Celebrate Hot Tea Month!

Celebrate Hot Tea Month!

It can be easy to get confused about the various types of tea - black tea, white tea, green tea, red tea … Here’s a simple lesson in Tea 101.

Did you know that January is Hot Tea Month? And of course, there’s no better way to celebrate than by trying a new kind of tea.

It can be easy to get confused about the various types of tea—black tea, white tea, green tea, red tea—it’s enough to make your head spin! Here’s a simple lesson in Tea 101.

Black tea
Black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and green tea are all made from the same plant, but are processed differently.

English Breakfast and Orange Pekoe are two familiar types of back tea. Earl Grey is black tea too, with bergamot flavouring added. A recent study suggested that black tea can lower stress hormones and promote calmness.

Generally, black tea is the tea most people in the Western world are familiar with. It’s the most processed, with mature leaves being fully fermented and dried. It has a deep flavour with bitter notes and goes well with lemon and honey, or milk and sugar.

Oolong tea
Oolong tea has a shorter fermentation time than black tea, but is still more processed than green or white tea.

Green tea
Green tea is not fermented at all. It has a much lighter, fresh taste. Generally, you don’t add anything to it for flavouring (as you might add milk to black tea) but you can find flavoured varieties at many stores. It can also be made into a powder called matcha (instead of teabags or loose leaves), so you drink more antioxidants.

Green tea may help to reduce inflammation, fight bad breath, and even promote weight loss. Wow!  

White tea
White tea is hardly processed at all, so it has the highest amount of antioxidants. Like green tea, you generally wouldn’t add anything to it to flavour it. White tea may help fight infection, and it demonstrates some promising anticancer properties.

Red tea
Red tea, or rooibos, comes from a different plant than the teas mentioned above. Originating in Africa, it’s high in antioxidants and caffeine-free, so it’s a great coffee alternative. It can also make a delicious latte!

Herbal tea
Again, herbal tea is not made from the tea bush plant. In fact, it’s made from a huge variety of plants and herbs, such as peppermint, various types of fruit, camomile, ginger, and licorice. It doesn’t have caffeine, and each type has its own unique health properties.

Chai tea
This tea originated in India. It can either be made from herbal tea or black tea, but always contains spices such as black pepper, cardamom, and cinnamon. It tastes warm and comforting, and is perfect on a cold day, or even made into a latte

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