Different varieties of tea serve different purposes - some make your day, some put you to sleep at night; some keep you warm during winters, some allow you to keep your cool despite the summer heat! The terrain and climate in which it is grown, the time of plucking and the processing technique - all of these factors influence the quality of the tea you drink.
Discover the main types of tea and their characteristics, and how they are classified across the world with Tea Culture of the World.
6 Types Of Tea And Their Characteristics
The first on our types of tea list is, of course, the ever-popular Green Tea - these are fresh tea leaves with very little processing. They do not undergo the oxidation process. The leaves, after being plucked, are allowed to wither for a few hours. They are then steamed or panned to remove the moisture and trap the antioxidants within the leaves. The flavours of the Green tea changes from region to region; with more grassy-flavoured Green teas coming from Japan, peachy and chocolaty teas from China and gunpowder flavours coming from Taiwan.
The most exotic teas in the world, White teas are the rarest of rare teas. The young fine shoots are hand-picked at the beginning of the season with the fine silver doves still attached to it. The complex light flavoured tea leaves come from Fujian province in China, Darjeeling in India and some parts of Sri Lanka.
Black tea is created when tea leaves are exposed to hot air for several hours after being plucked. This process helps reduce the water content of the tea by 50% to 60%. The leaves are then rolled, either by hand or mechanically, to allow essential oils to spread and impregnate the buds. The leaves are then passed through a screen and the smallest leaves go on to the next stage whereas the bigger leaves are rolled again. These are then dried in an oven to stop the oxidation process. The end result is a full-bodied tea, treasured by tea lovers across the world.
A piece of art, tradition and craftsmanship is seen in a cup of Oolong tea. Oolong tea is oxidized tea and only an expert will know how to extract the right flavour and how much to oxide it. The tea leaves, which may be oxidized from 20% to 80%, are repeatedly rubbed to generate the correct texture and flavour. From soft floral flavours to nutty, toasty flavours, Oolong tea flavours vary depending upon the level of oxidation.
This slightly moist tea is piled and aged in underground rooms or caves, giving it an exceptional flavour. It is a full-bodied tea with a dark rich liquor and distinctively earthy flavour. The best part about Pu erh is that, like wine, it only gets better with time.
This is a tisane that is grown exclusively in South Africa. It was discovered over a 100 years ago when the residents of Cederberg area (near Cape Town) realized that the fine needle-like leaves of a mountain bush could be used to make a refreshing hot drink. The fresh tea leaves are bruised, fermented in heaps, sun-dried and sifted to give you a unique naturally caffeine-free brew.
Now that you are familiar enough with the primary types of tea and their characteristics, it’s time to open your doors to rare indulgences with Tea Culture of the World - we bring different types of tea in India from across the world. Buy our premium loose leaf teas and tea bags online to explore different types of tea flavors.