Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub (bush) native to East Asia. After water, it is the most widely consumed drink in the world. There are many different types of tea; some, like Darjeeling and Chinese greens, have a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavor, while others have vastly different profiles that include sweet, nutty, floral or grassy notes. Tea has a stimulating effect in humans primarily due to its caffeine content.
Tea originated in Southwest China during the Shang dynasty, where it was used as a medicinal drink. An early credible record of tea drinking dates to the 3rd century AD, in a medical text written by Hua Tuo. It was popularized as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants introduced it to Europe during the 16th century. During the 17th century, drinking tea became fashionable among Britons, who started large-scale production and commercialization of the plant in India. Combined, China and India supplied 62% of the world's tea in 2016.
Herbal Tea also: Tisane
The term herbal tea refers to drinks not made from Camellia sinensis: infusions of fruit, leaves, or other parts of the plant, such as steeps of rosehip, chamomile, or rooibos. These are sometimes called tisanes or herbal infusions to prevent confusion with tea made from the tea plant. Herbal tea Badge
Common varieties of black tea include Assam, Nepal, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, Rize, Keemun, and Ceylon teas. Western black teas are usually brewed for about four minutes. In many regions of the world, actively boiling water is used and the tea is often stewed. In India, black tea is often boiled for fifteen minutes or longer to make Masala chai, as a strong brew is preferred. Tea is often strained while serving.
A food safety management group of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published a standard for preparing a cup of tea (ISO 3103: Tea – Preparation of liquor for use in sensory tests), primarily intended for standardizing preparation for comparison and rating purposes. It is defined as 2.0 grams of tea leaves steeped for 6 minutes per 100 ml of boiling water.
In regions of the world that prefer mild beverages, such as the Far East, green tea is steeped in water around 80 to 85 °C (176 to 185 °F). Regions such as North Africa or Central Asia prefer a bitter tea, and hotter water is used. In Morocco, green tea is steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes.
The container in which green tea is steeped is often warmed beforehand to prevent premature cooling. High-quality green and white teas can have new water added as many as five or more times, depending on variety, at increasingly higher temperatures. Green tea Badge
Oolong tea is brewed around 82 to 96 °C (185 to 205 °F), with the brewing vessel warmed before pouring the water. Yixing purple clay teapots are the traditional brewing-vessel for oolong tea which can be brewed multiple times from the same leaves, unlike green tea, seeming to improve with reuse. In the southern Chinese and Taiwanese Gongfu tea ceremony, the first brew is discarded, as it is considered a rinse of leaves rather than a proper brew. Oolong tea Badge
Pu-erh tea also: Pu'er tea
Pu-erh teas require boiling water for infusion. Some prefer to quickly rinse pu-erh for several seconds with boiling water to remove tea dust which accumulates from the ageing process, then infuse it at the boiling point (100 °C or 212 °F), and allow it to steep from 30 seconds to five minutes. Puerh tea Badge
White tea may refer to one of several styles of tea which generally feature young or minimally processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Currently there is no generally accepted definition of white tea and very little international agreement; some sources use the term to refer to tea that is merely dried with no additional processing, some to tea made from the buds and immature tea leaves picked shortly before the buds have fully opened and allowed to wither and dry in natural sun, while others include tea buds and very young leaves which have been steamed or fired before drying. Most definitions agree, however, that white tea is not rolled or oxidized, resulting in a flavor characterized as "lighter" than most green or traditional black teas.
In spite of its name, brewed white tea is pale yellow. Its name derives from the fine silvery-white hairs on the unopened buds of the tea plant, which give the plant a whitish appearance. The unopened buds are used for some types of white tea.
It is harvested primarily in China, mostly in the Fujian province, but more recently produced in Eastern Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, Galle (Southern Sri Lanka) and northeast India. White tea Badge
Meaning "spiced tea", masala chai tea is prepared using black or green tea with milk (in which case it may be called a "latte"), and may be spiced with ginger.
Cold brew tea also: Iced tea, Sun and Refrigerator tea
Iced tea can be brewed by placing tea (bags or loose leaf) in a large glass container with water and leaving the container in the sun for hours. This often results in a smoother flavor. An advantage is that sun tea does not require using electricity or burning fuel, thus saving energy. Sun tea is sometimes served with syrup or lemon.
The temperature of the tea brewed in this manner is never heated high enough to kill any bacteria, leaving the water potentially unsafe to drink. The tea should be discarded if it appears thick, syrupy, or has rope-like strands in it, though it may be hazardous even without such indicators.
Because of this danger an alternative called "refrigerator tea" has been suggested where the tea is brewed in the refrigerator overnight. This has the dual advantage of preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and the tea already being cold without the addition of ice. While most tea is prepared using hot water, it is also possible to brew a beverage from tea using room temperature or cooled water. This requires longer steeping time to extract the key components, and produces a different flavor profile. Cold brews use about 1.5 times the tea leaves that would be used for hot steeping, and are refrigerated for 4–10 hours. The process of making cold brew tea is much simpler than that for cold brew coffee.
Cold brewing has some disadvantages compared to hot steeping. If the leaves or source water contain unwanted bacteria, they may flourish, whereas using hot water has the benefit of killing most bacteria. This is less of a concern in modern times and developed regions. Cold brewing may also allow for less caffeine to be extracted. Iced tea Badge
Pouring from height
The flavor of tea can also be altered by pouring it from different heights, resulting in varying degrees of aeration. The art of elevated pouring is used principally to enhance the flavor of the tea and improve mouthfeel, while cooling the beverage sufficiently for immediate consumption.
In Southeast Asia, the practice of pouring tea from a height has been refined further using brewed black tea to which condensed milk is mixed then poured from a height alternately from matching hand-held vessels several times in quick succession. This creates a tea with entrapped air bubbles and a frothy "head", which is then immediately served in a cup. This beverage, teh tarik, literally, "pulled tea" (which has its origin as a hot Indian tea beverage), has a creamier taste than flat milk tea and is common in the region.
(also known as pearl milk tea, bubble milk tea, or boba) (Chinese: 珍珠奶茶; pinyin: zhēnzhū nǎichá, 波霸奶茶; bōbà nǎichá) is a Taiwanese tea-based drink invented in Tainan and Taichung in the 1980s. Recipes contain tea of some kind, flavors of milk, and sugar (optional). Toppings, known as "pearls", such as chewy tapioca balls (also known as pearls or boba), popping boba, fruit jelly, grass jelly, agar jelly, aloevera jelly, sago and puddings are often added. Ice-blended versions are frozen and put into a blender, resulting in a slushy consistency. There are many varieties of the drink with a wide range of flavors. The two most popular varieties are black pearl milk tea and green pearl milk tea. Bubble tea Badge