TEA 101

What Is Tea

Tea is a popular drink that is produced and consumed globally. All tea is derived from the same tea plant, which is the Camellia Sinensis; however, its color is based on how long it is involved in oxidation. Different teas involve very different amounts of oxidation, while others don't involve any.

What is oxidation?...(Glad you asked). Oxidation is a key step in the production of tea that determines flavor and appearance. In simple terms, without getting too scientific, oxidation is a natural process involving oxygen, that results in physical changes to a product and unlocks additional benefits in a product.

Tea is a truly special and natural beverage that can be enjoyed by all. Whether you are looking for an alternative to coffee, an after dinner beverage, or just want to learn more about a new culture, Tea is a great place to start. Tea can be enjoyed hot or cold and in the morning or at night. It is a beverage that has endless possibilities and can be enjoyed at anytime. That is why we love it.

Tea involves three primary components:

  • Essential Oils- Provide teas delicious aromas & flavors
  • Polyphernols- Provide components that carry many of the health benefits
  • Caffeine- Provide natural engery boost

Types of Tea

Oolong Tea

Oolong teas are very tasty and unique teas. They are neither black nor green tea, but fall into its own category in the middle. The reason for this is due to the length of time the tea is able to oxidize. If a particular oolong tea is oxidized very little, then its taste will be similar to a green tea. If a particular oolong tea is oxidized for a long period of time, then its taste will be similar to a black tea.

White Tea

White tea is a very light and smooth tasting tea that does not involve oxidation. It is the least processed tea of all; however, still involves very close care during production. Due to its limited availability and production process, white tea usually comes with a higher cost than other tea types

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are made from the infusion of herbs, spices, and other plants. Because herbal teas are not made directly from the leaves of a tea plant, it typically does not contain caffeine. Herbal teas still have many benefits to them and are a healthy option that can be consumed either hot or cold

Black Tea

Black tea is grown and processed in various climates all over the world. Black teas are full bodied teas with bold flavor. They involve full oxidation and typically contain higher amounts of caffeine than your other teas (Less than a cup of coffee).

Green Tea

Green tea is a very popular tea and contains similar levels of caffeine to black tea. Unlike black tea, green tea does not involve oxidation. This allows green tea to keep its natural green color. There are several types of green tea that all contain very flavorful and unique taste

Traditional Teas

Tea is consumed by millions of people worldwide and each culture has their own preference of how they enjoy their tea. Many of these practices are admired and practiced by tea drinkers outside of a particular region. 

Below are a few of the common blends that you will find worldwide, due to its popularity:

East Frisian Blend:

East Frisia is a tiny German Province where tea is a very popular tradition. Strong black tea is highly valued and carefully prepared by the residents to include in their daily lives. In this tradition, hot tea is poured over a large piece of rock sugar and once the tea has steeped, a spoonful of heavy cream is laid on topped of the surface (Do Not Stir)

English Breakfast: 

English Breakfast Tea is one of the most famous tea blends in the world. There are a variety of Black Teas that can be used such as Assam, Ceylon, Kenyan, and Keemun. English Breakfast Tea is typically prepared very strong with the addition of milk.

 Irish Breakfast:

Irish Breakfast Tea is one of the strongest blends and known for its full body & malty taste. Due to its strong taste, Irish Breakfast Tea is commonly served with milk and occasionally sugar. Assam Tea is a common tea that is used for the Irish Breakfast Tea Blend.

Russian Caravan:

Russian Caravan is a strong blend of Oolong, Keemun, and Lapsang Souchong tea. This blend typically has a smoky flavor, due to the Lapsang Souchong, and is prepared with high quality tea leaves.

Similar to blends, scented teas can also begin as regional or cultural preferences toward particular flavors. The most popular scented teas are usually flavored with fruit, natural oils, or flowers. 

Below are a few of the common scented teas that you will find worldwide, due to its popularity:

Earl Grey:

Earl Grey Tea is a popular British flavored black tea that has won hearts around the world. This tea is typically flavored with Natural Bergamot, which is a sharp citrus flavor that provides a sweet floral taste.


