A while back, I was sipping on a cup of freshly brewed cup of Darjeeling tea and being a creature of habit reading its super attractive box which read 'Fine black tea from the foothills of the Himalayas expertly blended to deliver a delicate tea with a slightly sweet taste and fragrant aroma.' Hoping to know more about it I read the entire box, front and back, but wasn't really content with the provided set of information, so I did what I do best - researched the hell out of teas. So, if you're a tea lover/ enthusiast or just an everyday tea drinker who enjoys various tastes and blends of teas, this blog is dedicated to you!
If you're reading this blog then I'm positive that you don't drink just black tea (or drink solely a single kind of tea), so let's say you drink black and green tea. Did you know that out of all tea produced in the entire world, more than seventy- five percent is black tea and only twenty percent is green tea? While the rest is accounted for by white tea, yellow tea, and oolong tea. These, therefore, are the five main types of teas - black, green, white, yellow and oolong. So now that I know you're interested, let me share all that I know about these teas!
Having already told you that green tea comprises merely twenty percent out of the entire production of tea altogether, let me also tell you that all, yep ALL basic teas (that is green, black, oolong, white and yellow teas, not infusions) come from the same plant's leaves, called Camellia Sinensis. What makes them all utterly different from one another in taste, colour and quality arise from the growing conditions of the plant, which also includes geographical aspects and conditions along with different processing techniques.
Coming back to talking about green tea, you must have noticed how this particular tea has been dragged, brushed and polished from under the carpet and brought to the spotlight in the past two or maybe three years. Not implying that it's a bad thing, Green tea is basically the superhero tea out of them all. Talking about it reminds me of a television advertisement which highlights the fact that you can reduce belly fat thanks to the 'catechins' present in green tea. Well, that's kind of true - green tea is an outstanding source of catechins, which are a type of antioxidant.
Now we all know that antioxidants are great for your health and wellness. Let me just give you a gist of why antioxidants are essential and what they do precisely. Antioxidants are powerful substances which prohibit and even prevent (in certain cases) the oxidization of other molecules in your body. They help flush out and neutralize the free radicals present in the body - the presence of free radicals causes a wide range of chronic illnesses and diseases.
In addition to this green tea also has various other health benefits which have been researched well enough to be hailed. These added perks include immunity boost, detoxification, anti- aging and plenty more. Green tea's potent flavour comes from the overpowering presence of flavonoids and Thianine (a kind of amino acid). A slight bitterness you taste in the tea and its stimulating effect is the cause of the presence of a group of chemicals, collectively known as Catechin Polyphenols, better known as Tannins.
Apart from this highly interesting list of elements, green tea also contains plenty vital vitamins, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B (B1, B2, and B3), Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
The most consumed tea in the entire world - Black tea is without a doubt one of the most highly caffeinated varieties of tea, with approximately forty milligrams of caffeine per cup! Most of the herbal and flavour infused teas belong to this category of tea. Green tea too blends well with infusion and is in fact preferred with herbal infusions.
It's safe to say that black and green teas work amazingly well with blends and infusions. But we already know that black tea is produced and consumed more than the double of the production of green tea, so it's also, therefore, safe to assume that people around the globe prefer not just the taste but also the blends that we have with black tea. Take one of the most famous example, ginger lemon and honey tea, you'd rather have it with black tea, wouldn't you? Speaking just from what I practice, I blend in some mint, ginger, and honey to green tea only when I'm feeling particularly health conscious.
Black tea also contains two types of antioxidants (namely, thearubigins and theaflavins) that have been linked to reducing your cholesterol levels. Not just that, drinking three or more cups of black tea a day (which we easily do on cold winter days) can cut your risk of stroke by some twenty- one percent!
Let's come to the many health benefits that black tea offers - these include beneficial impacts for high cholesterol (already mentioned above), tooth decay, digestive problems, high blood pressure, poor blood circulation, and asthma. Drinking black tea also results in high concentration levels, no wonder all the people who work from morning till evenings, or better known as 'nine to five' jobs tend to have a higher intake of tea. It is one of the most well liked among all sorts of teas and is also well known for its health benefits and medicinal qualities.
The diverse health benefits of black tea have been accepted and loved all over the world. Tea is one of the most well liked drinks or beverages in the world, have it steaming hot or chilled with ice - they're great either ways.
If you love the flavour of black tea, then you must be intrigued to know the how it's made. This too comes from the same leaves as green tea i.e. Camellia Sinensis. What gives this tea its unique flavour and colour is the fermentation and oxidization of the leaves during the processing stage. Black tea is fermented, whereas green and white teas are not. To our black tea, most of us prefer a dash of milk. In China, sweetening agents (chocolates!!) and spices.
