The Different Varieties Of Tea Based On Aroma And Flavor

Posted by Kei Nishida on February 21st, 2020

Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. In fact with people becoming aware of its many benefits, the number of tea drinkers across the world is definitely on the rise. Tea is also taken in many different varieties like green tea, the normal black tea, puer tea etc.

Important varieties of tea

Even though the tea plant remains the same, it is the processing of the tea leaves, the geography where they are grown and the growing conditions of the same which give rise to its different varieties.

While there are over 3000 varieties of tea available, all of them can be essentially divided into 5 major categories of:

  • Black tea: This is formed by enabling the leaves to wither and undergo full oxidation to get their characteristic black or dark brown colour. This way of processing also results in a robust and more pronounced flavour which when brewed properly increases its caffeine content to about 50 to 65% of coffee.
  • Green tea: This is a very popular beverage with proven health benefits. In fact, green tea with lemon is a very common mother’s recipe for treating cough and cold. This tea is allowed to wither very slightly after it is picked. Its oxidation process is also stopped abruptly by rapidly heating the leaves. Thus when they are brewed at a lower temperature, they tend to have very little caffeine content which makes it one of the healthiest beverages to drink.
  • Dark tea: Specific to the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Hunan, this is aged tea which is steeped up smooth to get a naturally sweetened note. This type of tea is often found compressed into different shapes in the form of cakes, bricks etc.
  • Oolong tea: This is allowed to undergo oxidation partially and thus has a caffeine content which is more than green tea but less than black tea. This tea also has a very unique flavour with intriguing tones and a distinct fragrance. This is probably why the oolong tea or wulong tea as it is also known is said to have a taste and aroma which is comparable to fresh flowers and fruits.
  • White tea: This is the most delicate tea available and the subtlety, the natural sweetness and the complexity of the same is achieved by hand-processing of the youngest available shoots of a growing tea plant. These leaves are not allowed to undergo oxidation at all thereby resulting in extremely low levels of caffeine.
  • Yellow tea: This rare category of tea looks almost like green tea with lemon when brewed. But while it has the flavour and appearance of the same, it is definitely devoid of the grassiness that is characteristic of the dried green leaves of the tea plant. Almost all yellow tea is grown and processed in China and undergo a longer period of oxidation with a much longer and a slower period of drying the leaves.

What is most surprising is that while initially tea was considered to be native to the continent of Asia, today it is grown in almost all tropical and subtropical regions around the globe. However, some of the best varieties of tea still come from the continent of Asia.

Kei Nishida

About the Author

Kei Nishida
Joined: December 18th, 2019
Articles Posted: 2

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