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More to it Than Taste: The Ultimate Tea-Type Guide

Posted by Ben Arneberg on

People have been drinking tea for centuries. Wherever it’s been introduced in the world, it has been received with excitement and tea parties! But the world of tea is a complex and interesting one. There are so many different types of teas and variations within each type.

If you’re just starting to look into the option of becoming a tea drinker, we understand it can be a little confusing to know what’s what and how to prepare the different kinds of teas. But we want to encourage you to take the leap and explore the wide world of delicious teas so we’ve put together this quick guide to a few of the best types of teas that are out there.

You’ll learn about their flavors and their health benefits and get a couple tips for what you can add to your cup!

Black Tea

Black tea has a bold flavor that pairs well with cream or citrus. If you’re looking for a low caffeine alternative to your morning coffee, this is a great option. At half the caffeine, it’s gentler on your system but still has a powerful enough flavor to give you that jolt you’re looking for.

benefits of black tea
  • Promotes healthier teeth. Studies have shown that black tea may breakup plaque and stop bacteria from growing—meaning fewer cavities and less tooth decay.
  • Promotes healthier heart. Drinking 3 or more cups of black (or green) tea per day can lower your risk of stroke by up to 21%.
  • Full of Polyphenol goodness. Polyphenols are a kind of antioxidant, meaning it prevents your DNA from getting damaged by the toxins and pollution in the air around you.
  • Improved concentration. The moderate caffeine dose as well as the abundance of L-theanine (an amino acid) contributes to an improved ability to concentrate, making it the beverage of choice for studying or while working.
work concentration improved
  • Help fight illness. Black tea contains tannins which can directly fight viruses like the flu. In addition, its full of alkylamine antigens which support your immune system. So it’s fighting invading diseases on all fronts!
  • Promotes healthier digestion. The moderate caffeine acts as a diuretic to help push stubborn buildup through. But the tannins who are already fighting off viruses are working overtime to relieve gastrointestinal distress. So if you’re feeling bloated or constipated, try a cup of black tea!

There are many other benefits to boast about for black tea but we’ve still got 4 other teas to talk about!

Green Tea

Green tea has an earthier flavor that blends with fresh herbs or most fruits. It’s a soothing drink served hot, especially if you have a cold. But it can also be great over ice.

harvesting green tea leaves
  • Promotes weight loss. Green tea helps boost your metabolism AND burn away your fat stores. This makes it a great pre workout drink since an increased metabolism also means increased energy supply so you’ll be able to charge through your workout at full speed! And that will help you lose even more weight!
  • Prevents heart disease. Some studies have shown that green tea may help relax blood vessels and relaxed vessels are able to deal with blood pressure changes without getting clogged up so the risk of blood clots—which are the main cause of heart attacks—is lowered with every cup of green tea you enjoy!
green tea
  • Lowers cholesterol. Yet another heart healthy benefit, green tea will reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, keeping your blood circulating steadily and preventing clogged arteries.
  • Fight disease. Green tea contains Catechins which are powerful antiviral and antibacterial agents that will set straight to work wiping out any unwelcome intruders.
  • Improve skin. Applying green tea directly to your skin can help soothe and reduce the signs of sun damage while also helping reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Keep your skin silky smooth by bathing in a green tea bath while sipping on a relaxing cup of the same stuff!

Not only is green tea a very versatile beverage to enjoy, it’s also one of your best friends in the fight against illness and ageing!

White Tea

White tea is one of the most interesting in terms of flavor. It has a delicate subtlety that makes the underlying sweetness and complexity of flavors surprising. It blends with berries, herbs, and citrus. We recommend skipping cream or other stronger additions that can overpower the subtle complexities of the tea.

  • Improve skin. Applying green tea directly to your skin can help soothe and reduce the signs of sun damage while also helping reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging. Keep your skin silky smooth by bathing in a green tea bath while sipping on a relaxing cup of the same stuff!
Delicious white tea
  • Promote teeth health. Like black tea, white tea will help to kill bacteria in the mouth before it has a chance to carve out cavities or cause tooth decay. It is also a natural source of fluoride which also prevents decay and plaque formation. So washing down each meal with a soothing cup of white tea is a great way to fight dental problems before they start!
  • Can help fight against cancer. White tea has been studied for its potential roll in fighting certain cancers (particularly lung cancer). This is because it has antimutagenic properties, meaning it prevents cells from mutating into cancer cells so it can, at least, help prevent new cancer cells from growing. More studies are needed to confirm just how effective it is.
white tea brewing

White tea has a lot of potential to promote overall health and it’s a wonderful beverage to drink either way so go ahead and enjoy!

Oolong Tea

Oolong literally means black dragon in Chinese. And it’s well named because it’s a difficult tea to tame. The flavor you’ll end up with largely depends on how you brew it. Different temperatures and methods bring out different elements of an excitingly complex flavor profile.

