits||Typically caffeine-free, may contain vitamins from the fruit.|
|Contains Caffeine?||Usually no, but can vary depending on the mix.|
As you continue exploring the vast world of tea offerings beyond traditional leaves, why not venture into the effervescent realm of genmaicha tea next?
This Japanese delight combines green tea with roasted brown rice, creating a warm, nutty flavor that’s both soothing and invigorating. Genmaicha is known for its numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion and boosting metabolism. The traditional brewing method involves steeping the tea leaves in hot water for a few minutes before straining and enjoying.
This delightful combination of teas provides an escape from your everyday routine while offering you a wealth of health benefits.
|Description||Genmaicha Tea is a Japanese green tea mixed with roasted brown rice.|
|Flavor||Toasty, with a light grassy green tea note.|
|Examples||Traditional Genmaicha, Genmaicha with Matcha|
|Main Benefits||Contains antioxidants, may aid in digestion.|
As you savor the comforting taste of genmaicha tea, prepare to embark on another journey to discover the vibrant world of green tea.
You may think you know all about green tea, but there’s so much more to explore in this world of delicate flavors, incredible health benefits, and ancient origins. Green tea is one of the most popular types of tea due to its fresh taste and countless varieties that offer unique types of tea flavors.
Hailing primarily from China and Japan, green tea leaves are carefully picked and quickly steamed or pan-fired to prevent oxidation, preserving their vibrant color and grassy flavor. This brewing method also helps retain the numerous antioxidants that provide a myriad of health benefits such as boosting metabolism, aiding in weight loss, reducing stress, and even fighting cancerous cells.
Some well-known varieties include Longjing (Dragon Well) and Gyokuro. So go ahead – free your taste buds by exploring the other types of green tea!
|Description||Green Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the leaves are not allowed to oxidize as much as black tea, preserving the green color.|
|Flavor||Fresh, grassy, and sometimes slightly bitter.|
|Origin||China and Japan|
|Examples||Longjing (Dragon Well) and Gyokuro|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may support heart health.|
Now let’s dive into another popular type: herbal tea.
Embracing the wonders of nature’s gifts, herbal teas offer a soothing escape from daily stress while providing an array of delightful flavors and health benefits. These caffeine-free infusions are made from a wide variety of plants, including flowers, fruits, seeds, and roots.
When you delve into the world of herbal teas, you’ll discover a rich diversity in flavor profiles. From the calming chamomile to the invigorating peppermint or fruity hibiscus, there’s a taste for every palate. Numerous health benefits come with herbal teas, which have been used for centuries to promote relaxation, digestion, immune support and many other wellness properties.
Cultural origins spanning across the globe are also a part of herbal teas. Whether it’s Egyptian lemongrass tea or South African rooibos blends, herbal teas hold significance in various cultures worldwide. Easy-to-follow brewing methods involve steeping with hot water.
|Description||Herbal Tea is a catch-all term for teas made from the infusion of herbs, spices, or other plant materials in hot water. They do not usually contain tea leaves.|
|Flavor||Varies widely based on the blend of ingredients.|
|Examples||Chamomile tea, Peppermint tea|
|Main Benefits||Varies by the type of ingredients used. Chamomile is known for its calming effects, Peppermint for aiding digestion.|
As you explore this enchanting realm of botanical beverages and experience true freedom in your teacup choices, allow yourself to be captivated by another treasure – iced tea.
Now that we’ve ventured into herbal tea, let’s cool off with the invigorating and versatile world of iced tea!
Iced tea is a chilled version of your favorite traditional hot teas, offering a refreshing escape from the sweltering summer heat. Originating in America during the early 20th century, this thirst-quenching beverage quickly gained popularity worldwide due to its diverse flavors and potential health benefits.
To brew the perfect glass, simply steep your chosen tea leaves or bags for a slightly longer duration than you would for hot tea; this allows the bold flavors to shine even when poured over ice. Popular varieties include classic black iced tea, zesty green iced tea, and soothing herbal blends – each providing their unique burst of flavor and energy.
