A hot cup of tea is exactly what you need in the morning to kick-start your day and keep you energized. Tea is ultimately one of the most refreshing and favourite hot beverages for many people across the world. It’s quite astonishing, how with time, the humble chai has enchanted us with its revitalizing taste and umpteen health incentives.
Its rich aroma and flavour offer something for everyone. Whether you would like to have it spicy, sweet, mild or strong, tea is an integral part of our daily routine. However, there is a lot of confusion regarding which brew might be the best bet for your health. Here’s a quick guide that lists different types of teas and their benefits. Go and find your perfect cuppa!
Different Types Of Tea
Teas can be grouped into three categories –true teas, herbal teas and flavoured teas. Read on to find out more about each type and what makes each one distinct.
True teas are infusions derived from the leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. There are about only five true teas in the world, all other types are either flavoured teas or herbal tea or tisanes, as they are not obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant. True teas include - white tea, green tea, oolong tea, black tea and pu-erh tea. Even though these teas come from the leaves of the same tea plant, they differ owing to the production process which affects their colour, flavour, appearance and aroma.
White tea is the lightest, most delicate tea preserving the highest amounts of antioxidants. It exhibits anti-ageing properties, lowers the risk of osteoporosis, and prevents dental cavities. It tastes sweet and grassy with absolutely no bitterness. A hot cup of white tea is pale or lightly golden and best drunk on its own to truly relish its mild, tranquil taste.
Green tea is one of the most popular beverages famed for its healing properties. The plethora of nutrients and antioxidant profile of green tea is highly prized, especially for its key function in helping to lose weight. This has made green tea one of the most valued beverages among fitness enthusiasts. Being low on caffeine, green tea boasts incredible health benefits from controlling blood pressure, triggering metabolism, and burning fat to preventing cancer. What’s more, used green tea bags can be chilled and applied to your face to enhance skin radiance.
Black tea has a strong, earthy flavour and is a great choice for coffee drinkers and tea lovers who relish a bold flavour. Originating from East Asia, black tea undergoes an intense production process and is completely oxidised which gives it a bright tinge and bitterness. Besides augmenting heart health, this strong concoction can help manage diabetes and digestive tract problems. This is the only tea that is generally consumed with milk, sugar or sweeteners.
Oolong tea is mainly popular in China and Taiwan. It is a blend of the qualities of dark and green teas and hence has incredible health benefits. The flavour ranges from mild to full-bodied, floral to grassy and sweet to toasty. It is believed to boost memory and focus, trigger metabolism, combat stress and help you feel calm and relaxed.
Pu’erh pronounced as “poo-er” is a fermented Chinese tea that undergoes very minimal processing. Flavours largely vary and range between sweet, bitter, floral, woody, sour, earthy to even tasteless. Pu’erh tea promotes weight loss, lowers cholesterol, improves vision, and blood flow and cures a hangover.
Herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, herbs or spices which are available in a spectrum of tastes and flavours making them a healthy and enticing alternative to sugary beverages. Herbal teas have been used as a natural tonic to heal several health woes. Chamomile, peppermint, ginger, hibiscus and sage are some of the herbal tea blends that come in delicious flavours and are indeed free of sugar and calories.
Flavoured tea is a tea that contains at least one essential flavour. It could be a mix of fruits, flowers, vegetables, essential oil, natural extract etc. These aromatic tea blends confer a plethora of health benefits and keep you energised all through the day.