There is something relaxing, ritualistic, and grounding about the simple act of tea brewing. Whether you prefer a cosy herbal blend before your bedtime or a bold black tea n the morning, a cup of tea can become a favourite for any palate. The subtle scent from the hot mug surely draws our senses. The flavours that range from fresh to piquant and robust to mild makes the taste buds tingle in excitement. With so much delicacy around, it is time to check out some of the best teas around the world.
The Green Tea
The Camellia sinensis species of the plant gives us the most delicious green tea. These leaves are harvested and dried immediately to prevent oxidation. This process helps to preserve the natural green colour and loads the tea with healthy plant nutrients. Green tea comes in two varieties – the Chinese and the Japanese green tea.
The Chinese version typically roasts the leaves and hence delivers a toasty taste. In Japan, however, the tea leaves are subjected to steaming during the drying process. This results in a tea that is herbaceous and vegetal. There are many popular versions of green teas in Japan.
Some of them include gyokuro, matcha, sencha, and kukicha. Matcha is especially popular since the leaves are ground to a fine powder and is brewed using a bamboo whisk. You can even buy Hario in Australia for brewing the perfect matcha chai at home. Irrespective of the type, all forms of green tea emit an earthy aroma and have notes of grass and seaweed. This mildly flavoured tea is the king when it comes to deciding the healthiest beverage.
The Russian Caravan Tea
This tea is a blend of the Oolong, Keemun, and Lapsang Souchong teas. The Lapsang Souchong delivers a smoky flavour to this full-bodied tea. Despite its Chinese origin, this tea is named after the Russian transcontinental caravans that dominated the trade route between Asia and Europe through Russia. The smoky flavour of this tea is also known to be from the campfires lit during the long trade journeys. You can even find other varieties of this tea that uses Yunnan black tea in place of Oolong. This replacement gives a copper-coloured tea that is much stronger and with a mellow aftertaste.
The Black Tea
The black tea is also derived from the tea plant but has different processing when compared to green tea. Black tea is prepared using leaves that are harvested, withered, rolled, oxidized, and dried. In fact, it is the oxidation process that differentiates black tea from green tea.
The rolling of black tea leaves creates tiny scratches that permit the reaction of enzymes with oxygen. The oxidation process ends with the leaves turning black or deep brown colour. The flavours of this tea often resemble that of coffee.
It is bold and robust and contains the highest caffeine content amongst the pure teas. One cup of black tea has half the caffeine content found in a standard cup of coffee. You can experience the earthy flavours of this tea when you buy Hario in Australia.
Moroccan Mint Tea
The Moroccan mint tea comes in different varieties. The most popular ones use gunpowder green tea that is hand-rolled with Moroccan nana mint leaves. This combination makes the tea refreshing and flavourful. Colourful glasses are often used to drink the Moroccan mint tea. It can also be consumed as a delightful iced tea during the summers.
Da Hong Pao
This tea is the world’s most expensive tea. While the cheaper versions of the oolong tea are also available, the high-quality varieties can cost you a fortune. The term Da Hong Pao translates to ‘’ big red robe’’. Hence, this tea is also called as the red robe tea or robe tea.
The Wuyi Mountains house some of the rarest bushes that date back to thousands of years. The leaves of three such bushes are used in preparing the Da Hong Pao. The knock off versions are slightly cheaper and are cultivated from young plants. These plants are found in the rocky outcrops of the Wuyi Mountains.
The Indian Chai
This is a milky and heavily spiced tea that has a rare property of cooling the body down even when you drink it hot. The Indian chai can be prepared in different ways, but they all begin with boiling water, milk, and tea leaves together. This boiling is continued until a milky-brown colour is achieved. This concoction is made tastier using spices like cardamom, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, and fennel.
The Rooibos is a herbal tea made using the leaves of a red bush plant that is exclusive to the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa. This tea comes free of caffeine naturally and hence makes an excellent choice for a base tea in herbal blends.
The teas around the world are exquisite and offer something unique for everyone. Experimenting with the blends and trying new flavours is an excellent way to discover your new favourite amongst the teas.