Tea has a rich history dating back thousands of years; the beverage offers a multitude of health benefits for both body and mind. No one can deny the comfort one feels when you wrap your hands around a hot mug of tea and breath in its aroma. There are several different types of tea and knowing the benefits of each one can be integral in selecting the right kind for your particular needs. Below we provide a brief description of the different types of teas and their benefits.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that all true tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. If a “tea” uses different ingredients instead of this plant, you cannot technically consider it to be tea. Additionally, what marks the difference in types of tea is the variety of leaf as well as the oxidation process.
Black tea is extremely popular in Western culture. Black tea leaves are allowed to fully oxidize, which causes its dark color and rich flavor. Typically, one serves black tea without milk, as many people enjoy its rich, bold, and sometimes sweet flavor. Black tea is also what is usually used in Southern style sweet tea.
Benefits: Black tea can relieve stress, enhance blood flow to increase energy, and improve the immune system.
Green tea typically comes from smaller leaves which someone will quickly heat to prevent too much oxidation. Green tea is usually light in color and requires a longer steeping time. It tends to have a brighter, grass-like flavor.
Benefits: Green tea promotes stronger heart health and can also help lower your cholesterol.
Often referred to as a raw tea, white tea requires fewer steps for its preparation process. Immediately after someone harvests it, it goes through the dehydration process in order to provide the lightest flavor. White tea lacks the bitterness that you may find in other types of tea—it generally has more of a floral taste.
Benefits: White tea is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent your body from damage via free radicals. It can also help with skin aging—both internal and external.
This rare variety of tea has a more extensive preparation process than other teas. After being air dried, someone will wrap the leaves in a special cloth for up to three days. Oftentimes, you will see a producer advertise yellow tea as a cheaper green tea, so it is important to be aware of the notable difference. Yellow tea has a smoother, almost buttery texture.
Benefits: People often use yellow tea to aid in liver and digestive health, as well as weight loss.
It is important to note that despite its name, herbal teas are not actually true teas. They lack the Camellia sinensis plant, and instead uses ingredients such as spices, flowers, and herbs. As such, you will generally find that herbal tea has a spicy, or sometimes even fruity, flavor.
Benefits: Although it is not technically tea, this drink still has many health benefits. You can use it to battle inflammation and as a method to unwind at the end of the day.