Types Of Tea: Black; Green; Herbal

Herbal, Green, and Black Teas are famous the world over. What are the differences in these three types? Who drinks which?

People all over the world drink tea. From Asia to America, tea has had a long and colorful history, playing an integral part in Japanese religion, British imperialism, even the American revolution. What are the differences between the major types of teas?

Black Tea:

The most ancient of teas, black tea was first discovered in China almost 5000 years ago! Legend has it that the leaves fell in boiling water being prepared for the emporer, and he liked the new drink so much it became a regular of Chinese culture. Black teas are prepared from tea leaves that are fermented. A wide variety of these teas exist, including such famous teas as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Orange Pekoe. Orange Pekoe is by far the most widespread, considered the standard black tea for most palates. Today black tea is popular throughout the world. In America and Europe, drinkers are more likely to add milk and honey to their teas, while in Asia, tea is usually taken by itself. Whatever the method, this is by far the most well known form of the beverage.


Most popular in China, Oolong has spread to a few portions of the Western world, but still retains its strongest base of drinkers in the East. Consisting of partially fermented tea leaves, Oolong has been called a balance between Green and Black teas.


Popular throughout the Orient, from China where it was discovered to Japan, where the citizens call it ocha, green tea has become more and more popular throughout the world. Its health benefits, including a wide array of vitamins and minerals, as well as its low caffeine content, have made green tea popular with health conscious westerners. In Asia, however, drinking green tea is an almost mystical experience. Made from unfermented tea leaves, a beverage that is greenish to yellowish in color is produced, usually in less time than it takes for a pot of black tea or oolong to brew.


Though not technically tea, as it isn't composed of leaves from the tea plant, these drinks are made in the same fashion, by placing a plant of some sort in hot water to create a beverage. Thus the more popular name of tea has been given to these beverages. Made from a wide variety of sources such as hibiscus and mint, herbal teas are a relatively modern creation, though they've become more popular as medical science pays more and more attention to the health affirming nature of certain plants and herbs.

Iced Tea:

And finally, who can forget iced tea. The newcomer on the block is a tasty and refreshing way to drink black and now even green teas when a colder beverage is desired. Iced tea has been so well received in the western world that at least in America its popularity has eclipsed that of hot tea!

Thus we have a roundup of the major types of teas in our world. Well, what are you waiting for? Go out to the store and try each one of these varieties. Who knows? You might just find you like it.

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