A Preliminary Exploration of Different Types of Tea
With so many types of tea available, how do you know what to drink? What’s the difference between them, anyway? You’ve heard of Lipton and you know Chinese restaurants often serve green tea, but…what are your options, what’s their caffeine content, and how do they differ in taste?
With specialty tea stores popping up nationwide and tea’s increasing popularity, even at coffee shops, let’s begin our tea exploration through a tour of some of my favorites.
Even though tea is increasing in popularity, black tea is probably the one most people are familiar with. Though it’s often considered bitter and sweetened with sugar, there are also some flavored varieties.
Take Earl Grey, for example, which so happens to top the list of my favorite types of tea. With a distinctive bergamot (orange) flavor, I love an afternoon cup of Earl Grey with some sugar and vanilla almond milk. What the heck? It’s even better with a shortbread cookie!
With somewhere around sixty milligrams of caffeine per cup, it’s a pick-me-up without the negative aftereffects of a late afternoon, highly-caffeinated, coffee.
I also love an unsweetened black iced tea with lemon. There I go with the citrus theme again. My ex takes it with more sugar than tea. Maybe that’s why he’s an ex. Imagine what it’s like trying to compromise with our little one. She takes some tea with lemon, adds sugar, squeezes in another lemon wedge, goes back to the sugar…
On the flip side of black types of tea is the array of herbal teas. Naturally caffeine free, herbal teas tend to be refreshing, with a variety of health benefits.
Peppermint can help settle an upset stomach, similar to ginger (which also helps to fight inflammation). Chamomile may help calm you and get you ready for sleep.
Though more often than not I prefer caffeine-laden substances, hibiscus teas (such as Tazo’s Passion) blow my mind – especially iced. With lemon.
Jam-packed with antioxidants, green tea is one of the types of tea which provides tremendous health benefits. Helping to improve blood flow and reduce cholesterol, green tea has properties to aid in heart and brain health.
You really can’t go wrong with any of the green teas from Teavana. With their fruit blends and high quality, they’re out of this world! And, often with less caffeine than black tea options, they’re a good choice most any time of day!
My simple fave remains Starbucks Zen. Iced. And, during the summer months, mixed with lemonade.
Other Kinds of Tea
Obviously this is just a preliminary overview of a few varieties of tea – just a few of the versions I enjoy (with lemon). There’s white tea, rooibos tea, oolong, mate…all of which still need to be explored.
The fun thing about tea is that nearly every variety offers health benefits, so while they’re yummy and warming, they also have a job to do. While we continue to explore the different types of tea, and their health benefits, you’ll be better able to choose which ones you’ll try next.