If you’re feeling intimidated, don’t be! It’s tons of funs to experiment with different brewing methods and easily be able to detect the different results. If you’re extremely familiar with tea, you can experiment with any tea in the same way. But to start, oolong is the easiest to note differences with because differences can be very dramatic.

leaves of oolong tea

So as long as you’re willing to sip a few bad cups before you find the perfect method, you’ll be able to turn this black dragon into a family pet!

  • Promotes weight loss. Similar to green tea, oolong can help boost your metabolism for as long as 2 hours after drinking it. That’s the perfect time to get your work out in! Or if it’s the holidays, enjoy a cup or two before diving into that holiday dinner so that your metabolism is supercharged to handle all that home cooked goodness! To maximize this benefit, skip the sweeteners!
  • Promote mental performance. Oolong helps your mind stay more alert and focused. This is partly because of the caffeine and partly because of the other wonderful things in it.
  • Soothes digestive troubles. If you suffer from acid reflux or ulcers, a nice cup of Oolong will act as a mild antiseptic, clearing out offending bacteria and reducing the inflammation caused by acid reflux. For best results, drink it hot and unsweetened.

In addition to being fun to experiment with, each cup (no matter how badly you mess it up) will help nourish and comfort you from the inside out!

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos is a really interesting tea option. It’s bold like a black tea but much less bitterness and a more complex flavor profile. You’ll note some hints of vanilla and pipe tobacco (in a good way!). That is to say, instead of bold and bitter, it’s bold and rich.

This makes it the perfect detox drink for recovering coffee drinkers. It’s bold in flavor but, being an herbal tea, totally caffeine free!

Caffeine free tea

Learn more about the other many benefits of Rooibos tea by clicking here.

  • Anti-inflammatory. Anyone suffering from inflammation like arthritis, psoriasis, and so on will be happy to hear that Rooibos is a great, caffeine free option for helping to soothe and treat inflammation.
  • Improve respiratory system. This tea naturally dilates (expands) the bronchi in your lungs making it easier to breathe. Drink it before a run to make sure you’re able to get as much oxygen as you need. It can also be helpful to those suffering from asthma.
  • Promotes bone health. Rooibos is full minerals like calcium, manganese, and fluoride which promote bone health (including your teeth!).

There are so many wonderful reasons to drink this tea! It’s definitely worth adding to your collection.

Special Options

Teas are already naturally wonderful beverages. But when you shop, you’ll find a few different special options beyond the actual leaf type.

Caffeine-Free tea

For those of you trying to cut your caffeine consumption, tea is a great place to start. Even if you go for the regular teas, they are much lower in caffeine than a cup of coffee. If you’re just looking for a low caffeine option, here are the teas ranked in orderof caffeine content (per 8 oz. Cup):

Caffeine in drinks

For reference, the same size cup of coffee has 150-200 mg of caffeine.

And if you need a totally caffeine-free option, you can find decaffeinated versions of these teas. Or, go for an herbal tea like mint or chamomile for a naturally caffeine-free tea.

Organic Tea

Some people don’t mind their tea being nonorganic. Others refuse to touch it unless it’s organic. There’s some compelling arguments for both sides. We’ll give you a few of the reasons for going organic and a few of the reasons for stick with conventional.


Conventional teas are grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Unlike fruits which you can rinse off, dried tea leaves can’t be cleaned before you use them. That means the pesticide and fertilizer residue ends up getting dissolved into your cup.

Tea from organic farms

Organic should be more sustainable. It’s not a perfect system or a guarantee. But if you buy from small, local farmers or from verified, trustworthy small international distributors, you can be sure to get a deliciously high quality and totally organic cup.


Not all organic teas are better tasting. Again, since it’s not a perfect system and larger companies are able to push smaller organic farmers out of business, your organic tea may not actually taste any different than the conventional version.

This is especially true if you’re looking at an organic version of a major brand. If organic is important to you, you need to go with smaller, trusted farmers, not the big brands. On the other hand, if price is more important to you, conventional tea is cheaper and generally tastes just as good as an organic tea.

Iced Tea

Iced tea refers to a specific way of preparing tea. It can be prepared one of two ways. The first method is the cold brew method where leaves are stepped in room temperature water and left for at least a day. This is sometimes also called sun tea since it can be left outside to be naturally heated by the sun.

Glass of iced tea

For the second method, you simply prepare a batch of hot tea as your normally would and pour it over ice. In either case, the most popular tea of choice is black which is then flavored with lemon and sweetened with sugar. But you can technically use any kind of tea you like. For example, an iced tea with white tea and fresh berries and mint makes for an especially refreshing summer drink!

Final Word

The different types of teas each offer their own wonderful benefits and rich, aromatic flavors. They’re the perfect treat to soothe your mind after a stressful day while nourishing your body at the same time!

Whether you’re drinking a steaming hot cup to warm up in the winter or a refreshing ice cold glass to escape the summer heat, tea is the perfect treat all year round! So start trying out the different types and the different ways of preparing them to experience all the different ways to enjoy tea!

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