Tea newcomers may find the many variations confusing and overwhelming. Camellia sinensis plant leaves are used in making all types of tea. The types of tea that can be found in this category include black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, Pu-erh tea, and dark tea. In addition to its native Southeast Asia, Camellia sinensis is now grown in tea-friendly climates worldwide. In markets, white tea and Pu-erh are hard to find. It is, therefore, possible to buy white tea and puer online from reputable websites. “Herbal teas” like peppermint, rooibos, chamomile, etc., aren’t derived from Camellia sinensis. It means that they cannot be considered tea in a technical sense.
Detailed information on tea types.
Tea can be classified as black, green, white, Pu-erh, oolong or purple.
The majority of black tea is produced in China. Sri Lanka, India, and Kenya are other countries producing black tea that are on the rise. The Indian black teas are generally strong, whereas the Chinese teas are milder and sweeter.
Black tea is produced by harvesting, wilting, and lightly crushing tea leaves. When fully oxidised, tea leaves turn a brownish-black colour.
Chinese and Japanese green teas are the most common. To prevent the oxidation of green tea, it is immediately pan-roasted after it is harvested. The bright green colour of the leaves and the light vegetable taste comes from stopping oxidation soon after harvest. Finally, the tea leaves are pressed or compressed into their final form, dried, and stored.
Oolong teas are majorly produced in Taiwan and China. Silk Oolong, a particular type of oolong tea, is cultivated from varieties of the tea plant, which have been grown for many years to impart unique flavours to the tea.
China’s Yunnan province was the birthplace of Pu-erh, and today the tea is primarily produced in the same region. The initial processing of Pu-erh is similar to that of green tea. Classic sheng Pu-erh is made by ageing tea leaves in a prolonged and methodical manner. But contemporary intensive fermentation methods are used to produce Shou Pu-erh. As the tea ages, its earthy and rich flavours often improve and become more intense.
White tea’s flavour is mild, and its body is light, with a refreshing and clean finish. The caffeine content of white tea seems to be less, but some golden tip teas may have higher caffeine content. White teas undergo minimal oxidation in both cases. You can buy white tea based on your caffeine needs.
There has been infrequent commercial availability of purple tea in recent years. From the rare purple-leaved tea plant found in the Assam region of India, purple tea is usually produced similarly to oolong teas.
The benefits of tea
For thousands of years, the east has revered tea as a key to their health, happiness, and wisdom, while the researchers have been testing its health benefits in the West.
Several studies have found that some teas may help fight cancer, prevent heart disease, treat diabetes, help reduce weight, lower cholesterol, and promote mental alertness. There is also evidence that tea may have antimicrobial properties. All these teas contain caffeine and theanine, which appear to increase mental alertness and stimulate the brain.
As oxidised or fermented teas, oolong and black teas contain fewer polyphenols than green tea, but their anti-oxidising properties do not diminish. White tea has the most potent cancer-fighting compounds compared to other types of tea.
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