The Most Common Tea Varieties
Tea remains one of the most popular drinks around the world. Actually, it’s the second most taken drink, only behind water. Tea has been taken for thousands of years and distinct varieties are cultivated in many parts of the globe. More than 3000 blends of tea are available and more flavors are made every day. With so many different flavors available, it can be a challenge to pick one. So, the following are 4 of the most common tea varieties around the world.
The most oxidized among all kinds of tea, black tea is stronger as well and has a higher caffeine content than other types. During oxidation, water evaporates from the leaves which then absorb more oxygen. One type of black tea is pu-erh, which is oxidized two times over and is therefore stronger than other varieties of black tea. The oxidation process produces the dark brown and black leaves used to make black tea. Although it’s known as black tea, it’s in fact crimson and so it’s called crimson tea by the Chinese.
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The total opposite of black tea, white goes through minimal oxidation. However, the leaves that make white tea are derived from young buds. White tea is the most subtle of the different teas and comes with a natural sweetness. Popular types of white tea include Darjeeling white, Ceylon white, African white, and Assam white. Research has shown that white tea has stronger antibacterial content than green tea.
Being the least oxidized tea type, green tea is the true opposite of black tea. In addition, it has the least caffeine; seldom going beyond 30 %. Taking green tea regularly provides numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of some types of cancer and heart attacks. Green tea makes up just 10% of the entire tea production and consumption around the world. But it’s rapidly growing in popularity, especially in areas where black tea is the most popular variety.
Fairly popular among the Chinese people, oolong tea is less oxidized compared to black tea, but more oxidized compared to green tea. As it’s one of the top teas, it’s very costly as well. It’s the perfect option for those who don’t like the subtle flavor provided by green tea and strong flavor provided by black tea. Oolong tea is divided into various varieties depending on the leaves used and where it’s grown. No matter which variety you pick, oolong tea is one the best types of tea made in China and has a better taste without sugar or milk.
Whether you’re just enjoying tea or drinking it for health, the most important point to remember is to find one that you like, that matches your taste, mood and occasion.