Tea for beginners

Tea can be divided into two main types

Do you also find it difficult to navigate through the many thousands of different kinds of tea? A good way to help you into this universe is to divide tea into two main types:

  • tea from the tea plant ‘Camellia Sinensis’ – such as Earl Grey tea
  • tea from all plants other than the tea plant ‘Camellia Sinensis’ – e.g. chamomile tea

Tea from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis

There are many stories about how tea was discovered.

According to one legend, the Emperor Shen Nung (2737-2697 B.C.) discovered the tea plant. One day some leaves blew into his cup and coloured the water. In this way tea was ‘born’. If you would like to read more about the story of tea, click here.

Today these teas are produced from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis:

– Black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, pu-erh tea, yellow tea and matcha

The leaves go through different processes depending on the kind of tea you want to produce. Black tea undergoes the following process:

– withering, rolling, oxidation, drying

Each of the seven teas can be prepared in various ways. For example, there is no oxidation of white tea.

Group 1 – you are a totally new tea-drinker

If you are new to the universe of tea, I suggest you experiment with one or more of the following teas. If you are coffee drinker, and would like to replace some of your daily intake of coffee with tea, then choose a black tea – Assam or Earl Grey – because they are strong and aromatic like coffee.

  • Black tea Darjeeling (the champagne of tea)
  • Black tea Assam (strong and full-bodied black tea from northern India)
  • Black tea Earl Grey (black tea with bergamot)

Group 2 – you would like to know more about tea

You are already used to drinking tea, and it is probably the classic black Earl Grey tea, which for decades has been the Danish favourite tea. Try some of the teas below and discover the differences in aroma, colour and flavour. Give your taste buds a chance and try to keep away from the strong black teas (especially tea bags) for a while. You should also, ideally, brew loose leaf tea and not using tea bags, because tea bags often are of the very poorest quality.

  • Ceylon Blackwood (black tea mildly spiced, rich aftertaste)
  • China Keemun (black tea from China, mild, slightly smoky aftertaste)
  • Green Jasmine (green tea with delicate flavour of jasmine flowers)

Group 3 – you want to know more about tea and health

The health benefits of tea are undeniable. Tea contains vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, essential oils, and a group of plant substances called ‘polyphenols’. Polyphenols are a group of antioxidants that are found in many different types of food, including tea.

Matcha, the green powder in the picture, has been named one of the new superfoods.

It is particularly known to contain a specific type of antioxidants that according to many studies can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Tea from all plants other than the tea plant ‘Camellia Sinensis’

Tea which does not come from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis, may be, for example, chamomile tea, herbal tea, rooibos tea or chai tea.

Chamomile tea is made from chamomile flowers and herbal teas can be a mixture of many herbs, such as ‘Marcussens’ Universal Tea.

These teas have other health benefits than tea from Camelllia Sinensis. Chamomile tea is known for its soothing and soporific effect.

Rooibos is another example of a widely used tea with many health benefits. This tea comes from a bush in South Africa.

Tea from fruit, herbs

Other examples of herbal tea include pomegranate, rose, apple, chamomile and hibiscus.

Only your imagination sets the limits 🙂

 

 

This post is also available in: daDansk (Danish)

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