So this is another tea that I've tried pretty recently and loved it (obviously!). Oolong has a pretty interesting flavour and different styles of oolong tea can vary generally in flavor. They can be fruity and sweet with honey aromas, or a bit thick and woody with slightly roasted aromas, or fresh and green with something like a bouquet aroma - all this depends on the horticulture of the tea plant (the same one yet again) and the style of production.
All these diverse varieties of oolong tea are processed differently (hence, the flavour), but the leaves are typically formed into one of two distinct styles. Some are rolled into long and curly leaves, while others are sort of wrap-curled into small beads, each with a tail.
All teas are naturally gifted with a richness in antioxidants, therefore oolong tea is also a good source of antioxidants. It contains important minerals such as manganese, calcium, copper, selenium, carotin, and potassium, as well as many vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K. Along with that, it contains folic acid and more detoxifying alkaloids which make oolong tea a good tea for detox.
It is obtained through semi-fermented processing which provides the tea with plentiful polyphenolic compounds which add even more valuable health aids to oolong tea. Again, like all teas, oolong tea also contains caffeine; theophylline and theobromine which are elements similar to caffeine (or have a caffeine- like effect) which on consumption assist in stimulating the nervous system.
Oolong tea contains activates enzymes that cut down triglycerides (which is a type of fat found in the blood). A study revealed that the test subjects (particularly women) who consumed oolong tea burned a slightly larger amount of fat than those who drank only water.
Well, there you go, there's another option of tea for burning fat than green tea - and oolong tea is more than merely a fat burner, it also contains an agent (known as niacin) which helps detoxify the body. You must have heard that tea causes bad breath, but this particular tea contains antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay! Isn't that something?
Additional health benefits of oolong tea include the curtailment of chronic health conditions such as inflammatory disorders, heart disease, and high cholesterol levels while promoting superior bone structure, better skin, and good dental health. Despite the caffeine content (which basically is present in all types of tea), it can still be extremely relaxing to drink.
The health benefits of oolong tea are chiefly doubled because it consists of the combined qualities of green tea and black tea. If you haven't tried it yet, you definitely should!
Now let's talk about white tea - after reading a great deal about it, I've already ordered it and waiting anxiously to sip this incredible tea. While reading about it I found that this too, like oolong tea is good for the oral health. What makes white tea good for our oral health is the presence of flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins which help in preventing the growth of countless bacteria that may cause the formation of plaque. The presence of fluoride content in white tea may also be helpful in reducing the risk of dental problems or tooth decay (or cavity).
The result of a research study suggests that drinking white tea could provide relief to diabetic people from diabetic tendencies such as excessive thirst (also known as polydipsia), increase insulin secretion and decrease plasma glucose levels.
Serious medical conditions and diseases are chiefly caused by pathogens which attack your immune system making your body operate below your normal capacity. White tea has impressive antibacterial properties which can protect your skin from bacteria and other kinds of germs. Did you know that many products, such as hand soap are made with white tea as a key ingredient? Now it shouldn't come as a surprise that the consumption of white tea assists in protecting our bodies from bacteria that causes infections and other such microorganisms. Drinking white tea will provide you with relief when you're suffering from the flu or common cold.
The process of brewing white tea is like that of other sorts of tea. The water should be heated enough, not brought to the boiling point, though, as this could destroy the sensitive components in your tea. For a more concentrated tea, rich in flavour, I would recommend you to steep it for more minutes. 1 to 2 teaspoons of white tea leaves is the perfect quantity per cup.
Just a tip, teas are always better when bought and brewed in form of loose leaves. Drinking tea brewed from loose tea leaves assures the presence of all the nutrients in their actual form. This is way better than tea bags which usually undergo intense processing.
Coming to the last type of tea - yellow teas are well known for their smooth, sweet, savoury, unique fruity and fermented aromas. Merely reading about it sounds yum, doesn't it? It's closely related to green tea, that is, it has similar antioxidant health benefits with green tea offers but with a smoother palate. This means it is easier on your stomach than green tea.
Why should you drink yellow tea? Well, it prevents diabetes, is good for your liver, lowers cholesterol levels, has anti- aging properties, improves your mental agility, is beneficial for your teeth and bones, also, it improves your appetite along with promoting weight loss!
A couple of things that you should know - due to the caffeine content of the tea (not just yellow but all teas) you should try not to consume more than 3 cups in a day unless you want to pull an all-nighter and are in dire need of caffeine.
Be aware of what you're buying, because lower quality of green tea is often sold off as yellow tea.
Excessive intake of yellow tea may lead to high blood pressure, so make sure that you're not drinking more cups than suggested.
Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.