A Simple Beginner’s Guide to Tea

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Tea is one of the oldest beverages known to man that millions of people continue to consume to this day. Some choose it as an alternative to coffee, for some it’s a matter of preference, and for some, it’s even part of a ritual or tradition that may have been practiced for centuries.

While the basis of tea is the same everywhere (tea is essentially always boiling water poured over some type of cured leaf or herb), there are many different kinds of tea and even more variety in terms of how it can be prepared and served. If you’re curious to learn more about this ancient beverage, read on. 

Types of Tea

Three of the most popular categories of tea are black, green, and herbal. Black tea is made from fully oxidized tea leaves and has an intense, malty taste; green tea is made from unoxidized tea leaves and has a clean, earthy taste, and herbal tea is made from dried fruits, flowers, and spices.

How It’s Served

Every culture has its own traditional ways of serving tea, and it can be fun to learn more about each and experiment until you find ones that you enjoy. In Japan, green tea is often served as part of a tea ceremony involving special methods of preparation. In India, tea leaves are brewed with spices, and in Morocco, green tea is served sweetened and poured from several inches (or even feet) above the cup.

Health Benefits

The benefits of drinking tea will vary depending on which type of tea you choose, but in general, most teas are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Herbal teas like chamomile are caffeine free and can promote relaxation, making them a great choice before bed.