Tea – A Complete List Of Tea Names And Types

Tea – everyone knows and loves it, or at least some variety of it! Depending on who you ask, there are a number of different tea categories to consider when looking at these delightful beverages.

In this article, we are going to be taking a look at black, green, white, herbal, and oolong tea. 

Tea – A Complete List Of Tea Names And Types

If you want to find out a little more about these tasty drinks, including some popular types, their processing, caffeine and antioxidant content, and production, keep reading! We’re going to cover everything you need to know.

Tea – A Complete List Of Tea Names And Types

It’s worth pointing out that there are thousands of types of tea in the world, including many delightful blends to try.

To keep things simple, we will be focusing on some of the most popular types out there, and breaking them into five categories. 

Hopefully you learn something interesting, and you get out there and try some different tea options. They’re all unique and delightful in their own way!

Black Tea

Black tea is often called red tea in different parts of the world, due to the tea color. However, it is typically known as black tea because the leaves used to make the tea itself are black, or at least very dark. 

This is the most popular tea category in the Western world, even though there are a broad range of tea varieties within this. 

Below are some of the most popular teas in this category:

  • Scottish Afternoon
  • Irish Breakfast
  • Nimbu
  • Darjeeling
  • Assam
  • Temi Sikkim
  • Golden Tips
  • Chai
  • Panyang Congou
  • Ceylon
  • Keemun
  • Wakoucha
  • Pu-Erh
  • Milima
  • Rukeri
  • English Breakfast
  • Earl Grey
  • Lapsang Souchong

Processing In Black Tea

The strong color and flavor of black tea comes from the fact that the leaves are rigorously oxidized and fermented.

Unlike green tea, the flavor of the tea leaf goes through drastic changes, so don’t chew on tea leaves and expect it to taste the same!

This kind of tea also goes through the most steps within processing. The process starts with the tea leaves being picked and withered, then rolled to get rid of any moisture and juices.

Finally, the leaves are fermented, which stops when the leaves are in the final stage of drying out.

How Much Caffeine Is In Black Tea?

Black tea has a reasonable amount of caffeine in it, and is one of the most caffeinated types of teas you get!

An average 8 oz serving is expected to have anywhere between 42 and 79 mg of caffeine, which isn’t too far from coffee (100 to 115 mg). 

These numbers can change depending on the brand of tea you’re enjoying, as well as the steeping time and a number of other factors. 

Does Black Tea Contain Antioxidants?

The only reliable study completed looking into the antioxidant levels in black tea concluded that this type of tea has the lowest antioxidant levels between green and white tea.

As such, don’t rely on black tea for all your antioxidant needs, because you will fall short!

Most other studies done on the topic found that there were too many confounding variables within the study, which gave them unreliable results.

This includes things like a difference in growing conditions and differences in manufacturing and processing. 

Production Of Black Tea

Unsurprisingly, black tea is the most popular tea in the world, and therefore is the most produced type of tea in the world.

A recent study done in 2021 found that 75-80% of all tea drank by Americans is black tea. Of course, the most popular form was iced tea! 

A Quick Note On Pu’erh Tea

This is a type of tea that can be made from black or green tea leaves. However, it is very specific, and must be made from a camellia sinensis strain that is much larger compared to what is usually used.

These trees, known as Dayeh, are estimated to be between 500–1000 years old. 

There are three criteria to be fulfilled in order for a tea to be a pu’erh tea:

  • Tea leaves must be dried in the sun, not an oven
  • Tea leaves must come from the broad-leaved tea tree variety
  • Tea production must exclusively happen in the Mekong basin

Green Tea

In the beginning of tea’s history, all tea was actually green tea! However, there are different techniques that can be used to manufacture these delightful drinks.

These techniques impact the flavor of the tea, as well as a few other things. 

Green tea is most popular in East Asian countries, but is steadily growing in popularity in the West. Some of the most popular green teas are things like matcha – which is used for drinks as well as desserts in the culinary field.

Below are some of the most popular teas in this category:

  • Kabusecha
  • Sejak
  • Maojian
  • Yellow
  • Kamairicha
  • Jasmine
  • Daejak
  • Bancha
  • Longjing (Dragon Well)
  • Shincha
  • Ujeon
  • Genmaicha
  • Hojicha
  • Kukicha
  • Jungjak
  • Tencha
  • Chun Mee
  • Konacha
  • Gyokuro
  • Mecha
  • Matcha
  • Bi Luo Chun
  • Maofeng
  • Jin Shan
  • Chun Lu
  • Sencha
  • Tamaryokucha
  • Anji Bai Cha
  • Taiping Houkui
  • Gunpowder
Tea – A Complete List Of Tea Names And Types

Japanese Green Teas

Japanese teas will typically have a very different flavor for consumers to enjoy due to the fact that the tea goes through a teaming process. This is done to stop the process of fermentation, so the tea will taste perfect every time. 

