Tea for Beginners: Your Guide to Different Tea Categories
Drinking tea promotes overall wellness and relaxation, so it’s a great addition to your daily routine. Even so, with all the present choices, selecting which one to take can be intimidating for beginners. If you’re new in tea drinking, this article will guide you about the top five tea categories, which can help you decide which one to try first.
The Main Teas and How They Taste
The main teas you’ll see on this list are real teas and herbal teas recommendations. Authentic teas are those that use real tea leaves from the tea plant called Camellia sinensis. In case you don’t know, teas that came from other plants are also available in the market, and they’re not considered as true teas. The real teas are those you often hear about, such as black tea, white tea, green tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea.
Here’s a list of real teas and herbal teas:
Black Tea - The Strongest Tea
In the US, they call it black tea, but in China, they refer to this drink as red tea. Among all the real tea varieties, black teas are the most processed option. It undergoes a four-process stage, which includes withering, rolling, oxidation, and drying. The result gives the tea its dark brown or reddish color.
If you’re looking for a calming drink that would give off a strong taste and flavor, choose the black tea. Keep in mind that there are also many variants under this category, and each type of black tea will taste different. If you want to experience a drink with a malty flavor, try getting Assam teas. If you want a more delicate drink with floral and fruity flavors, go for Darjeeling teas.
White Tea - The Mild Tea
Opposite with the black tea, the white teas are the least processed real tea. They only follow a one-step process. They’re plucked from the trees and then left to wither. The white tea leaves are light yellow, but some would have hints of green in them.
When it comes to taste, white teas can give you a soft and delicate flavor. They have floral and fruit undertones, plus a natural sweetness. They’re often tea for beginners, and their inherent goodness gives a strong appeal to tea experts.
Green Tea - Natural Taste
Green teas are real teas which are green in color, and some of them would be yellow too. They create green teas by withering the leaves to reduce their moisture. Afterward, they’d be steamed or pan-fired at a high temperature to dry them some more. They’d be rolled and then swirled after.
If you’re curious about how they taste, the flavor differs based on how they’re made. If pan-fired, they’d taste from toasty and grassy. If steamed, they’d taste mild with an herb-like astringency or vegetable flavor.
Matcha Tea - High-Grade Green Tea
Green tea and matcha tea are not the same. Matcha is not real tea. It’s a high-grade green tea from a shade-grown tea bush, not from a tree. Then, the leaves are grounded into powdered form.
Its preparation is also different. Because it’s in powder form, it’s often whisked into hot water, creating a frothy drink. The whisking gives a rich flavor that you can’t get from merely brewing tea leaves. The final taste depends on what type of matcha tea you get, but it can range from sweet, rich, and creamy drinks to a full-bodied, vegetal, and astringent drink.
Herbal Tea - Combination of Flavors
Herbal teas are not real teas too. They’re not from the Camellia sinensis plant. Instead, they’re made up of several spices, herbs, and roots. These drinks are usually caffeine-free, and because of different combinations, their flavors vary. You can drink hibiscus and chamomile tea if you want to have a drink with a floral and sweet taste. You can also drink the lemon and bergamot tea if you want a citrusy drink.
As a beginner tea drinker, you are free to try whichever you want. The best way to find the perfect tea for you is to try several varieties and see which one you’d like. Consider buying sample packs first. You can also switch from one flavor to another every now and then.
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