Feel free to experiment by adding sweeteners like maple syrup, as well as garnishing with fresh fruits or herbs for an extra twist on this beloved summertime staple. As you explore different combinations and brewing techniques, keep in mind that there’s no limit to what you can create – so go ahead and indulge your taste buds while discovering newfound freedom in the vast realm of iced tea types!
|Description||Iced Tea is typically made from black tea leaves but can also be made with green or herbal teas. It’s served cold.|
|Flavor||Depends on the base tea and any added sweeteners or flavorings.|
|Examples||Sweet Tea (Southern US), Lemon Iced Tea|
|Main Benefits||Provides hydration, benefits depend on the base tea used.|
|Contains Caffeine?||Yes, if made with a caffeinated tea base|
Next up: let’s dive into the vibrant infusion of jasmine teas waiting just around the corner.
Venture into the world of jasmine tea, and you’ll find yourself captivated by its enchanting aroma and delicate flavor. Jasmine tea is a fragrant infusion created by blending green, white, or black tea leaves with jasmine blossoms, originating from China’s Fujian Province. The alluring scent invokes a sense of calmness and transports you to a serene place where possibilities are endless. Jasmine tea not only offers an exquisite taste experience but also hosts numerous health benefits such as reducing stress, improving digestion, and boosting your immune system.
|Description||Jasmine Tea is a tea (often green, but sometimes white or black) that is scented with jasmine flowers.|
|Flavor||Floral, subtly sweet, with the underlying tea flavor.|
|Examples||Jasmine Pearl (a green tea), Jasmine Silver Needle (a white tea)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may support mental alertness.|
So allow yourself to be whisked away by the captivating allure of jasmine tea before we delve into the vibrant world of kokeicha tea next.
Venture forth into the realm of kokeicha, a fascinating Japanese creation where delicate green tea leaves are transformed into intriguingly shaped pellets, offering an exquisite balance of artistry and flavor.
Kokeicha’s unique form is achieved through a meticulous process that involves grinding sencha or gyokuro leaves into a fine powder, then combining it with water to create a paste before shaping and drying it into its final pellet form.
Once steeped in hot water, these captivating tea nuggets unfurl gracefully to release their subtle yet rich flavors evocative of fresh grass and sweet umami notes.
As you sip this enigmatic brew, not only will you appreciate the mastery involved in crafting kokeicha but also discover its potential health benefits derived from the high concentration of antioxidants present in green teas.
So take delight in this remarkable marriage of tradition and innovation as you immerse yourself in kokeicha’s sensory pleasures.
|Description||Kokeicha is a type of Japanese green tea made from the powdered twigs and stems of the tea plant, which are then kneaded into a dough and shaped into sticks.|
|Flavor||Grassy, with a light vegetal sweetness.|
|Examples||Based on the base tea used, it can vary. Typically just sold as Kokeicha.|
|Main Benefits||Contains antioxidants, low in caffeine compared to leaf teas.|
|Contains Caffeine?||Yes, but lower than typical green teas|
Now that you’ve explored the wonders of kokeicha, prepare your senses for another unexpected journey – one that leads to the popular world of kombucha tea!
Kombucha (Fermented Tea)
Dive into the fizzy, tangy world of kombucha, a fermented tea sensation that’s quickly capturing hearts and taste buds alike!
Originating in Northeast China over 2,000 years ago, this effervescent drink is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), creating a unique blend of health benefits alongside its distinctive taste.
Rich in probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamins, kombucha can aid digestion, boost immunity and even help detoxify your body.
To brew the perfect batch at home, simply steep your favorite black or green tea with sugar before adding the SCOBY and allowing it to ferment for up to two weeks.
As you explore the invigorating world of kombucha-making possibilities, let your adventurous spirit guide you towards new flavor discoveries.
|Description||Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea, sugar, and often some flavorings.|
|Flavor||Tart, sweet, and slightly fizzy, with the underlying tea flavor.|
|Examples||Plain Kombucha, Flavored Kombucha (such as with fruit or herbs)|
|Main Benefits||May improve gut health due to probiotics, provides antioxidants.|
|Contains Caffeine?||Yes, if made with a caffeinated tea base|
And when you’re ready to embrace another exciting tea experience full of bold flavors and rich history, prepare yourself for the enchanting realm of masala chai!