Below are some of the most popular Japanese tea types that you should try:

  • Sencha
  • Kabusecha
  • Kukicha
  • Genmaicha
  • Tamaryokucha
  • Matcha
  • Hojicha
  • Konacha
  • Gyokuro
  • Tencha
  • Kamairicha
  • Shincha
  • Bancha
  • Mecha

Korean Green Teas

There are a number of tea varieties that come from Korea. While this country is likely more known for the buckwheat or roasted barley teas, there are a number of unique varieties that are similar to those that come from Japan, too!

Below are some of the most popular Korean tea types that you should try:

  • Jungjak
  • Sejak
  • Daejak
  • Ujeon

Chinese Green Teas

Unlike Japanese tea, Chinese teas are usually roasted in order to halt the fermentation process. Doing this also ensures that these teas have a much longer shelf life.

The majority of teas around the world are roasted, so China really paved the way for most tea!

Below are some of the most popular Chinese tea types that you should try:

  • Bi Luo Chun
  • Gunpowder
  • Chun Mee
  • Jasmine
  • Chun Lu
  • Anji Bai Cha
  • Maojian
  • Longjing (Dragon Well)
  • Jin Shan
  • Maofeng
  • Yellow
  • Taiping Houkui

Processing In Green Tea

This type of tea won’t ferment like black tea due to the fact that it is either scaled when fresh, roasted, or steamed. Because of this, the tea keeps its natural green color, along with many other characteristics.

The leaves are quickly processed after picking in order to prevent oxidation (which happens to black tea), bacteria growth, and withering. 

The leaves are then rolled and dried before being shipped off to enjoy. 

Although most tea production has become automated in factories and with machines, there are still areas in Japan and China where workers continue to make their tea by hand. 

How Much Caffeine Is In Green Tea?

Green tea contains very little caffeine. The exact content will vary between brands, by the average sits between 20 and 45 mg of caffeine for every 8 oz serving.

Most coffees, on the other hand, will contain anywhere from 100 to 115 mg of caffeine in a single serving.

Does Green Tea Contain Antioxidants?

A study done in 2009 found that green tea has around twice as many antioxidants compared to black tea! Green tea has the second-highest antioxidant count of all teas, with only yellow tea beating it.  

Production Of Green Tea

Since green tea isn’t quite as popular as black tea, it has only around half the production. However, because this type of tea is becoming more popular around the world, we can expect that gap to be closed in the coming years!

White Tea

White tea is arguably the oldest type of tea in the world, and it is also the least popular globally. Buds and young, silvery leaves are harvested from the tea plant to make this drink.

As the name suggests, this tea is white or milky, even without any milk in it.

Below are some of the most popular teas in this category:

  • Silver Needle
  • White Peony
  • Shou Mei
  • Gong Mei
  • Darjeeling White

Processing In White Tea

White tea is very simple and easy to make, and only requires two steps. The leaves and buds are removed from the plant when they are ready, then allowed to wither a small amount in order for oxidation to take place.

When the leaves are ready, they are then dried, and ready to be used

These leaves are not rolled, roasted, or steamed, setting it apart from the other tea options on this list!

How Much Caffeine Is In White Tea?

By weight, white tea leaves contain the most caffeine. However, when drunk as we enjoy it now, this type of tea does not typically have significant levels of caffeine in it. This is because the beverage will never steep as long as a black tea will. 

On the same note, you could make your white tea have a higher caffeine content than black tea if you used hotter water and steeped it for longer than recommended.

Similarly, you can reduce the amount of caffeine in your black tea by using cooler water and not allowing it to steep for too long.

Does White Tea Contain Antioxidants?

White tea sits in the happy middle when it comes to antioxidant levels. This type of tea contains more than black tea, but a little less compared to green tea.

Production Of White Tea

As we mentioned earlier, white tea is the least popular of all the teas. Because of this, not a lot is actually produced, making it pretty rare. Chances are, you won’t come across this tea unless you are actually looking for it. 

