Types of Tea
Below we provide a brief description of many of the main types of tea. We also discuss their traditional use and how they may be used today.
Remember white tea, green tea, oolong tea and black teas are all derived from the same camellia sinensis plant we prepare our anti-aging serums from. The way they are prepared makes all the difference to the way they taste and the health benefits.
Also discussed below if Jiaogulan a traditional anti-aging tea from China.
White tea is made from the earliest buds of the tea plant. They are the least treated of all the different teas from the tea plant. As a result of this short oxidation process good quality white tea often contains the highest anti-oxidant count of any tea.
Traditionally in China white tea was considered the coldest in nature of the teas. For this reason, it was prescribed for all types of inflammatory illness which was traditionally associated with heat.
Today we still follow this tradition and white tea as well as being excellent for the health is wonderful as an assist in cases of acne and other skin inflammation.
Good quality white tea will taste slightly sweet and bitter depending on the type. Avoid highly processed types which will have a strong bitter flavour and less health benefits.
Green tea is made from the leaves rather than the buds of the tea plant. Again, it is unfermented so retains a much higher anti-oxidant level and more health benefits.
There are literally hundreds of types of high quality green tea produced in China. Some are very rare and the best green tea is bought on allocation long before they can reach the west.
Green tea has been the recipient of numerous scientific studies which have suggested that it is good for everything from blood sugar to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Traditionally green tea is considered slightly cold and is used as a general anti-aging tea. It is also known to reduce hair loss and this has been demonstrated by Japanese scientists.
Green tea can taste anything from slightly bitter to quite sweet and fragrant depending on the type.
If you are seeking either taste or health benefits from the tea avoid highly processed flat tea bags as they tend to be very bitter and are made from the less healthy scraps left over from the good quality loose tea.
Oolong tea is a partly fermented tea made from the leaves of the tea plant. The partial fermentation means that it contains a slightly lower range of anti-oxidants than green tea, but it is considered warmer in nature traditionally and easier on the digestion.
Its main health benefit in modern use is for weight loss. Several studies have indicated its effectiveness for increasing weight loss and it is preferred in China for this purpose.
Again there is a huge variety of oolong tea. The level of fermentation can vary from 8-85% which completely changes the flavour. Many of the famous oolong teas are very light and similar to green tea in flavour. Others are fermented further and can have a thick woody roasted taste.
This is fermented leaves from the tea plant. It is the most popular form of tea in the west and is often combined with milk. It is lower in anti-oxidants and health benefits than the other types of tea, but can make an enjoyable beverage.
This is a natural herbal tea from the southern parts of China. It was first discovered when studies in China revealed that the people who lived in the areas that drank jiaogulan regularly lived to be over 100 years old.
It has been the subject of numerous studies which have shown it can benefit almost every major organ. This has led to it being called an adaptogenic herb similar to ginseng, but without the stimulating affects that many dislike in ginseng.
Good quality Jiaogulan is slightly sweet and bitter.