Embrace the captivating world of masala chai, an aromatic and flavorful adventure that’ll transport your senses to the bustling streets of India with every sip. This spiced tea concoction is a blend of black tea, milk, sugar, and an assortment of spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Delight in the rich aroma that envelops you as it brews. Revel in its bold flavors that awaken your taste buds. Enjoy the multitude of health benefits from digestion aid to immune booster. Immerse yourself in the cultural significance it holds within Indian households.
|Description||Masala Chai is a spiced tea made with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs, usually brewed with black tea.|
|Flavor||Spicy, warm, and sweet.|
|Examples||Traditional Masala Chai, Cardamom Chai|
|Main Benefits||May aid in digestion, potential anti-inflammatory properties.|
Allow this enchanting experience to elevate your sense of freedom and exploration – much like the next fascinating tea types you’re about to encounter: matcha teas!
Diving into the realm of matcha tea, you’ll discover a vibrant green powder that’s packed with flavor and health benefits, making it a popular choice for both traditional ceremonies and modern-day beverages. Matcha is unique in many ways:
Made from finely ground young tea leaves, matcha has a smooth, velvety texture that dissolves easily in water. Its taste is often described as umami-rich, grassy, and slightly sweet.
Hailing from Japan, matcha has been enjoyed for centuries due to its numerous health benefits. It contains high levels of antioxidants called catechins which are known to help fight free radicals and boost immunity. Additionally, its moderate caffeine content provides an energy boost without the jitters commonly associated with coffee.
Traditionally prepared by whisking the powder with hot water using a bamboo whisk (chasen), matcha can also be added to lattes, smoothies or used as an ingredient in baking. There are different grades of matcha ranging from ceremonial-grade – which is the highest quality used primarily for drinking – to culinary-grade which is better suited for recipes.
|Description||Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves.|
|Flavor||Rich, vegetal, and umami with a slightly bitter aftertaste.|
|Origin||China, but most famously associated with Japan|
|Examples||Ceremonial grade, Culinary grade|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may boost brain function.|
As you explore further into the world of tea types, savor every sip while unlocking new flavors like those found in mushroom tea!
Unearth the fascinating world of mushroom tea, where you’ll discover its unique flavors and numerous health benefits that make it a standout among other beverages.
Originating from ancient Chinese and Siberian cultures, mushroom tea is primarily made from medicinal mushrooms such as reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and lion’s mane.
Mushroom teas tend to have a mild yet distinct taste profile that varies depending on the type of mushroom used; expect an earthy flavor with subtle notes of umami.
Rich in antioxidants and adaptogenic properties, mushroom tea has been linked to improved immune function, reduced inflammation, increased energy levels, and enhanced cognitive function.
So go ahead – explore the depths of this unconventional elixir and let it broaden your horizons.
|Description||Mushroom Tea is a drink brewed from dried mushrooms, typically medicinal varieties like reishi or chaga.|
|Flavor||Earthy and may vary depending on the type of mushroom used.|
|Origin||Varies, but it has a long history in Eastern medicine|
|Examples||Reishi Mushroom Tea, Chaga Mushroom Tea|
|Main Benefits||Varies by mushroom type. Generally, it’s touted for immune support and anti-inflammatory properties.|
As you continue on your journey through the diverse world of teas, prepare to be captivated by another intriguing brew: oolong tea.
It’s time to embark on a flavorful journey with oolong tea, a captivating blend that’ll dance on your palate and transport you to the lush landscapes of its origins. Oolong tea is one of the most diverse and fascinating tea types, offering a range of types of tea flavors from light floral notes to rich, bold tastes. This semi-oxidized tea bridges the gap between green and black teas, providing unique benefits and an unforgettable experience.
