The Ultimate Tea Guide: Types of Tea & Their Benefits
Black, green, oolong, pu-erh and white teas are the only types that are considered “true” teas because they are made from the Camellia sinensis plant (which is a requirement for this beverage to qualify as a true tea)! Other beverages that resemble tea but aren’t from Camellia sinensis are not technically tea, but most people categorize them that way and they are often called “herbal tea” or “tisanes.” In this article, we will be going over both true teas and the various beverages that many people categorize as tea. Let’s get started!
Leaves are crushed, curled, rolled or torn apart and then left to oxidize before they are dried, packaged and sold. Because of this oxidation process, black tea has a strong, dark flavor and is often sold in some type of blend, which will determine the flavor of the overall tea. Factors that can determine its flavor are the season the plant was grown and the place it was grown. Black teas are typically produced in China, India, Sri Lanka, or Nepal. There has been research to suggest that black tea may support your heart health and the body’s protection against oxidative stress.
The preparation of green tea leaves stop the oxidation process (unlike black tea) by preparing the tea from fresh, withered, lightly heated or lightly steamed leaves. The taste of green tea is typically described as light, fresh and “grass-like”, but flavors can range from nutty to fruity to even a seaweed taste. Factors that may affect the flavors of green tea: the place where the tea was grown and the way it was processed (stopping oxidation). Research suggests that green tea may support mental alertness (due to caffeine), support heart health, help support the body against oxidative stress, supports brain health, and supports a fasting diet. Feel free to check out our article talking about the health benefits of matcha green tea right here and receive 35% off ceremonial grade matcha using our code LETSGROW35 here!
Oolong tea is always produced with whole leaves and is semi-oxidized. The range of oxidation can vary- the lighter the tea, the less oxidation and the darker the tea, the more oxidation. These teas are packed with several antioxidant compounds including EGCG, theaflavins, and thearubigins. These antioxidant compounds help support your body’s protective measures against free radicals as well as oxidative stress. Research may suggest that it also supports both heart and brain health.
This fermented tea is often more expensive than the other teas that come from the Camellia sinensis plant because of the processing steps involved. Pu-erh tea originates from the Yunnan province of China and is often sold as bricks, cakes, or dried leaves. Once leaves are harvested, they are tossed by hand in giant woks to completely stop oxidation from happening. After hand-tossing, it is aged in a very humid environment to bring out the tea’s very distinct flavor: dark, rich, and less astringent than the other teas. The flavor varies from how long the pu-erh has aged. Pu-erh tea is not as well-researched as the others, but there is still some evidence to suggest that it has several health benefits. It contains caffeine (helps support mental alertness) and is high in antioxidant properties.
This type of tea is created from new buds and the young leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, bringing a delicate flavor and the silver hairs on new buds make the tea have a white-ish hue. Right after harvesting the new buds and young leaves, they are either steamed or fried to stop the oxidation process, then they are dried, leading to a light, delicate and even fruity flavor. This tea is lower in caffeine than black, green, oolong and pu-erh teas. Because of the minimal processing, white tea may have especially high levels of catechins, antioxidant properties, and is thought to support dental health because in addition to catechins, it contains fluoride and tannins which support the management of plaque bacteria in the mouth.
Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint plant family native to Europe and Asia. Peppermint tea is a perfect option to improve concentration, optimize digestion and relieve tension in the mind and body- without the caffeine, making it easy to fall asleep at night if you choose to drink this after dinner. To add decadence, you can add unsweetened almond or macadamia nut milk, but it is delicious on its own as well!
Other Favorite Digestive Relief Teas / Powders
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