How to Select the Perfect Tea

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There are many different teas to choose from in today’s market, and for many, the amount of choices can be overwhelming.

Read our tips below to help you choose the perfect tea for you!

Types of Tea

There are many different styles of tea on the market, but generally, there are 6 categories.

White Tea

White tea is often completely unprocessed.

It is simply the dried leaf material of the Camellia sinensis plants.

This type of tea often contain less caffeine and a has a somewhat earthy taste.

If you’re looking for a good white tea, we recommend Tao of Tea Imperial White Tea.

Green Tea

Green tea is minimally processed.

To create the green tea, the leaves are steamed.

Green tea can be very different, depending upon where it was harvested.

It is not unusual to taste anything anything from earthy, grassy, bitter, or fruity. Green tea is unfermented.

If you’re looking for a good green tea, we recommend Chaganju Organic Uji Kyoto green tea.

Oolong Tea

Oolong is a partially fermented tea.

This is a very interesting style of tea which really lets the creator’s talent shine.

The taste of oolong can vary a lot. It can range from light, floral, and grassy, to dark, complex, and bitter.

My personal favorite are the early harvest ‘Tie Guan Yin’ green oolongs, which is almost sort of like a green tea, but with a deeper and more complex flavor.

This tea has more caffeine then green tea, but often much less then black tea.

If you’re looking for a good oolong tea, we recommend Vahdam High Mountain oolong Tea.

Black Tea

Black tea is fully fermented and is, as it’s name suggests, a black color.

It is one of the more popular styles, and you can find them anywhere from the China, to Ceylon, or even the UK.

It is often higher in caffeine then the previously mentioned styles.

If you’re looking for a good black tea, we recommend Taylors of Harrogate Earl Grey tea.

Pu’erh Tea

Pu’erh is an ancient style of tea, which was made to aid in travel, trade, and shelf-life.

It was most often made from black tea, but green, white, or oolong tea could also be used.

The tea is formed into a compacted brick or disc to minimize potentially negative effects from sunlight, air, humidity, and age.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is made from herbs and is generally non-caffeinated.

The taste of these can vary greatly depending upon which herbs are used.

Popular herbs used in herbal teas include chamomile, ginger, rosehips, lemongrass, orange peels, and many more.

Do note that there are indeed some caffeinated herbal teas such as yerba mate or those which contain cacao.

If you’re looking for a good herbal tea, we recommend Tiesta Tea Blueberry Wild Child herbal tea.

Things to Keep in Mind

In addition to figuring out which specific type of tea you would like to purchase, there are some other things you may want to keep in mind as well.

Organic Tea

When deciding which tea is right for you, a very important consideration to keep in mind is whether or not the tea is organic.

Tea is one of those plants which can absorb pesticides and other harmful compounds with relative ease.

Choosing an organic tea will help ensure that your tea was grown without synthetic pesticides.

It’s important to keep in mind that quite a lot of tea is harvested in China, where food regulations may not be as strict as they are in many other countries. Organic teas are harvested in select locations, where the standards are typical higher than in competing non-organic markets.

Avoid Bleached Tea Bags

It is also important to select a tea which has an unbleached teabag.

It’s a bit strange, but many of today’s teabags are made with toxic materials such as bleached paper PVC, nylon, thermoplastic, and other materials. If your teabag contains such materials, then it is possible that a bit of it may dissolve or leak into your tea due to the boiling hot water.

Choosing an unbleached teabag not only gives you peace of mind, but it ensures that you can enjoy your tea without worrying about any negative consequences.

Caffeine Sensitivity

If you are caffeine-sensitive then you should avoid drinking black or oolong teas, as they often contain the most caffeine.

Other varieties, such as green tea, contain less caffeine and are more suitable for those with caffeine sensitivities. There are also herbal teas, which contain ingredients such peppermint, ginger, licorice, rosehips, orange peel, or other herbs and/or plants.

If you really love a caffeinated tea, but are unable to drink it due to it’s stimulating properties, you could try steeping the tea a couple times before steeping the cup you intend to drink.

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson

Travis Joynson is the founder and chief editor of the Professional Tea Taster.

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