Types of Teas

A morning kick-starter, an afternoon soother, an evening love and a night-time relaxer: one drink, multiple roles. Tea is so deeply engraved in the history of mankind that it has given rise to an entire culture in itself – The tea culture, which, like the varied cultures across the world also varies from region to region. However, in India, it is not just a culture, but a tradition that has been carefully nurtured since ancient era. More on Tea culture, History of teas and The Indian Tea tradition can be found at Tea Story.

With approximately 1500 types of teas in the world, it is quite surprising that all teas come from one plant - the Camellie Sinensis plant, except for the herbal teas, which although referred to as ‘teas’ should more appropriately be referred to as ‘tisanes’ since they come from a non-tea plant.

The Camellie Sinensis plant is native to East Asia. However, due to the worldwide demand of this beverage, the plant is currently being cultivated across the world in tropical and subtropical regions. Factors like soil, climate, altitude and environmental conditions plays a huge role in affecting the flavours and appearances of different teas. However, the major difference in defining the specific uniqueness of each tea (even though all teas originate from the same plant) comes from the process of oxidation. Once the teas are plucked, they get processed or fermented. The amount of oxygen the tea leaves are being exposed to determines their final classification. Based on the processing method, the teas are also categorised as fermented, semi-fermented or unfermented:

Fermented:

Black tea

 Although grown primarily in India and Sri Lanka, Black tea accounts for 85% of total tea consumption across the western world making it one of the most common types of tea. The leaves are fully oxidised during production as the water evaporates from the leaves and they absorb more oxygen from the air. This results in the dark brown to deep red appearance of the brewed liquor of this tea with strong intensified flavours which is more commonly consumed with milk and sugar across the world.

Benefits of Black Tea: 

Black teas endorse several benefits that includes their anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-depressant properties. They are also known to boost immunity against cancer and to improve cholesterol levels.

Glenberg Black Tea Collection:

 

Semi-Fermented:

Oolong tea

Partially oxidised (between 10-90%) leaves whose processing is done by repeated rolling and oxidation forms the basis of Oolong tea leaves that are crisp and dark coloured with a caffeine content ranging between that of black teas and green teas. Handcrafted in the hilly side of Darjeeling and Nilgiris, this tea is known for its floral and fruity tones that differs from the robust taste of black and the subtle flavours of green tea.

     Benefits of Oolong Tea:

    Sticking to the mid-range position between black and green tea in terms of processing, the oolong tea holds this position in terms of features also as it combines the health benefits of both black and green teas. It helps in boosting the metabolism, reducing fat and preventing cancer.

     Glenberg Oolong tea collection:

    Un-Fermented: 

    Green tea

    Native to India and China and largely produced in the fields of India and Nepal, Green teas are the least oxidised teas. All teas are originally green and green teas remain green by steaming, rolling and pan drying the leaves shortly after they are plucked to prevent any oxidation. Hence, the brewed liquid of this tea ranges from green to yellow colour with warm, subtle and grassy flavours and low caffeine content. 

      Benefits of Green Tea:

      Though less consumed across the world when compared to Black tea, Green tea has been used since centuries in traditional Chinese and Indian culture for its medicinal properties and numerous health benefits such as improving heart and mental health, regulating body temperature, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving digestion, etc.

       Glenberg Green tea collection: 



      White tea

      Youngest of all teas, the white tea starts with the tightly rolled buds of the plant and does not go through any oxidation. Grown in the lands of Darjeeling and Nilgiris, its availability is limited as they are the most delicate of all teas. White teas are renowned for their subtlety, complexity, low caffeine content and natural sweetness providing an overall exquisite drinking experience. 

      Benefits of White Tea:

      As it is least processed of all teas, the white tea successfully manages to retain high quantity of antioxidants. Other benefits of white tea include protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, weight loss and protection against heart diseases. White tea also helps in keeping the skin young by combating skin aging. 

      Glenberg White tea collection: 

       

      Teas that do not come from the Camellie Sinensis plant are more accurately classified as herbal teas or tisanes.

       
      Herbal Tea


      Herbal teas, also known as Tisanes, are all the blends that do not use any tea leave and are purely infused with herbs and hence, there is a large variety of herbal blends that are used commonly. Consumed mainly across Asia pacific, the herbal tea blends are largely produced in the rich landscapes of Himalayan ranges that provides these herbs the perfect mixture of right altitude along with unique weather. Being caffeine free tea, the herbal infusions offers a natural and aromatic experience of consuming the power packed herbs. 

      Benefits of Herbal Tea: 

      Historically known as the key to a healthy life, the herbal tea is loaded with numerous benefits that include low cholesterol levels, weight loss, helps in fighting cancer, lowers the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. Herbal teas are also known to promote mental alertness and possess anti-inflammatory properties.

      Glenberg Herbal tea / Tisane collection: