What’s Your Cup of Tea? A Quick Guide to Teas

what's your cup of tea?

Not sure what type of tea you should be drinking? Before you grab a carton of tea at the local groceries, have a quick look at the different types of teas and some basic information about them. This can help you choose better and get the most out of your afternoon tea party.

Black Tea

Black tea is the most common type of tea. It is widely available almost everywhere. A lot of manufacturers produce this type of tea and has been sold in teabags or even in powdered form. It comes from the Camellia sinensis plant’s leaves which are rolled and fully fermented, and then dried and crushed for that rich slightly bitter taste. Of all the teas from the C. sinensis plant, this contains the highest concentration of caffeine at around 20% of that from a regular cup of coffee.

Oolong Tea

Similar to that of the black tea, oolong tea has a richer taste, being fermented at a shorter time than the black tea. It has slightly less caffeine than black tea, but it packs a punch in the antioxidants department. In fact, this tea is often used for weight loss. Studies have found out that oolong tea activates a type of enzyme that dissolves fat, helping drinkers burn more calories than non-drinkers.

Green Tea

Hot on the tracks of the black tea when it comes to popularity in the past few years is the green tea. Still made from the leaves of the C. sinensis plant, it has less caffeine than both the black and oolong teas since it is made from leaves that dried and heated right after being picked, and is considered to have a more delicate flavor. It has a lot of antioxidants that are considered to ward off any form of disease, from cancer to mental disorders like anxiety depression.

White Tea

Of all the teas mentioned here, white tea has the mildest flavor because it is made from leaves that are very young. It also contains the least amount of caffeine. Just like the rest of the teas, it comes in both tea-bag and loose form, but the loose one contains more antioxidants as it is less processed. It is also one of the teas with the most number of health benefits, including for people with diabetes and those with very high cholesterol levels.

Flavored Tea

If you prefer teas that have certain flavors or aromas, a cup of flavored tea might sit well with you. These are usually black, green, or white teas paired with different flavors and extracts to attain certain flavors. They often have the same amount of caffeine or antioxidants as the tea they are paired with, the flavors just add a bit of variety to the aroma and taste. But be sure to check the sugar content. Most of what is being sold have very high sugar content to enhance the flavors, and most of them are watered-down, too, giving your less of the benefits from the non-flavored ones.

Rooibos Tea

This comes from an entirely different plant – from a South African red bush. Rooibos tea is the only type that does not contain caffeine. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this type of tea contains loads of benefits. It is delicious whether served hot or cold. This may well be a better alternative to the flavored tea.

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