Tea-lightful – The World Of Tea

It's Tea-lightful

Tea drinkers in the United Kingdom, rejoice as the 21st of April is officially National Tea Day! The delicious and humble tea is going to be celebrated around the country. We thought we’d get involved by looking into the different types of tea that is available to drink!

Black TeaBlack tea

Did you know that black tea is the most common type of tea in the West and in Britain? According to the Independent in 2015, a cup of black tea was consumed at least once a day by more than half (54%) of the population.

In China, where tea was originally consumed over 2,000 years ago, black tea is actually known as ‘red‘ tea. Black tea has a strong flavour that is formed by oxidisation and it is more oxidised than the other types of tea that we will mention. Some of the most popular types of black tea come from India with Assam and Darjeeling being incredibly popular.

It is often common to blend black tea with other plants to produce different flavours with blends such as Earl Grey tea and English Breakfast tea being well-liked blends to buy.

Green Tea

Green TeaGreen tea is the opposite of black tea in that it is unoxidised, allowing it to retain its green colouring. This tea goes through a heat process soon after being picked to eliminate enzymes that are responsible for oxidisation.

Green tea can be consumed on its own as the heating process often produces strong flavours, but in the West it is common to find other flavours added to green tea. For example Twinings offer a Cranberry Green Tea and Tetley product a Green Tea with Lemon that gives a great twist on a centuries old classic.

Oolong Tea

In between both is Oolong tea, which is semi-oxidised. This means that the leaf is allowed to sit and oxidise for a certain amount of time, however not to the level that black tea is. In Chinese, the name Oolong tea means ‘black dragon tea’.Oolong tea

The length of oxidisation will affect both the colour and the flavour of the tea, leaving it to oxidise will produce a darker oolong that also tastes similar to black tea. On the other hand, a shorter oxidisation process will produce tea that is similar to green tea.

Herbal Teas

Herbal TeaHerbal teas are actually a misnomer as these usually contain no actual tea leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant that produces the above teas. The correct name for herbal tea is ‘Tisane‘ and they are often infusions of various plants that are called ‘tea’.

These kinds of teas are popular in the West at the moment due to the potential health advantages as they often contain no caffeine. Examples of these kinds of teas are fruit teas such as the Pukka Wild Apple and Cinammon Tea or the Twinings Mango and Strawberry Infusion Tea that can be seen on OPInfo.net.

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Sarah Jubb

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