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Types and Classifications of Tea

Updated on March 10, 2014

Intro to Tea

If you prefer a cup of tea over coffee, you’re among a devoted group. Many people love tea for its relaxing and pleasant tasting flavors. But did you know that all tea comes from the same plant?

It all comes from the tea bush, which is an evergreen. What is done after harvesting is what makes teas taste different?

Health Benefits of Tea


Tea Shapes & Forms

Many tea purists will tell you that tea in teabags that come from the grocery store is not tea at all. They call it “tea dust” as it does not contain actual tea leaves (depending on the brand). So, they will recommend that you buy your tea loose and brew it yourself in tea balls (or tea infusers). This is important to know if you are giving a tea gift basket to a tea connoisseur!


Black Tea

Black Tea is created by allowing the tea leaves to ripen after picking. They will develop a strong flavor. The longer it’s left to ripen, the darker it will become.

It’s up to the tea grower to know how long to let it age before shipping to market.

Do you enjoy black tea?

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Green Tea

Green tea is the result of a quick picking and fast packaging. It’s not allowed to ripen, as black tea is. So it remains its natural green color.

It is sent quickly to its package shortly after it is picked off the tea bush. Because of this rapid handling time, it keeps most of its health benefits.

That’s why you hear so much about the benefits of drinking green tea.

Green Tea Trivia

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White Tea

White tea is not the same as green tea, although both are light in color. White tea is actually taken off the tea bush before the leaf is fully ripe. It’s chosen in its bud state to retain the delicate aroma and taste as well as health benefits.

Because of its bud form, it is prized and rare and the most costly tea available. It also has many more of the powerful antioxidant benefits than any other type of tea does. It is also said to help with fighting aging.

How to Brew Different Types of Tea


Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea is harvested in a process time that is not as long as black tea and not as short as green tea. The tea leaves are allowed to oxidize longer than green tea and will turn a rich brownish color. They are prized for their silky taste.

Flavored Teas

Flavored teas are very popular as well because of their interesting taste profiles. Most flavors are added to black tea. The very popular Earl Grey is an example of a tea that has been flavored. You can also find flavored green teas in the supermarket as well.


Finding Your Perfect Tea

It used to be that you had to search long and hard to find a good quality tea in America. Now, there’s every type and flavor you can imagine lining the supermarket shelves. But every tea is not created equal.

Some lesser teas are made of the crumbled remains after the best leaves are taken out of the batch. The closer you come to whole leaf tea, the better the tea will taste and the more health benefits. The more that’s done to the tea to process it, the less health benefits remain.

Try to brew your own loose tea at home for the best taste and the most antioxidants. You may just find that you never want to go back to the ordinary tea bag again.

Whats your favorite flavor of tea?

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    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 5 years ago from Minnesota

      This was very interesting! I love green tea :)

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 5 years ago from United States

      I like tea for the fact that I don't need much of a pick-me-up as it doesn't contain much caffeine as coffee does. If I want to relax and to drink while reading or browsing on my tablet, I drink tea. Thanks for presenting its good benefits. Up, useful and a following. :)

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 5 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      A very interesting hub .....I never heard of white tea before. I enjoy green tea and if its bot available then my next choice is black tea. Now sure interested to taste white tea :-)

      Votes us interesting and useful. Sharing as well.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I love everything about tea and have several tea hubs. I'll link your tea hub with mine. Thanks for the great hub! UP/I/U

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Tea, my favorite beverage & I must admit that I didn't know enough until I read this! Thanks for sharing!And am certainly passing around this lovely hub of tea.

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 5 years ago

      Interesting read....I don't drink tea too often, but it certainly nice during the winter.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Great design on this hub and love the interaction polls. I love the Oolong teas best, but I drink green tea for health benefits.

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

      What a great, well done hub. I am certainly a tea lover and I agree with all the people who call tea in bags - tea dust...and it has the nerve to be more expensive per cup than loose tea. Finally we are learning the benefits of tea and it is all readily available.

      I'd say green is my favorite and how lovely it is in a tea pot.

      Thanks a million for making me feel so good today - just by reading your hub - and taking the polls. A winner!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I've never had white tea before. Will have to give that one a try. Don't really enjoy green tea, but like flavoured teas, and especially Ginger tea. This was very interesting, feel like I learnt something new today. Thanks!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love tea, especially this time of year. Everyone at work waits for the coffee, while all I have to do is get my bag out and add water and sugar. I feel like it's also helping keep me from getting sick. Great hub!