May 14, 2012

Tea-rrific Facts About Your Favorite Teas

Nothing is more relaxing than a cup of delicious, warm tea after a tiring day at school or the office. Next to water, tea is the most popular drink around the world. But before you reach for that special brew, here’s something you should think about: do you know what particular type of tea you’re drinking?

The practice of drinking tea dates back thousands of years. Tea is a revered and valued beverage in Asian and Western civilizations. Today, numerous types of tea are sold in the market. If you’re not very observant you might find yourself confused between these different varieties. Some teas are very mild, while others are very flavorful and may leave a strong, bitter aftertaste in your mouth. There are tea varieties that are caffeine-free. Some can help you stay up all night long.

woman drinking tea

So, which type of tea do you think will suit you best? To find out, you must familiarize yourself with the different types of tea.

Which of These Teas Have You Tried?
Teas differ in their flavor, benefits, and caffeine levels. Here are some of the most common types of tea today.
  • Black tea is the most famous of all tea varieties, and accounts for at least 75 percent of tea consumption worldwide. It has a bitter flavor and contains a good amount of caffeine – almost 40 milligrams per cup. Black tea is made when the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant is rolled, fermented, and then dried and crushed. It has high amounts of theaflavins and thearubigins, two types of antioxidants.
  • Oolong tea is very similar to black tea. The only difference is that it’s fermented for a shorter time, making it richer and more flavorful. There is at least 30 milligrams of caffeine in every cup of oolong tea.
  • Green tea has a gentler flavor than black tea and only has 25 milligrams of caffeine in every cup. It is made when the Camellia sinensis leaves are dried and heat-treated after they are picked. This stops the leaves from fermenting. Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins.
  • White tea is probably the mildest tea variety available today. It also contains only 15 milligrams of caffeine, the lowest amount in any tea. This is because white tea is made from tea leaves that are picked when they’re still very young.
  • Flavored teas are made from green, black, or white tea leaves. The only difference is that they are infused with aromatic flavors like lavender, cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel. When buying flavored tea, though, avoid the bottled varieties. Opt for the loose leaf or teabag types.
  • Herbal teas are also popular, but take note that these are not made from tea leaves. They are usually made from dried fruits and herbs. They are delicious and contain no caffeine.


Did You Know? You Can Also Make Tea from Flowers!
Although the most popular tea varieties are made from leaves, there are some delicious blends that may also come from the blossoms. Hibiscus tea is one example. Made from the red flowers of the hibiscus plant that is widely popular in tropical countries, hibiscus tea is a traditional drink served in many places, such as Egypt. It is served during wedding ceremonies and parties. In early times, it is even said to be the choice beverage of pharaohs. Just like other tea varieties, hibiscus tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. Some say it tastes like cranberry juice.


Tea may be an ancient drink, but it is loved by modern people. So, the next time you’re brewing a delicious cup of black, oolong, or hibiscus tea, make it a point to savor the drink. Show your appreciation with every sip!

About the Author
Mishka Thomas is a full-time mom, part-time freelance writer, and certified tea lover. She makes it a habit to drink at least one cup of tea per day. Her favorite tea varieties are Ceylon, oolong, chamomile, and hibiscus tea. Her family shares her passion, and they have collected various types of tea from all over the world. Aside from drinking tea, Mishka also loves to knit, cook, and bake. She also enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, trekking, and skiing with her close friends.
Image Credits: Public Domain Images,

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