Grown primarily in China and Taiwan, famous oolong varieties include Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy) and Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe). The leaves are often rolled or twisted before being partially oxidized, giving them their distinct appearance. There are many oolong tea types to discover which each have their own characteristics!
Health enthusiasts love oolong for its antioxidants, metabolism-boosting properties, and potential to aid in weight management.
|Description||Oolong Tea is a traditional Chinese tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It is semi-oxidized, placing it between green and black tea in oxidation.|
|Flavor||Varies widely, can be floral and sweet to woody and thick.|
|Origin||China and Taiwan|
|Examples||Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Mercy), Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may support metabolic health.|
As you continue exploring this vast world of tea types, prepare yourself for the delicate allure of purple tea up next.
Prepare to be amazed as you uncover the vibrant world of purple tea, where vivid hues and distinct flavors come alive in your cup, offering a truly unique experience for both your eyes and taste buds. Hailing from Kenya, this rare gem is packed with antioxidants that provide numerous health benefits.
Purple tea has a slightly sweet yet complex flavor profile with notes of plum or blackberry, coupled with hints of woodiness and earthiness.
|Description||Purple Tea is a variety of tea (Camellia sinensis) that naturally grows purple leaves due to anthocyanins. It can be processed to make different types of tea.|
|Flavor||Similar to green tea but with a more pronounced depth of flavor.|
|Examples||Purple Leaf Tea, Zijuan Tea (a Chinese variety of purple tea)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins.|
As you indulge in the captivating allure of purple tea, don’t hesitate to explore other lesser-known brews like pu-erh tea that’ll continue to expand your horizons and quench your thirst for adventure.
Delving deeper into the world of teas, you’ll encounter the bold and mysterious pu-erh, a fermented treasure that invites you to explore its rich history and complex flavors. Originating from China’s Yunnan province, this unique type of tea undergoes a natural fermentation process that allows it to improve with age like fine wine.
Pu-erh offers a robust and earthy flavor with notes of wood, mushrooms, and sometimes even hints of dark chocolate or dried fruit.
Known for supporting digestion and aiding in weight loss, this ancient brew also boasts anti-inflammatory properties and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Also, there are a lot of pu-erh tea types and each of them are so unique!
|Description||Pu-erh Tea is a type of fermented tea produced in Yunnan province, China. The tea leaves go through a microbial fermentation process after they have been dried and rolled.|
|Flavor||Earthy, rich, and complex, sometimes with a slight sweetness.|
|Origin||Yunnan Province, China|
|Examples||Raw Pu-erh (Sheng), Ripe Pu-erh (Shu)|
|Main Benefits||May support digestive health, potentially lowers cholesterol.|
Just when you think you’ve tasted it all, prepare yourself for another intriguing journey as we venture into the world of rooibos tea next.
Next on your tea exploration, dive into the captivating realm of rooibos tea, a South African treasure that’s sure to delight your taste buds and nourish your body.
Often referred to as ‘red bush’ tea, this caffeine-free herbal infusion boasts a rich amber hue and a naturally sweet, slightly nutty flavor, and can be enjoyed plain or with milk and honey for added creaminess and sweetness.
Rooibos is packed with antioxidants and minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc that contribute to its myriad health benefits such as anti-inflammatory properties and improved digestion.
Some popular varieties include green rooibos (unoxidized) which has a grassier taste profile compared to the more familiar red rooibos (fully oxidized).
|Description||Rooibos Tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, not the Camellia sinensis plant.|
|Flavor||Sweet, slightly nutty, and full-bodied.|
|Examples||Green Rooibos (unoxidized), Red Rooibos (fully oxidized)|
|Main Benefits||Caffeine-free, rich in antioxidants.|
As you savor this delightful brew from the Western Cape province of South Africa, get ready to embrace another invigorating beverage in our ultimate guide: sencha tea.
Get ready to be dazzled by the refreshing and invigorating world of sencha tea! Its lively green hues and delightful grassy notes will have you hooked in no time. This popular green tea variety originated from Japan and is known for its numerous health benefits, including boosting metabolism and providing a rich source of antioxidants.
