All ‘true’ teas—black, green, oolong, and white are produced from the tea plant called Camellia sinensis. They vary depending on the area where they are grown, the part of the tea plant harvested, the time of year it’s harvested, and the way it’s processed. The processing part, especially oxidation, significantly distinguishes one tea from another as it determines the flavor of the final product.
There are other teas besides true teas. The difference between them and true teas is the plant used to make the tea. All varieties of tea produced from Camellia sinensis are usually referred to as Chinese tea because it’s believed that the tea plant originated from China. ‘Other’ teas are made from roots, fruits, leaves, and flowers from a variety of plants.
Now, let’s look at the different kinds of tea and the benefits they offer.
Tea processes include withering, heating, rolling, oxidation, and drying. Black tea is withered, rolled, oxidized then dried. When these steps are correctly applied, the result is an aromatic, dark, and rich flavored tea.
Black tea is not only loved for its rich flavor but also for its health benefits. It’s loaded with antioxidants like theaflavins which reduce sugar levels in the blood, decrease blood pressure, boost your immunity, and reduce the risk of obesity. Polyphenols found in black tea may also lower the risk of some cancers like prostate, breast, skin, and lung cancer because they regulate cell growth and initiate the growth of new ones.
This tea does not undergo oxidization during processing. It’s one of the teas undergoing the least processes compared to its counterparts. It’s widely accepted that green tea originated from China, and it remains the largest supplier of the commodity worldwide. To ensure you get high-quality tea, you can order green tea or your other favorite ones from Hey China or the reliable tea shops in your locality.
Like black tea, green tea contains antioxidants but at higher levels. Consuming green tea will boost your metabolism. L-Theanine, an amino acid present in green tea, can calm and relax your body while keeping you alert. It can also lower your stress levels without leaving you drowsy.
Though less known, white tea is regarded as the most natural tea because it’s the least processed of them all. Its processing involves harvesting young tea leaves and buds before they fully open, then they are sundried. The tea is neither rolled nor oxidized. Therefore, its resultant flavor is lighter compared to traditional teas. Its flavor can be fruity or vegetal, depending on its origin.
Consuming just a cup of white tea daily can significantly benefit your skin. Antioxidants in the tea can prevent the damage of your skin cells by oxidation. Free radicals causing premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles can also be tackled by the consumption of white tea. Properties found in white tea can reduce inflammation and redness caused by diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea, while phenols will encourage the production of elastin and collagen.
White tea is also a source of fluoride, tannins, and catechins, a combination that can strengthen your teeth by fighting plaque-causing bacteria.
Oolong tea is partially oxidized and made through withering. Then, tea leaves are curled and twisted after oxidation. This tea falls between black and green teas and will refresh your senses just by its aroma. Its color ranges from green to dark brown with a light floral flavor.
Oolong tea can be used to manage weight because of the polyphenols and caffeine present in the tea. The amount of caffeine in the tea plays a role in reducing fat in the body cells. Polyphenols act as a catalyst by streamlining the digestive tract for faster fat burning.
Chamomile tea is made from dried chamomile flowers, known for its calming effect. It is known to be effective against insomnia. Not only is it sweet and subtle, but it’s also caffeine-free. It’s also effective against stomach cramps, migraines, and some allergies. Additionally, it may help with digestion and anxiety. Sipping chamomile tea after a long and hard day will help your body and mind relax.
When it comes to choosing the best tea to please your taste buds, you’ll be spoiled for choice because of the variety available in the market. Mixing up blends and trying new flavors is the best way to know what works for you and gain from the many benefits that tea has to offer.