Being one of the most popular drinks in the world after water, some are unaware of the many different types and flavors of tea. Although there are many categories of tea the most popular types are known as white, green, oolong and black tea. Each tea have a different style of preparation and also have different advantages from each other. I will explain.
As stated above there are four main teas:
- White tea
- Green tea
- Oolong tea
- Black tea
A known similarity of tea from these four categories are they all derive from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis, also known as the tea plant. The difference between the four tea variations lies in the process of making them. In addition, each type of tea distinct flavors and various health benefits.
White tea is the rarest of the four teas, as well as the most expensive than the other types of teas that are mentioned. White tea is originated in the Fujian province of China. Made from young Camellia Sinensis leaves this tea goes through a lengthy process of steaming or frying and inactivated fermenting and drying. White tea get its name because the tea is harvested while the buds are still covered by white hairs.
White tea has the most delicate taste compared to the other teas. These tea leaves also have a subtle sweetness.
White tea contains the smallest amount of caffeine but the largest amount of antioxidant compared to the other tea leaves. Some benefits to white tea are:
- May reduce the risk of heart disease
- Could help with weight loss
- Helps protect mouth from bacteria
- Has compounds that may help fight cancer cells
- May help combat skin aging
- Establish healthy hair
- Improves focus and alertness
Green tea is a lightly oxidized tea that became popular in China, Japan and Korea for many centuries. Rumors of its incredible health benefits increased green tea’s popularity in the west. When preparing the tea it is lightly oxidized, dried but is not fermented. Green tea best served plain without sugar or milk.
Some green tea variants taste a bit bitter. Be mindful when steeping this tea it should be brewed at a lower temperature than boiling water for a shorter amount of time. (Click here for our recommended brewing chart). Good quality green tea can have many taste. There are some that are sweet, bittersweet, nutty, vegetal, buttery, floral, and meaty.
Green tea have many proven benefits including:
- Compounds in green tea can improve brain function
- Increases fat burning
- Improves physical performance
- May reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lower your risk of obesity
- May help you live longer
Oolong tea is the traditional tea of China. This tea is commonly used as a drink while eating Chinese foods like dim sum and chop suey in American Chinese restaurants. Oolong tea also known as black dragon got its name after its long, dark distinguished leaves that look like wild black dragons when brewed. The unique taste of the oolong tea is achieved by a long process that includes sun drying of the Camellia sinensis leaves, light oxidization, cooling and drying processes.
Oolong taste is comparable to a lighter taste of black tea and a stronger taste than green tea. This tea can range from light to full bodied, floral to grassy as well as sweet to toasty.
- May help prevent diabetes
- May improve heart health
- Promoted tooth and bone strength
- May help relieve eczema
Black tea is the most popular tea in the West. It is delicious hot or iced with a squeeze of lemon or even milk. Most people drink black tea with cubes of sugar. Black tea is a part of daily tea ceremonies that take place worldwide. Black tea is form by heavy oxidization of Camellia sinensis leaves. When black tea is served without additives it contains no calories, carbohydrates or fats. A cup of black tea contains higher caffeine concentration than any other types of tea.
Black tea taste is a unique strong bodied with sweet notes. It’s known to be the most robust tea out of the 4 types of tea when it comes to its flavors.
- May lower cholesterol
- May improve gut health
- May reduce blood pressure
- May lower blood sugar levels
- Could improve focus due to caffeine