“Is tea your cup of tea?”
“No, I do not drink tea; have never tasted it in my life till date,”
I replied to a friend who asked me to have some tea. The next what she did will remain etched in my memories all my life. She brought something that smelled like an elixir to me. The smell was so delicious that I sipped tea for the first time in my life. “Move over green and black tea. This is Chamomile tea,” my friend revealed the secret. Since that day, I never say that the tea is not my cup of tea. If you have something different in the form of tea, bring a cup for me.
If you are curious to know about popular teas from around the world, read along. There are several varieties of tea available. Their colour, taste, texture and preparation differs to a great extent. I was quite surprised to know that green, black and white tea available come from one single plant i.e. Camellia Sinensis. The variation depends on the technique of processing the leaves post-harvest.
My last visit to a superstore to purchase tea made me realize the enormity of the tea industry. When I asked the attendant to hand me over a packet of tea, he took me to an aisle that was full of teas. I was so confused that I ended up purchasing an expensive organic variety hailing from the valleys of Bhutan. Without any doubt, the tea was great. But since then I got a habit of trying different teas and delving into their history and origin.
6 Popular Teas All Around the World
While for some, tea is a habit, for others, it is a medicine that needs to be taken once in a while. If had in the limit, tea is quite nourishing. That cup of tea you have in the morning everyday kick-starts your day with a fresh note. My husband wakes up from his slumber when he smells the tea brewing along with ginger, cardamom, mint and spices.
Every morning, our home smells of a tea-brewery and at times, even invites strangers for a cup of tea. I love preparing tea and make sure that it turns out perfect every time. Recently, I prepared green tea that hailed from China and it turned out so lovely with its leaves unfolding in the warm water. It was a beautiful sight. Let’s look at some of the popular teas around the world.
1. Black Tea
Grown in the mountainous regions of Kenya, Sri Lanka and India, black tea is quite common. The process involves picking up the fresh tea leaves and withering them. The tea leaves are then rolled, fully oxidized and dried.
This tea is prepared in different ways. Many people boil the tea leaves with milk, water, sugar and spices and strain to enjoy it. The amount of caffeine is quite high in black tea. The presence of thearubigins and theaflavins in the black tea helps lower the level of cholesterol. It even helps down the risk of stroke if consume regularly.
2. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is prepared by fermenting tea leaves and then letting them oxidized only partially. This tea is quite beneficial to health. It helps activate enzymes that ultimately cut down triglycerides present in the blood. It even helps in weight management. Oolong tea functions as an antioxidant and helps remove free radicals in the body, thereby ensuring healthy skin. It helps in stress management, prevention of cancer and tooth decay as well.
3. Green Tea
Though green tea comes from the same plant as all other teas, the production method of this tea is very different. It does not undergo the withering and oxidation process like other teas. Hence, it retains the natural colour.
For green tea, leaves are heated immediately after plucking to prevent fermentation, to a temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. The leaves are reheated again after rolling and shaping them. A good source of catechins, Green Tea is a kind of antioxidant that helps cut down the risk of cancer and heart ailments as well. It even aids weight loss.
4. White Tea
White tea is the result of slow drying of tea leaves. It is prepared from tea buds that are newly grown. These young leaves are steamed or even fried so to deactivate oxidation. These leaves are then dried. Hence, the leaves retain the high concentration of catechins present in fresh tea leaves. The taste of white tea is quite mellow. It is said to offer a range of health benefits including prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and even reducing the risk of breast cancer.
5. Pu-erh Tea
An aged or vintage tea, Pu-erh is a collector’s item. To make pu-erh tea, tea leaves are picked and then rolled, dried and steamed. There are two varieties of this tea, black and green. Black pu-erh tea involves an additional step of cooking the leaves. Post-processing, the tea is required to be shaped in different forms like brick, bell, mushroom and cake. This tea hails from China.
Drinking pu-erh tea helps aid digestion and breaking down the fat present in the body. It is even useful to treat colds and even hepatitis. The high level of vitamin C in this tea is quite beneficial to the body.
6. Chamomile Tea
This tea is distinct from Green, White and Black Tea. It is a herbal infusion that is prepared using dried chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water. Interestingly, chamomile tea is a natural remedy for ages. It offers several health benefits. Full of antioxidants, this tea prevents the growth of cancer cells as well as the side effects of diabetes.
These are just a few of the most popular teas. While researching the kinds of teas, I came to know that there are also teas that are prepared with dried flowers, herbs, spices and a whole lot of things. I have become so curious about tea now. I can smell some already, did you brew it or is it someone in China?