Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. People have enjoyed tea for thousands of years, and with good reason! While some of us (including me) enjoy tea more for its warm, familiar flavor, others are interested in the science behind it all.
Different types of teas have different health benefits, while some are just plain delicious. Here is a quick guide to the four main types of tea and how to make them.
Black tea is among the most popular types of tea and is made from leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Black tea is high in caffeine and has a strong flavor.
It is best enjoyed with milk and sugar. One of the many benefits of black tea is that it helps to boost energy levels.
Black tea is an important source of the anticarcinogen epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Black tea is typically brewed with boiling water for 3-5 minutes. It can be served with a squeeze of lemon or honey, if desired.
2. Green tea
While black tea comes from the same plant as other popular types of iced teas, green tea is unique in that the leaves are not fermented before processing.
This means that green tea has a higher antioxidant content than black or other types of tea.
Green tea is best known for its potential to aid in weight loss, which is connected to the effects of green tea on fat metabolism.
Green tea may also help to lower cholesterol and improve bone health. In our view, green tea is best enjoyed without milk or sugar and is typically brewed with boiling water for 1-3 minutes.
3. Oolong tea
Oolong tea is also made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, but it is processed differently than black tea.
Oolong tea is halfway between green and black tea in terms of flavor and caffeine content.
It is best enjoyed plain or with a few slices of fresh lemon. Some benefits of Oolong tea include a stronger immune system, lower cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of cancer.
To prepare oolong tea, bring water to a boil and steep for 2-3 minutes. It is best served fresh, so drink it all within the same day.
4. White tea
White tea is made from very young leaves that are harvested at the end of winter without any processing. It is rare and more expensive than other types of tea.
Proper white tea is the least processed and has the most antioxidants of all teas. It is delicate in flavor with a slight, sweet aftertaste.
White tea may be an important source of antioxidants for the elderly and has been shown to protect against heart disease. It contains the smallest amount of caffeine of all types of tea and is best enjoyed without milk or sugar. White tea is steeped for 2-3 minutes with boiling water. White tea is best enjoyed within one day.
However, because it is so delicate in flavor, many people choose to use quality organic white tea powder instead. White tea powder is made from steamed and dried leaves and has a fuller flavor than traditional white tea leaves.
There are many types of tea, and it is important to know your preferences before choosing a type of tea. However, if you’re looking for the highest antioxidant content and health benefits, white and green teas are your best bet.
For just a delicious infusion of warm flavor, black tea is unbeatable. Whatever your choice, enjoy your tea hot or cold and with or without sweetener.