Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How to Differentiate the Different Types of Tea

If you want to metamorphose into a more relaxed, mindful and balanced individual, throw out your coffee mug and have a cup of tea instead. You can either purchase conveniently packed tea bags or buy tea in its loose form. To brew, put tea or a tea ball in a pot or mug and pour in a cup of boiling water for each teaspoon of herb or tea. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes before straining and drinking. Teas can be enjoyed hot or cold (chilled then served with ice).
Check out the list below for the basic differences between teas for brewing:
* Black Tea - A dark and richly flavored beverage made from dried, oxidized and fermented leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis, this tea has the highest caffeine level, about half as much as a cup of coffee.
* Chai - This tasty mixture of milk, black tea, and spices originated in India.
* Green Tea - A light and subtly flavored beverage made from Camellia sinensis leaves that are not allowed to oxidize or ferment. Green tea has about half as much caffeine as black tea.
* Herbal Teas - These are various herbs (leaves, stems, fruits, bark, flowers and roots of plants) steeped in hot water that are more correctly called "tisanes" rather than teas because they contain no leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. They are caffeine-free. Often, several herbs are blended together.
* Mate - Also called yerba mate, this stimulating drink with a lot of caffeine is from South America, and is brewed from toasted wild holly leaves.
* Oolong Tea - Semi-fermented teas, such as oolong, are made from the Camellia sinensis leaves, but they are less oxidized than green and white teas. These teas also contain caffeine, but not as much as black tea does.
* Rooibos - Also known as red bush. Made from needle-like leaves of a South African shrub, rooibos is similar in taste to black tea but without the caffeine. It allegedly has antioxidant and cancer-preventive properties.
* White Tea - Considered the rarest of the teas made from Camellia sinensis, this delicate tea is produced from blossoms and young shoots. It is the lowest in caffeine but the highest in antioxidants. When brewed, it is almost colorless.
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