Globally, anytime is a tea time and the most consumed beverage after water. The story of how a Camellia sinensis (botanical name of tea plant) shoot with twin leaves and a bud became the most popular beverage after water is a romantic one.
A Chinese emperor accidentally discovered it when a few leaves fell into a pot of boiling water, rendering it flavoured and energetic. From carrying innumerable history in its’ wake like The Boston Tea Party to being part of diverse cultures & being reflected in literature like the Tea Party in Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland, Tea is a super beverage.
Globally India, Kenya, China & Sri Lanka lead the tea exports. In terms of annual consumption, Ireland leads the charts. There are several varieties of tea, each determined after the processing of the leaves in a different amount of time and proportions, namely White, Black, Green, & Oolong.
All the difference comes from how fresh leaves of the tea plant are processed and their level of contact with oxygen. During oxidation, tea leaves undergo natural chemical reactions that result in distinctive colour and taste.
Ideally, tea is a healthy tonic because of the absence of sodium, fats, carbonation or sugar; hence, it is almost calorie free. Tea promotes fluid balance in the body and contains natural antioxidants. Tannin which contributes to taste and pungency of tea also holds for the health benefits of it.
Implicitly.me gives you a glimpse of the most popular tea that continue to energize and freshen people across the world.
The universal tea, the black tea is the most consumed tea in the world. Black tea leaves are extracted from Camellia sinensis plant. They are subjected to rolling & fermentation following which the leaves are dried, crushed and heated at about 1832 degree F, to yield the finest black tea. Owing to containing about 40 mg caffeine per cup, black tea has a slightly bitter flavour. The presence of antioxidants Theaflavins and Thearubigins which are linked to reducing cholesterol levels, makes Black tea imbibing a healthy habit. It is also believed to cut the risk of stroke.
In comparison to Black tea, Green tea has milder & palatable taste. Camellia sinensis leaves are dried and heated soon after they are picked. The heating process could be steaming (Japanese Green tea) or Pan firing (Chinese Green tea).
Sencha, Genmaicha Gyukuro & Matcha are few well known Green tea of Japanese origin. Likewise, Gunpowder and Longjing belong to the Chinese tea gardens. This terminates the fermentation process. Caffeine content per cup in Green tea is about 25 mg. Green tea is rich in antioxidants Catechin.
Catechin is well researched to lower the risks of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and lower blood pressure. Consumption of Green tea soothes the mood and provides a relief from stress.
Oolong tea is fermented in a similar manner as Black tea but is fermented for shorter durations. It is the most complex variety of tea. Taiwanese Oolongs like Baozhong, Da Hong Pao, Jin Xuan, Dong Ding, and Tieguanyin are popular across the world. Tea preparation contains about 30 mg caffeine per cup.
Flavour of Oolong tea varies distinctly and ranges from sweet, honey like, milky, or roasted. When it comes to weight loss by consuming tea, the indication is towards Oolong tea. Oolong activates enzymes that dissolve triglycerides in cells and triggers weight loss. Oolong is rich in antioxidants and is recommended by dieticians for its’ health benefits.
Camellia sinensis leaves are picked young and tender and processed to yield White tea. This renders White tea milder compared to any other variety. White tea contains about 15 mg of caffeine per cup. The less processing of leaves implies that White tea contains more amounts of antioxidants. Consuming White tea assists in cancer prevention and boosts general immunity of the body. Regular consumption of White tea has been associated with improved glucose tolerance and hiked cardiovascular health.
Technically speaking, Herbal tea is not tea. They are herbal infusions, popularly known as Tisanes. Tisanes are brews from herbs, floral parts, fruits and roots. Chamomile tea for instance induces sleep.
Rooibos tea originates from South Africa and is quite popular in the African continent and the Middle East. Again, Rooibos is not extracted from Camellia sinensis, but from the roots and twigs of Rooibos.
The preparation is caffeine free. The tea is has a sweet and nutty flavour and aids in digestion.
One of the costliest tea in the world, the Darjeeling tea finds home at Darjeeling region in India. The tea leaves have a distinct flavour. Darjeeling tea is known by sobriquets like “Queen of all tea”, “Champagne of all tea” etc.
The flavour is nutty, sweet and palatable. It is milder than Black tea. During the British rule in India, British preferred Darjeeling tea for their afternoon tea session.
Indian Masala Chai
The special concoction consumed quite frequently has the origins in India and is quite popular in the Indian subcontinent. It is a perfect blend of spices and tea. Black tea serves as foundation for Indian masala chai.
Black tea decoction, sugar and milk combine to make masala chai. Masala means spices. Indian tea is flavoured using variety of spice options like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and pepper. For a change, sugar can be replaced by jaggery or honey. Consuming tea has been a part of Indian culture for ages.
It all began in 1904 in St. Louis world fair, when Richard Blechynden, one of the participants could not sell his hot tea owing to hot summer. He experimented introducing the iced tea to his visitors and that was the eureka moment for him and the world. Since then Iced tea became not only popular, but also a multi-billion dollar industry. Iced tea is also available in cans and tetra packs.
The natural flavour of tea is twisted by the addition of few commonly available as well as exotic ingredients. Flavouring brings the special aroma and makes the tea milder and refreshing.
So what twist can you add? Check out!!!
Lemon tea is quite popular around the world. Black tea is inoculated with lemon juice to pamper the tongue with hot flavoured Lemon tea. Sugar can be a great taste maker into it. Lemon tea refreshes moods, and makes conversations lively. And it comes with truckloads of health benefits too.
Lemon juice itself is rich in antioxidants and forms a great combo with tea to boost immunity, fight cancer, aid weight loss, and burn fat and cure common cold and flu. This tea is perfect for the lazy mornings.
It may surprise you, but Peach flavoured tea is one of the most popular tea across the world. Peach tea suits being served at beaches, swimming pool and clubs as afternoon tea, although it is preferable at any part of the day. It is usually consumed cold or iced and served sweet.
Black tea is simmered with rose petals to derive this concoction. Rose tea is ideal for a date, romantic evening or along with candle light dinner.
Adding Cinnamon to the boiling tea leaves renders it strong and spicy. This is preferable during cold winters for any time tea cravings. Cinnamon with its’ own properties to fight cold makes it a great sip.
Orange Peel Tea
Adding Orange peel while the tea leaves are boiled adds a tang to it. The fruity flavoured drink can be consumed cold as well as hot.
Adding floral parts of Jasmine with tea leaves brings in the anti-ageing properties present in the jasmine plant. The light flavoured Jasmine tea is laden with antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals occurring in the body.
Addition of mint infuses the juices from mint and yields a tempting mint tea. Known to calm stomach and refresh moods, mint tea is consumed hot. It is a natural stimulant with less amount of caffeine and palatable.
Likewise, addition of Lavender or basil spikes the tea to achieve an incomparable ecstasy.
With so many flavourful tea to stock up in your kitchen, the miracle drink can never be short of admirers.
So, do try the most popular types of tea and don’t forget to write your reviews over here.