Tea is one of the most consumed beverages of the world after water. It is pocket friendly affordable beverage of natural origin compared to modern
beverages such as soft drinks. From breakfast till supper in the night, one beverage that can go with any meal is perhaps, is tea.
21 May-International Tea Day
Just a sip of hot tea can be soul soothing some times. With every sip, body seems to drain out all day long fatigue, worries and anxieties. I have many tea freaks around me who just cannot afford to vacate beds without gulping morning tea. Those who are in love with tea, tea is an elixir. Mere aroma of tea is sufficient to stimulate their senses.
The craze of tea is so much wide that a day has been kept for the celebration of tea. On 21 May, it is celebrated as International Day of Tea.
What are the Different Varieties of Tea?
Tea beverage is an infusion of the dried leaves of Camellia sinesis, native to East, South and Southeast Asia, but now cultivated across the world in tropical and subtropical regions.
There are only two varieties of tea
- Camellia sinensis var. sinensis
- Camellia sinensis var. assamica.
The former is from China, and the latter from India, though they are both grown in many regions.
Leaves and leaf buds are used to produce all types of teas. Older leaves are considered to be inferior in quality. Different names are given to tea on the basis of processing. Freshly harvested tea leaf is processed differently in different parts of the world to give oolong tea , green tea or black tea (maximum use).
Tea beverages are known to possess high amounts of polyphenols, especially flavanols which are responsible for antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and hypolipidemic properties associated with tea. Polyphenols are also present in red wine, fruit and vegetables.
Antioxidant properties of tea is attributed to its flavonoid components; theaflavins, bisflavanols and
theaflavic acids and scavenging free radical injuries in the body.
10 Types of Tea Available in Market
1. Green Tea
- Green tea is prepared from the fresh tea leaf which are not fermented. Leaves are steamed, roasted, or pan-fried almost immediately after being picked
- Green tea was originated in China as a natural remedy and in religious ceremonies. Latter on, people started taking it as beverage.
- It is widely consumed in Japan and China.
- Green color is due to lack of fermentation (oxidation) during its processing.
8 Side Effects of Green Tea and Precautions
2. Black Tea
- World’s most consumed tea type.
- Black tea is fully dried, fermented leaf of the plant camellia sinensis.
- Prepared through the oxidation, curing process of maceration and exposure to atmospheric oxygen.
- Theaflavins contribute to the taste, the bright red orange colour of black tea
3. Herbal Tea
- Actually not teas in true sense.
- These blends do not contain leaf Camellia sinensis in any form.
- Herbal teas contain various ingredients, including flowers, roots, peels, seeds, barks, berries and spices.
- They do not usually contain caffeine
4. Oolong Tea (Strong black tea) also known as “Black Dragon tea” or wulong tea
- Oolong tea is semi-fermented to permit a moderate level of enzymatic oxidation during
- Story behind the tea type is interesting. This strong black tea was actually revered by Buddhist monks who trained monkeys to harvest the leaves from the tops of wild tea trees, where it became a cultural staple in all of Asia. The loose form has the most caffeine content with the highest possible grade having an orchid-like aroma and smooth finish.
- Sometimes the oolong leaves are potent and can aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels, formation of strong bones, preservation of heart health, and strengthening the immune system
5. White Tea
- The purest of all teas.
- They possess the highest antioxidant properties of any tea.
6. Mate Tea ( Tea like coffee)
- Mate teas are made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant, Ilex paraguayensis from South America.
- Famous popular tea consumed in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay
- It is the one tea that tastes just like coffee.
- Have five times the antioxidant qualities that of green tea.
7. Rooibos Teas
- Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from a South African red bush.
- Rooibos teas can be delicious hot or iced.
8. Tea Blends
- Tea blends often have the best of both worlds since they combine more than one type of premium tea.
- Mixing teas in a blend is one of the best ways to get great flavor.
9. Yellow tea
Unoxidized form of tea. Most of the tea leaves slowly begin to wither and oxidize as soon as they come in contact with oxygen. This is because a lot of time is utilized in picking up the leaves and then processing them.
10. Pu’erh tea
- This tea type is usually unoxidized but fermented.
- This tea can be aged over time and the taste actually improves with age.