Surprisingly, tea, according to National Geographic, is the most popular drink in the world. Mostly because it is a national drink in India and China. Both countries combined already have this insane number almost of 3 billion people. But that is just a fun fact. Tea on its own is a very interesting drink, with a bag of history, multiple tastes, and types, there are legends about its useful internals.
The first historical records of tea leaves date back several thousand years before our era: first appearing in southwest China as a medicinal drink, tea soon became popular throughout the country and spread throughout Asia. Tea was brought to Europe in the 16th century by Portuguese clergy and merchants. Later, tea became very popular among British people, and the afternoon tea drinking ceremony became an integral part of English culture. Although there are many different types of tea, all classic, Chinese-origin tea is made from the same plant of Camellia Sinensis (only its preparation is different). So, what are the most popular types of tea in the world and what should you know about them?
Black tea is highly fermented. This means that the tea leaves which are picked are left to dry, in the process, water evaporates from the tea leaves and the leaves absorb a lot of oxygen. This results in a dark brown, intense flavored tea. Black tea has more caffeine than other types of tea and is probably the most popular tea in the world. The best-known types of black tea are Darjeeling, Assam (both grown in India), Ceylon (grown in Sri Lanka), and Keemun (grown in China). This tea is further divided according to whether its leaves are served full or crushed. Generally, the more crushed the leaves, the stronger the tea. Black tea is usually the basis of fragrant, packaged teas, such as English Earl Gray.
Green tea is fermented not that much as black tea. It is made in two ways: by steaming the tea leaves or by drying them. Japanese green teas, such as Sencha and Genmaicha, are steaming, which gives them a brighter green color. Chinese, meanwhile, dry green tea in a special pan. The most popular Chinese green teas are Longjing and Gunpowder, but in total there are about 1,000 different varieties. Also, green tea has many beneficial properties: it improves memory, concentration, enhances health, and even helps burn calories. It is high in vitamins C and B2 and folic acid.
This tea has a mild, delicate taste and has a bit of natural sweetness. Of all the teas, it is the tea that needs the least processing, and is completely unfermented, so the tea retains its natural shape and taste. White tea contains very young tea leaves and buds and has little caffeine, so its effect is soothing. The best white tea comes from Fujian Province in China but can also be in Nepal and Yemen. Although called white, this tea actually has a mild yellowish tinge. The most popular types of white tea are Silver Needle and Bai Mudan.
It is a green tea originating in Yunnan Province, China. It is also one of the most mysterious and healthy teas. Pu’erh tea undergoes a long processing process. Its leaves are put together in a thick layer and watered, keeping them for up to a few weeks. The tea is then dried and can then be kept tightly closed all year round. Pu’erh tea is special and its production has deep traditions not only in China but also in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia, and other Asian countries. This tea is warming, toning, cleansing the body, and only gets better over time. Pu’erh is usually sold pressed into shapes of different weights.
This tea is also known as “wulong”, which means “black dragon tea” in Chinese. Originating in China, Oolong is more fermented than green but less than black tea. The tea leaves are left to dry in the hot sun and then rolled into balls or tubes. You can pour the oolong tea many times, and each time it will acquire a different taste. The best oolong tea is in China and Taiwan, and there is even a special ceremony “gongfu” for its drink. During which the tea is brewing in a special teapot and served in special cups. The tea craftsmen performing this ceremony pay great attention to the quality of the water and its boiling: the water cannot boil below 100 ° C.
This tea is often referring as red tea, which is made from a completely different plant than other teas. This plant is Aspalathus linearis, grown mainly in the mountainous region of Cederberg in the Republic of South Africa. With a deep tradition of consumption in South Africa, Rooibos is a favorite in many countries today. The tea is poorly fermented, and in the process, the tea leaves take on a brownish-red color. Rooibos tea is caffeine-free but has many beneficial properties. It is rich in vitamins A, E, and P, as well as calcium, fluorine, manganese, copper, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.
Fruit and herbal teas
Various hot drinks are popular in the world, produced by scalding various herbs, buds, flowers, berries, and their leaves, fruits. Although we call these drinks tea, the Chinese people would disagree with us. These tea inventors keep tea only from drinks made from the plant Camellia Sinensis. As you call it, such teas are popular all over the world. After all, many drink chamomile, linden, and thyme teas, each of which has various useful properties. Of similar teas, perhaps one of the most famous in the world is mint tea. It was still loved by the ancient Romans and is now popular in North Africa and the Middle East. Mint tea is believed to soothe, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, and even suppress headaches.
Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world – probably only water is more popular than it. Tea not only warms, refreshes gives strength, but there is also a certain way of communication. At a cup of tea, you can chat with friends or relatives, relax, discuss the day’s plans and work. Not for nothing have some nations of the world even created entire tea drinking ceremonies. Tea can be of various types, from strong and tonic to soft or sweet fruit teas – all you have to do is choose and enjoy.