To brew the perfect cup of sencha, simply infuse in hot water. This allows the delicate flavors to unfold beautifully. Some notable varieties include Asamushi Sencha (lightly steamed), Futsumushi Sencha (medium-steamed), and Fukamushi Sencha (deep-steamed).
|Description||Sencha is a type of Japanese green tea made from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant that are infused directly in the water (as opposed to Matcha, which is a powder mixed into the water).|
|Flavor||Fresh, slightly bitter, and grassy.|
|Examples||Asamushi (lightly steamed), Fukamushi (deeply steamed)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may improve brain function.|
So go on and indulge your senses with a soothing cup of sencha tea – it’s like a breath of fresh air that sets you free. But don’t stop there; next up is an adventure into the enticing realm of white tea.
As you venture further into the enchanting realm of teas, prepare to be captivated by the gentle elegance and subtle flavors of white tea. This delicate gem tops the types of tea list with its minimal processing, allowing for a pure sip that transports you to a world where all types of tea coexist harmoniously.
Hailing from China’s Fujian province, white tea retains more antioxidants than other varieties due to its minimal oxidation process. These benefits don’t just stop at your health; they extend to your spirit as well, offering a sense of tranquility and freedom with each cup.
To fully immerse yourself in this ethereal experience, try Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) or Bai Mu Dan (White Peony), which are renowned for their exquisite flavors and aromas, and get to know the other white tea types!
|Description||White Tea is the least processed of all teas from the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s often made from the young leaves and buds of the plant.|
|Flavor||Subtle, delicate, slightly sweet.|
|Examples||Silver Needle, Bai Mudan (White Peony)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may support skin health.|
Let this delightful infusion guide you on your path toward serenity and self-discovery before delving into the bold depths of yellow tea next.
Venturing further into the realm of exquisite brews, you’ll encounter yellow tea, a rare and luxurious treasure often reserved for Chinese emperors. This unique addition to your list of tea types is known for its delicate flavor profile and vibrant golden hue that sets it apart from all the types of tea.
Yellow tea undergoes a slightly longer oxidation process than green teas, giving it a mellower taste and a distinct aroma reminiscent of fresh hay or ripe fruit. Some popular varieties include Junshan Yinzhen and Mengding Huangya, both offering an elegant experience steeped in ancient traditions, and these are just a few of the many other yellow tea types!
|Description||Yellow Tea is a rare and expensive variety of tea. It is similar to green tea but with a slightly longer oxidation process.|
|Flavor||Often described as similar to green tea but with a richer, mellower taste.|
|Examples||Junshan Yinzhen (Junshan Silver Needle), Meng Ding Huangya|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, may improve liver health.|
As you continue your journey through the world of teas, get ready to embrace nature’s bounty with herbal infusions awaiting in the next section about yerba mate tea
Yerba Mate Tea
Now let’s dive into the world of yerba mate tea, a stimulating and invigorating brew that’ll energize your body and awaken your senses.
Hailing from South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, this unique tea is made from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis tree and offers an earthy, grassy flavor with a touch of natural sweetness.
Yerba mate is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can boost your immune system while providing mental clarity and focus.
Traditionally enjoyed in a gourd with a metal straw called a bombilla, you’ll find yourself immersed in rich cultural history as you sip on this distinctive beverage.
|Description||Yerba Mate is a traditional South American brew that’s been said to offer the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one beverage. It is made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the holly tree, Ilex paraguariensis.|
|Flavor||Earthy and robust, somewhat similar to green tea but more bitter.|
|Origin||South America, particularly Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Southern Brazil.|
|Examples||Traditional Yerba Mate, Yerba Mate with added flavors (lemon, mint etc.)|
|Main Benefits||High in antioxidants, can boost energy and mental focus.|
With varieties like smoky roasted mate or fruity blends infused with citrus notes, there’s plenty to explore in this realm of tea.
I’m sure you are now wondering what the differences are in how to make those different tea types. We will quickly see that in the next section.
How to Make Tea according to the different tea types
Here is a simple table that you can use when making tea according to which type of tea it belongs to.
|Tea Types||Method||Temperature||Steeping Time|
|Barley Tea||Boil barley kernels in water. Strain before serving.||Boiling||20-30 minutes|
|Black Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of boiling water (212°F or 100°C).||212°F/100°C||3-5 minutes|
|Bubble Tea||Prepare a black or green tea. Add cooked tapioca pearls, sweetener, and milk. Served chilled.||212°F/100°C||3-5 minutes|
|Chai Tea||Brew black tea with a blend of spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc.), add milk and sweetener to taste.||212°F/100°C||5-10 minutes|
|Darjeeling Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of nearly boiling water (203°F or 95°C).||203°F/95°C||3-5 minutes|
|Earl Grey Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of boiling water (212°F or 100°C).||212°F/100°C||3-5 minutes|
|Fruit Tea||Steep dried fruits and herbs in boiling water. Can be served hot or cold.||212°F/100°C||5-10 minutes|
|Genmaicha Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of nearly boiling water (185°F or 85°C).||185°F/85°C||1-3 minutes|
|Green Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 175°F or 80°C).||175°F/80°C||1-3 minutes|
|Herbal Tea||Steep herbs, flowers, or other plant materials in hot water (temperatures and times can vary greatly).||Varies||Varies|
|Iced Tea||Brew tea as usual, but make it stronger (because ice will dilute it), cool it down, and serve over ice.||Varies||Varies|
|Jasmine Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 175°F or 80°C).||175°F/80°C||2-3 minutes|
|Kokeicha||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 175°F or 80°C).||175°F/80°C||2-3 minutes|
|Kombucha Tea||Brew a strong sweetened tea, cool it, then add a SCOBY and ferment for 7-14 days.||Varies||Varies|
|Masala Chai||Brew strong black tea with a mixture of aromatic spices and herbs, typically including cardamom, cinnamon, and clove. Add milk and sweetener as desired.||212°F/100°C||5-10 minutes|
|Matcha Tea||Whisk matcha powder in hot water (not boiling, around 175°F or 80°C) until frothy.||175°F/80°C||Whisk until frothy|
|Mushroom Tea||Steep dried or fresh mushrooms in hot water. Strain before drinking.||Boiling||15-20 minutes|
|Oolong Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 185°F or 90°C).||185°F/90°C||3-5 minutes|
|Purple Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup of nearly boiling water (200°F or 93°C).||200°F/93°C||3-5 minutes|
|Pu-erh Tea||Rinse tea leaves with boiling water, then steep in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Adjust to taste.||212°F/100°C||3-5 minutes|
|Rooibos Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of boiling water (212°F or 100°C).||212°F/100°C||5-7 minutes|
|Sencha Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 175°F or 80°C).||175°F/80°C||1-2 minutes|
|White Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (just under boiling, around 185°F or 85°C).||185°F/85°C||1-3 minutes|
|Yellow Tea||Use one teaspoon of tea per cup of hot water (just under boiling, around 190°F or 88°C).||190°F/88°C||2-3 minutes|
|Yerba Mate Tea||Use one tablespoon of yerba mate per cup of hot water (not boiling, around 185°F or 85°C).||185°F/85°C||3-5 minutes|
Please note that brewing methods, temperatures, and steeping times can vary depending on specific varieties within these types, personal taste, and other factors. Always refer to the specific brewing instructions if they’re provided!
So, there you have it! You’ve explored the fascinating world of tea and discovered the unique characteristics of various types, understood the basics on how to classify them and also how to brew them.
We hope that this complete guide on the 25 most common tea types has inspired you to try new flavors and expand your tea-drinking horizons. Note that there are infinite varieties of tea types, and we have not mentionned all of them (for example, artichoke tea, brown rice tea, kukicha tea, etc.).
Now, go ahead and enjoy a cup or two of your newfound favorites. Experiment with different brewing methods and share your experiences with us tea enthusiasts in the comment section below!
Remember, there’s always more to learn in the captivating world of tea!