Steeping a World of Color: Exploring the Wide Variety of Teas
Green tea. Black tea. Oolong. White tea. Yellow tea. Puerh tea. So many teas exist in our world!
You may be surprised to learn that all tea comes from the same basic plant: Camellia sinensis. Keep in mind this does not include your favorite herbal tea blends like like chamomile, mint, or rooibos tea as these come from herbs themselves.
All the many varieties of tea are in part due to processing, growing conditions, and where in the world the Camellia sinensis is grown. Understanding where tea originated is actually imbedded within its very own name. Camellia sinensis is Latin for “Chinese camellia,” and the tea native to China can usually be found in cool temperatures and at higher elevations, like mountain slopes. Green tea and white tea are popular types that stem from the higher ground in China.
There is also Assam tea or Indian tea, which is referred to as Camellia sinensis assamica. This type of tea stems from the Assam region in Northern India, where the weather is much warmer and with plenty of rain and humidity. The tea plants here are generally much larger and produce tea with a significant amount of bold flavor.
If you’re someone who loves a hot cup of tea to start the day, with an afternoon snack, or a piping hot cup of it while you’re reading in your pajamas before bed, you’re certainly not alone. After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world.
How many cups of tea do you drink per day?