Tea—One plant, Many different types!

It was a wonderful day out today! The prefect day to learn something new about tea, and for me to write a new blog post! I also have my cat Cricket and my roommates cat Lefty here too for moral support!

If you have ever gone to a grocery store and looked at all the different types of tea there are available in tea bags, then you can imagine how many different types of loose leaf tea there are! Well to be exact, there are 6 main types of tea. They are all classified differently because of the times of when they are harvested and what happens after that too.

The first two types of tea are probably the most popular.

The first—

Green Tea

Green Tea Leaves

Green tea is wonderful tea. Not my personal favorite, but I’ve always had the mindset that Green tea is the healthiest out of all teas (not completely true). So what makes Green tea different than say… black tea (which we will talk about next)?

Side note/fact oxidation is the chemical reaction of tea leaves withering and/or dying after it has been picked. Just like if you pick a flower and don’t stick it in water then it will start to oxidize and then die.

With green tea, you cannot let the leaves oxidize at all. They need to pick and dried right away! This allows all of the good stuff associated with what makes Green tea healthiest to still be. When oxidation happens a lot of those nutrients start to disappear.

Black Tea

Black Tea Leaves

My personal favorite! Black tea is essentially the opposite of Green Tea. Black tea is oxidized for a while allowing the leaves to “ripen” which adds a deeper taste. It is like fermentation for tea. Different tea growers will allow the tea leaves to oxidize for different amounts of time for different tastes!

Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea Leaves

This is the happy middle between Black and White teas. If it is closer to the less oxidized end near green tea it would be a “green style” Oolong. If it’s closer to Black tea end then it would be considered “amber style” Oolong.

White Tea

White Tea Leaves

White tea is a very unique tea compared to the others. White tea leaves are picked before the leaf buds are open all the way. It allows the leaves to still have the tiny hairs on them. After the leaves are picked they are very quickly dried. This tea is pretty expensive and not the most popular. However, there are claims that white time has 3x more antioxidants than the other teas.

Flavored Tea

Not to shock anyone, but you cannot grow flavored tea like Mango Green tea. Flavored tea is mostly black tea’s that are just soaked in different flavors both natural and artificial. There are some really unique flavors out there, but my Mom’s favorite flavored tea is Orange Spice. It is very delicious.

Herbal Tea

Herbal "Tea" Leaves

Guess what? No really guess! Herbal tea isn’t really tea! J Herbals are made from herbs, seeds, flowers, roots, etc. They are usually mixed together to make really great tasting herbal bend. These are more popular in the Eastern countries.

Now you are semi-well educated on the different types of teas, go out and get some of each kind and do a little tea tasting! It is really fun. You could always turn it into a tea party and invite your fellow tea lovers.

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Teas in Different stages of Oxidization

 

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About katherinemcgrath

I am a senior marketing student at Champlain College. I am a tea enthusiast and cannot wait to share my knowledge about tea and learn from others as well.
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