There is a world of tea connoisseurs out there. They are a quiet bunch and not as hyped up on caffeine as coffee-enthusiasts, but they know their tea.
While you don’t have to become a tea expert, you might want to try something new. If you live in America, you probably aren’t trying much new in the world of tea. Almost 90 percent of the tea consumed in America is black tea. If you want to switch up your rou-tea-ne (we had to), we’ve got the perfect tea guide for you.
To Tea or not to Tea-That is a Question
So, let’s get something straight — all real tea comes from one plant alone, and that’s the Camellia Sinensis plant. That plant is what all black, green, white, oolong, and Pu-erh teas come from. Herbal teas are derived from many different plants. In this way, the word tea just means the method of steeping these herbs in hot water to extract flavor.
That means ginger, chamomile, and hibiscus teas aren’t authentic tea. Ginger is a root while chamomile and hibiscus are flowers. They’re all steeped in hot water like real tea, though, so that’s why we call them tea anyway.
A Tale of Two Teas
You may not be familiar with two varieties of tea, and you should definitely expand your tea horizons. Both have less caffeine than black tea and a more refined taste.
Oolong tea is like the middle ground between green and black tea. That’s because oolong is fermented like black tea, but not as much. It’s also oxidized like black tea, but also not as much. You get the richer, darker flavor of a black tea with oolong tea, but the taste is milder and less harsh. If you find green tea lacks the caffeine or flavor you need, try a variety of oolongs.
The mildest true tea there is, white tea varieties are very low in caffeine. White tea retains many of the health-giving chemical compounds present in the tea plant. That’s because they aren’t changed or diluted in the processing method since white tea is the least processed of all teas.
White tea comes from the newest and youngest buds and leaves of the tea plant. If you want a very delicate and calming tea that isn’t a zero-caffeine herbal tea, you should try a white tea.
Now you’re educated on the world’s teas and ready to add some variety to your tea cabinet.