Today after so many centuries we have a couple of hundreds and even thousand types of teas that are divided in different categories by different criteria.
There are two major tea groups. Those are:
1 teas, that is made from a tea plant (Camellia sinensis)
2 herbal teas, that are made from various medicinal plants
1 Tea is a beverage that contain caffeine and tannin. Apart from that they contain polyphenols, pigments and essential oils, which reduce negative effect of peroxides in the body. Depending on the area, climate, altitude, characteristics of this plant are dependant, and therefore the tea which is made from that plant. Among others there are also Ceylon, Indian, Russian, Georgian, Chinese, Japanese and African teas
All these teas are a variance of one and the same plant Camellia sinensis. There are three of its kind: Chinese, Assamese and Indonesian. They are different in size: Chinese is somewhere between 3-5 meters, Assamese grows to 6 meters while Indonesian is tall even 30 meters. For easier harvest all of them are shortened to a height of 1.5 meters.
We can divide teas according to their color, which is closely connected with the leafs are processed after the harvest. It depends on whether the tea is subjected to a oxidation process (some call it a process of fermentation).
We can select teas according to the quality of leafs. Good taste of tea does not depends on just climate conditions, quality of the soil and the way of processing, but on the harvest of leafs. It very important to pick leafs while they are young, when they are developing. Failure to comply with this rule can be catastrophic. The first leaf, smallest and richest in medicinal substances, is called orange pekoe-OP. Second leaf, is called pekoe-P, and give tea of medium quality. Third leaf pekoe souchong-PS, fourth leaf souchong-S, fifth leaf congou-C, are all leafs of lower quality.
Considering the time of the harvest: First Flush is a first spring harvest (from March to April), Secong Flush is a second spring harvest (from May to June), Summer and Autumn harvest, that among experts are not as appreciated as the first two.
Further, we can divide teas according to their processing, and there are four basic categories:
Widely known and one of most spread out is Camellia sinensis who’s domesticated name is –green tea. Its processing is done by steam, for preservation of enzymes it contains. After steam processing, it air dries, to avoid fermentation and oxidation, green color of leafs is kept and-vitamins A, B2, B12, C and E, plenty of minerals and trace elements. It has unparalleled in detoxification, it acts as a anti carcinogen and against hepatitis. One fault of green tea is that its taste weakens after one year.
White tea is called after silver-white hairs that can be seen on the surface of closed buds of this plant. Traditional Chinese medicine considers it a phenomenal asset for a beautiful look and a long life. It is rich in catechin and help in a preventive of diabetes and certain heart diseases. It makes the skin more resistant to UV rays.
Black tea is also highly sought. It has a somewhat stronger taste and in relations to other teas it has the highest concentration of caffeine, which is why certain people use it instead of coffee. There is a lot of anti oxidants in it and flavonoid. Strength of the taste and freshness of this tea is kept for years. I Japan regular consumption of this tea is considered to increases circulation.
Oolang tea in taste is more similar to green, and not black tea but in some qualities it is more different from black and green tea. This tea you can cook more times using the same leafs. Secondly, this tea is different from others it the fact that with every subsequent cook it becomes more and more better.
2Second Larger group is represented by herbal teas that are mostly used as a means of traditional medicine, made from processing of medicinal plants.