Thursday, January 17, 2013

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Types of Tea

Part 3 in my January series on tea. Wanna see more? Check out my Pinterest board on tea.

So, what is tea really? Tea is a drink made by pouring hot water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

When they start out, the different varieties of tea leaves are actually very similar. What really differentiates the types is what is done to them during processing. The way each type is processed creates the variations in color and flavor that you see. The amount of oxidation that occurs during this process is what brings out the color in the tea.

The 4 Major Tea Types:


Like other varieties of tea, black tea is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant.  It's also very low in calories, protein, sodium, and fat. Some studies have also pointed towards black tea reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.


Like other varieties of tea, Oolong is often associated with benefits to cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of cancer, and boosting metabolism. It contains a healthy dose of antioxidants and is semi-oxidized, ranging somewhere between black and green tea is color.


Green tea has been touted as having a number of health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease, boosting metabolism, and lowering your risk for cancer. In addition, green tea extracts are now appearing widely in beauty and health products.

Studies on green teas true health benefits are still pretty inconclusive, but this tea does still have plenty of antioxidants and shares the same benefits as other varieties.


White tea is made of the buds and leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Its name is actually derived from  the silvery-white hairs on the tea plants buds.

White tea shares the same antioxidant powers of other varieties of teas.Various studies have also pointed to its potential benefits in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as having antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti bacterial qualities.