Herbal Tea

Below are some of the most popular teas in this category:

  • Honeybush
  • Liquorice
  • Honeysuckle Flower
  • Butterfly Pea Flower
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Buckwheat
  • Hibiscus
  • Bamboo
  • Guayusa
  • Mamaki
  • Mint
  • Turmeric
  • Yerba maté
  • Rooibos
  • Olive Leaves
  • Lemon
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Bush
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Avocado Leaf
Tea – A Complete List Of Tea Names And Types

Processing In Herbal Tea

Herbal teas can be processed in a multitude of different ways. There can be infusions or pure drinks, and many different methods can be used to make them.

As such, to learn about the processing of a particular herbal tea, you will need to seek out information.

We can give you some places to start if you would like to learn about the processing and making of a variety of herbal tea, below:

You will be pleased to know that a number of these herbal teas are actually incredibly easy to make, and you can make them yourself!

All you need to do is grow the correct plants and process it. It really isn’t as much work as you think it is.

How Much Caffeine Is In Herbal Tea?

Herbal teas are naturally caffeine-free. This is because the plants that are used to make the tea will contain no caffeine.

However, there will be instances where there is caffeine in herbal teas, so always do your research before picking a product if this impacts you!

Does Herbal Tea Contain Antioxidants?

There will be antioxidants in herbal teas. However, the levels will depend on the type of tea, plants used, processing, and even storage conditions and time. The numbers will vary greatly, so there is no straight answer to offer you.

Production Of Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are pretty popular teas around the world, and make up around 13% of global tea production! There are hundreds of flavors and varieties to choose from, so it’s no wonder that so many people enjoy this drink.

A Quick Word About Rooibos Tea

Rooibos (red bush) tea is a tea that is very popular in parts of Africa, especially South Africa! The plant that is used to make this delicious tea isn’t actually a true tea plant, but this drink is incredibly popular. 

This is one of the few herbal teas that gets enjoyed with sugar and milk! While it is also delicious without it, these additions bring out the flavor profile of this drink, and should definitely be tried. 

Oolong Tea

Pronounced “woolong”, oolong tea is a delightful tea with its own category. This type of tea sits between black and green tea in many aspects.

Oolong has a range of health benefits much like green and black tea, and it also sits between the two in terms of processing. 

Below are some of the most popular teas in this category:

  • Cassia
  • Jin Xuan
  • Tieguanyin (Iron Goddess)
  • Ancient Tree Dan Cong
  • Da Yu Lin
  • Shui Jin Gui
  • Bai Jiguan
  • Guan Yin
  • Da Hong Pao
  • Dong Fang Meiren
  • Alishan
  • Li Shan
  • Shui Xian
  • Pouchong
  • Dancong
  • Ruan Zhi
  • Mi Lan Xiang Dan Con
  • Dong Ding
  • Tie Luo Han

Processing In Oolong Tea

This type of tea gets semi-fermented – less than black tea, but more than green tea. When the leaves are collected, they get withered then bruised, and semi-fermented.

The leaves are then heated up and rolled, then dried and ready to use. 

One of the most important steps for oolong tea is the bruising. Doing this is what actually starts the oxidation process, so it is absolutely necessary.

How Much Caffeine Is In Oolong Tea?

As with the processing, the caffeine levels in oolong tea will always be somewhere between those of black and green tea. For reference, that will be between green tea’s 20 and 45 mg, and black tea’s 42 and 79 mg.

Does Oolong Tea Contain Antioxidants?

Similarly, the antioxidant levels in oolong tea are also between the levels in black and green tea!

Production Of Oolong Tea

This tea makes up around 2% of the global production of tea. It is not especially popular in the West, but has remained popular in various parts of Asia, including Japan, Korea, and China. Some African countries are also known to enjoy oolong tea. 

A Quick Note On Purple Tea

Purple tea is a new type of tea that comes from Kenya. This kind of tea is technically made with the same plant that many other tea varieties come from, but the leaves are purple instead of green.

There is plenty of information to read about here if you would like to learn more! 

Yerba Maté – Why Is This Tea Special?

For those who don’t know, Yerba maté is a type of tea that does, in many ways, stand on its own. This kind of tea comes from a unique plant (Ilex paraguariensis). 

The name for this drink hails from the indigenous Quechua language. Tribes used to enjoy this kind of drink and have it as a stimulant before it was introduced to Europe by the Jesuits.

However, this drink is strongly woven into Native American cultures, especially those across South America. 

Final Thoughts 

Tea is delicious, especially if you know exactly what you like in a drink. However, there are so many different types of tea out there, and you should explore them!

Whether you like the rich flavors of black teas, or the more gentle herbals, there are flavors out there for everyone. 

Next time you’re shopping for tea, why not consider trying something different? You might just find your new favorite beverage, so there’s no time to waste!

Joanne Baltimore
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