Tea - World Drink

A whistle-stop tour of tea

Black tea and green tea may be the best-known and most popular varieties, but they are certainly not the only ones around. Depending on the country, the tastes and traditions of its inhabitants, and the plants cultivated, you can find white tea, blue tea, and even the extremely rare yellow tea.

tea varieties

An endless variety

Whether at home, at the office or in a café, you just love your cup of tea! If you prefer it green and fairly weak, e.g. Gunpowder or the oh-so-British Darjeeling, then you’re in good company because this is the world’s most popular variety! It is the overall favourite in Asia and North Africa, and nowhere more so than in Turkey, Japan and China. Both green and black teas have a fragrant aroma and come in an almost infinite range of flavours –with flower extracts (e.g. jasmine, rose), spices (e.g. cloves, cinnamon) or natural essences (e.g. vanilla, caramel).

If you want something a bit more exotic, you can try one of the many other varieties of tea. Among the most delicately- flavoured and aromatic, but also the most rare, are the white and yellow teas grown in China. And then of course there’s the ‘red tea’ or Rooibos of South Africa, which is becoming increasingly popular thanks to its delicate flavour and lack of caffeine.

Finally, the least-known varieties are the blue (or semi-oxidised) Oolong teas, cultivated in China and Taiwan. These have a very subtle flavour, somewhere between that of green and black tea. Then, for the really adventurous, there are the fermented dark teas such as Pu-erh, that are mainly found in specialist shops and tea rooms. These teas have gone through a fermentation process lasting several years, to produce flavours ranging from bitter to very rounded.

So go on – pick a colour, any colour!