According to studies conducted over the years, tea is the most consumed beverage globally, immediately after water. The origin of tea dates back thousands of years, its history taking shape in the space of ancient China.
There are 6 types of tea, all from the leaves and buds of the tea tree, Camellia sinensis; the differences are given by the degree of oxidation and drying of the leaves, flowers or buds of the plant.
The natural tea is only the one that comes from Camellia Sinensis, the others being herbal or fruit infusions for medicinal or relaxing purposes.
Everything About Tea and the Art of Making It
Hundreds of years ago, tea was consumed mainly by Buddhist nobles and monks to aid relaxation and meditation, being recognized for its excellent properties on the human body.
Tea was considered a healthier substitute for wine or coffee without causing agitation or sluggishness, the process of preparation with boiled water being considered one of the safest for health.
There is a wide variety of herbal and fruit teas and infusions on the market, which we can buy in bulk or sachets. Any tea lover will recommend you to opt for the classic leaf infusion, to the detriment of the sachets, because this is the only way you will have all the nutrients and antioxidants found in tea.
Types of Teas
The most popular types of tea are white, black or green. But today, we will also find out details about oolong or Pu-erh tea, types less known in Europe but highly appreciated in Asian countries, such as China or Japan.
Each tea has specific defining characteristics, which help you learn more about how it was processed, how it should be prepared and what nutritional information it has.
White tea is considered the purest form of this drink and is extremely expensive. It is obtained from the young leaves and buds of the tea tree, covered with a white layer of down, hence the name white tea.
The leaves are treated at high temperatures to preserve their aroma and composition and not to reach the stage of oxidation or dehydration. The resulting liquid is evident and light in color. This type of tea contains the highest nutrients and antioxidants, even than green tea.
Black tea is obtained by drying and fermenting the leaves of the tea tree. It is the most aromatic type of tea, with a high theine content, making it a powerful natural energizer.
It can successfully replace commercial coffee and energy drinks. Black tea is also a source of vitamins, mainly Bs, polyphenols and flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that fight against premature aging of the body and strengthen its immunity.
Green tea retains a light color, as the green leaves are steamed immediately after harvest, then dried to prevent fermentation and oxidation.
The taste of this tea is a specific one, strongly astringent and recommended especially in diets to lose weight and as a natural energizer. It contains a high level of flavonoids and antioxidants, with a strong diuretic effect. Green tea is recommended to be consumed in the first part of the day because it gives energy and activates the metabolism.
Yellow tea is obtained like green tea, except that the leaves turn yellow. Hence the golden hue of the tea has a specific aroma, milder than that of green tea.
It also contains a high level of antioxidants and polyphenols, a natural source of energy and a simple way to revitalize the body.
Oolong tea is specific to China, being obtained through a variable process of maturation of the leaves by prolonged exposure to the sun. Depending on the degree of ripeness, the taste can vary, from highly aromatic and sweet, to a pungent taste.
The benefits of oolong tea are many:
- Maintaining the body’s youth
- A burning fat, mild sedative
- Improving the appearance of hair and preventing hair loss
- Maintaining skin health
Pu-erh tea is also made from the leaves of the tea tree, but the quality of this drink is given by its age. The older the tea leaves, the more aromatic and intense it tastes.
The name comes from Pu-erh, a village in China, where this type of tea was first obtained. The process consists of oxidizing and drying the tea leaves and keeping them for a long time for an extra flavor.
How to Make Tea
It is said that making tea is a real art if you want to get a delicious and nutritious drink. Whether you use tea bags or tea leaves, the secret lies in the water temperature that is poured into the cup. The following temperatures are recommended:
- White tea – 70 ℃ – 80 ℃
- Black tea – 95 ℃
- Green tea – 70 ℃ – 80 ℃
- Oolong tea – 85 ℃ – 95 ℃
- Pu-Erh tea –100 ℃
Generally, the infusion is left for 2-3 minutes, depending on how intense you want the aroma to be. It is recommended that hot cupped tea be consumed as soon as possible not to lose its nutritional value. Green tea is the type of tea that can be enjoyed both hot and cold during a hot summer day.
Tea Making Apparatus
If you want to experience the actual quality of any tea, then the special devices for preparing this drink are an inspired choice. You’re probably wondering how these differ from a kettle or kettle.
Making tea becomes much more straightforward, intuitive, and handy, no matter the situation. A first advantage is a practicality, needing only tea leaves or dried fruit for a delicious tea.
You no longer have to check when the water has boiled and the infusion time is set in advance. You can opt for tea machines with 4-6 temperature control modes, suitable for each type of tea.
Also, in the case of better models, you can set the infusion time and keep the tea warm for longer. A basic model can reach up to 200 lei, while a professional device with a large and multifunctional capacity can exceed 1200 lei.
It is not surprising that tea is the most consumed beverage, after water, given the unique flavors, nutritional properties and the whole ritual involved in making tea.
Thus, 6 types of teas are distinguished, which can vary in aroma and effects on the body. You can always enjoy a delicious tea, either through a simple ritual involving a kettle and a cup, or you can have a unique experience with the help of the tea maker. What is your favorite tea right now and why?