Jasmine Tea is an iconic tea that is celebrated around the world. This green tea provides a light floral taste, which is very popular among tea drinkers. Jasmine tea can also be enjoyed without any additions; however, adding ginger or honey is a popular choice for some.

Lapsang Souchong:

When you here Lapsang Souchong, think of  “Smoky Tea”. This black tea has rich aromas and flavors of wood, smoked paprika, and pine. Drinking this tea is an acquired taste, and is often added to other teas that require notes of a smoky blend.

There are many kinds of green tea produced in Japan, with Green tea being the most popular type of tea that is produced and consumed in Japan. Japanese teas are generally classified according to their type of cultivation, processing method and regional origin.

Below are a few of the common Japanese teas that you will find worldwide, due to its popularity:


Bancha Tea is one of the lowest grades of Japanese Green Teas, which is often used as a base for fruit flavored teas and Genmaicha Tea. Despite being a lower grade tea, it has many benefits and is still considered by most as an everyday Japanese Green Tea.


This tea is a blend of Japanese Bancha Tea and puffed brown rice. Genmaicha is often referred to as the “Popcorn Tea”. This tea provides nutty flavors, which is driven by the flavors of the added rice.

Considered one of Japan’s finest grown and finest tasting teas available. This tea grows in a shaded area for at least 20 days with straws and mats, before being harvested. Its leaves are sweet and balanced, which helps give it that perfect taste. Due to its high quality, this is considered one of the most expensive Japanese Green Sencha Teas available


One of the only Japanese Green Teas that are roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, instead of steamed. This tea is typically made with Bancha Tea; however, you may find some made from Sencha Tea as well. Because this tea is roasted, it provides a toasty, caramel like flavor, which is popular for some to enjoy in the evening time.


A Japanese tea blend made of stems, stalks, and twigs from the Camelia Sinensis plant. This uniquely structured tea is low in caffeine and has a mild nutty taste.


Matcha is a powdered form of high quality green tea that is shade grown, typically for 3 to 4 weeks before harvest. Traditionally, this tea has been a focal point in Japanese Tea ceremonies. The preparation, serving, and drinking of Matcha as hot tea embodies a meditative spiritual style.


Sencha is a well-known Japanese flat tea leaf with a grassy flavor. There are many different types of Sencha leaves ranging from Superior to “first picked Sencha of the year”. Sencha is considered, by many, as the most popular type of tea in Japan.

Tea has been considered the national drink in China by experts. In addition to its prominence in Chinese culture, tea also claims many health benefits, making it a popular drink worldwide. There are several types of Chinese tea, which vary in degree of oxidation and processing.

Below are a few of the common Chinese teas that you will find worldwide, due to its popularity:


These tightly rolled leaves were considered some of the first teas to be exported from China to Europe. Once this tea is infused, its tight structure begins to unravel and yields a dark color and smoky flavor. Its name comes from how this tea is structured before its infused in water.

Gu Zhang Mao Jian

This green tea is rich in flavor and history. Grown in the high mountains, this tea provides potent and a earthy aroma. It has a distinctive look, as the body of the tea is green with silver tips. It is well known for its complex processing procedures and wonderful health benefits.

Long Jing

Often referred to by its translated name “Dragonwell Tea”, this tea is pan roasted and produced mostly by hand. It is considered a high quality tea and its benefits do not disappoint. This amazing tea has a very mellow flavor and floral aroma. Be aware that this tea typically comes with a higher price tag.

Pan Long Yin Hao

Often referred to by its translated name “Curled Dragon Silver Tips”, this tea is another one of China’s finest. This silver tipped green tea is hand rolled into round shapes and expands once infusing begins. In regards to flavor, it is a little sweeter than the typical Japanese grassy green teas.

Pi Lo Chun

Often referred to as “Green Snail Spring”, this tea is processed by hand and made from good quality leaves. It is a floral tasting tea with a unique appearance. Some may also refer to this tea as “Biluochun”.

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