Tea 101 - Types of Tea and their Health Benefits

A treasured elixir for generations, tea has been prized for its uniquely refreshing taste and health benefits.

Nothing beats enjoying a cup of tea to jump start your day or after a long day from work. From aiding in weight loss, stress relief, body cleansing and its powerful antioxidants – a cup of tea offers a lot of wellness benefits, so, really, what’s not to love about tea? And, they come in different varieties so you have plenty of options.

Check out the different types of teas and discover how you can incorporate the goodness of tea in your daily routine.

Black Tea

Black tea is made by a process called oxidation turns the leaves from green to a dark brownish-black colour. Among the different varieties of teas, black tea contains the most amount of caffeine. 

Here are some of the most popular styles of black tea: 

  • Assam: bold, malty, brisk
  • Darjeeling: delicate, fruity, floral, light
  • Ceylon: bold, strong and rich, sometimes with notes of chocolate or spice
  • Kenyan black tea: bold, astringent, dark

Most commercially available black teas are blends of black teas from different regions. Classic flavoured black tea blends include:

  • English Breakfast 
  • Earl Grey 
  • Masala Chai 
  • Fruit or flower-scented black tea, like lychee, rose and vanilla.

Black tea typically has a rich, bolder and sweeter taste. You can enjoy it on its own. Or if you’re craving for a refreshing sweet drink, make it into a milk tea or honey lemon tea! 

Black tea is good for the heart health. Comparing black tea to coffee that's also rich in caffeine, black tea drinkers have a significantly lower risk of stroke and heart disease. Consider replacing your coffee with black tea, to give you an energy boost to tackle your afternoon slump! 

Green Tea

Green tea is made from leaves that have not undergone fermentation. They are heated immediately after they are picked, preserving their high antioxidant levels. Just like black tea, green tea contains caffeine equal to about ¼ cup of coffee.

Most popular varieties of green tea include: 

  • Sencha
  • Gyokuro 
  • Tencha 
  • Matcha
  • Konacha 

Green tea generally tastes grassy, somewhat bittersweet, fruity and nutty. Enjoy your green tea with honey or add a fresh squeeze of lemon for a refreshing drink.

Rich in catechins and polyphenols, green tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages around. Green tea is well-known for weight loss and fat burn. It can also reduce the risk of diabets, heart diseases and esophageal cancer. 

Meanwhile, green tea is a great natural skincare product! Because of green tea's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, it can help with wrinkles and the signs of aging.

White Tea 

White Tea is made from the unopened buds, so it is the least oxidized of all types of tea. It has a delicate flavour that tastes lighter compared to other types of tea. White teas can be classified into 3 main varieties:

  • Yi Zhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle)
  • Bai Mu Dan (White Peony)
  • Gongmei (Tribute Eyebrow)

To enjoy your white tea, it is best to brew it with hot water about 75 - 85°C and then let it steep for up to 5 minutes. You may add honey, lemon or mint sprigs for a delicious white tea indulgence.

Health benefits of white tea include a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disorders, and an improvement in oral health. It helps strengthen teeth by fighting bacteria and sugar.

Similar to green tea, it has anti-aging properties which help in maintaining wrinkle-free skin and protecting the skin from harmful effects of UV rays. 

Oolong Tea

Oolong teas only undergo partial oxidation. Since it is semi-fermented, it contains a generous range of antioxidants and polyphenols. It has an earthy, floral, mildly sweet and robust flavour.

Southern China and Taiwan are the main producers of the best Oolong tea varieties. Da Hong Pao, a Oolong tea produces on Wuyi Mountains of Fujian, is one of the most famous Chinese teas.  

Oolong tea boosts metabolism, so it's lauded for its weight-loss properties and helps detoxify your body. Research also shows Oolong tea relieves stress and anxiety, as acids from the tea reduces neural stress responses. 

Herbal Tea         

Technically not a tea, herbal tea is made from the infusion of herbs, dried fruits, flowers and spices. Herbal teas come in a wide range of flavours and are naturally delicious, sweet and fruity. 

While there are almost a hundred of commonly used varieties of herbal tea, some of the most popular with heir most notable health benefits are listed here: 

  • Peppermint Tea – Particularly good for easing cramps, stomach upset, indigestion and excess gas, while also stimulating the immune system.
  • Chamomile Tea – Rich in relaxant properties, relieves stress and anxiety, calms the mind, helps to fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.
  • Ginger Tea – Soothes nausea, stimulates digestion, prevents chronic diseases and increases the appetite.
  • Rosemary Tea - relaxes muscles, stimulates digestion, relieves cough and mild asthma symptoms. 
  • Anise Tea excellent for stomach disorders, excesses gas, nausea, congestion, coughs and colds, also painful menstrual cramps. 
There is a tea for every occasion, every day. We recognise the amount of health benefits in each cup of tea. Hence for every Zenkle Box, we will include a different tea tailored for your wellness. Click here to find out more!