Types of Tea
Black teas come with a naturally full and bold flavor. Because they are fully oxidized, the tea’s flavor and aroma become deeper in the process.
Oxidization involves exposing the leaves to oxygen in order to achieve a certain flavor. Leaves can be rolled out to allow for more oxygen exposure. Black tea leaves are often rolled in order to allow their natural oils to react with oxygen in the air and create that deep flavor.
When it comes to caffeine, black teas are high on the list but still have roughly half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee with the average black tea ranging from 40 to 60 milligrams of caffeine per cup.
To make the perfect cup of black tea, bring water to its boiling point and steep the tea for about 3 to 5 minutes before taking the leaves out and enjoying your creation.
Green teas can have sweet and mellow flavor profiles or be a bit more grassy. The tea comes out much lighter than a black tea.
When it comes to oxidation, they are black tea’s polar opposite. While black tea is fully oxidized, green teas are not oxidized at all. Skipping this step allows green teas to maintain their natural color along with vitamin C and minerals. As a result, green teas have a more subtle flavor.
Skipping oxidation also allows for green tea’s low caffeine content, ranging around 25 milligrams or about 1 percent.
For a perfect cup of green tea, heat water to 180 degrees. Then, allow the leaves to steep for about 3 minutes, checking in at the 2 minute mark if you prefer a lighter flavor.
If green and black teas are at extremes, oolong fits right in the middle. Sometimes called “the connoisseur's tea,” oolong teas have the complex flavor profiles of black tea with some of the lightness of a green tea. This is, in part, because the are semi-oxidized. It allows them to fit between the two while reaping some of the benefits of both extremes. This gives them a range in flavors from fruity, to floral, to honey, to vanilla.
It also puts oolong in the middle with its caffeine content. It ranges between green and black’s with around 40 milligrams per cup. But, oolongs can be steeped multiple times, decreasing the caffeine content with each steeping.
To steep oolong, heat water to 185 - 200 degrees. Steep 2-3 tsp tea in one cup of water for 1 to 3 minutes depending on the flavor you desire.
Sometimes considered a category of oolong or green tea, pouchong is really right between the two. As such, the light tea goes through little oxidation, just halfway between unoxidized green and semi-oxidized oolong. The resulting flavor is usually sweet, floral, and mild. Like it’s family, pouchong has health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The caffeine content reflects it’s oxidization, again sitting between green and oolong. This means that this light tea has only a moderate amount of caffeine, just a bit more than a green tea.
For a perfectly steeped cup of pouchong, avoid boiling water and shoot for about 195 degrees fahrenheit. Then, steep the leaves for around 2 minutes, checking for desired flavor every 30 seconds or so.