What Is Tea?

Posted on: 4 March 2018

Some people like coffee, some people like tea. If you are thinking about becoming one of the people who likes custom label tea, then you may want to know about the different kinds of tea so that you can find the one that you would really like to try. 


By the strictest definition, tea is a drink that is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis. This plant is an evergreen bush. It's generally found in Asia and India. There are a wide variety of varieties in the Camellia sinenesis family, which is what gives you all the variety of teas that are found out in the world. Those varieties can be changed around when things like fruits and other flavors are added as well. 

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas are strictly teas because they don't come for the C.sinensis plant. They are better called an herbal infusion or a tisane. They are made the same way that a true tea would be made. They are steeped in hot water for several minutes so that the water becomes infused with their flavor. But, calling herbal teas is generally OK because that's become the common usage and everyone will know what you mean. 

White Tea

One of the varieties of tea out there is called white tea. Of all the teas, white teas are going to generally be the lightest and mildest in flavor, and are generally a very light color when they are brewed. What lets them be called white teas is that the tea leaves are barely processed and are white when the process is done. In order to keep that flavor, the white teas aren't processed the same way, the leaves are generally left to wither and then are dried, which prevents the oxidation that is part of the process for other kinds of teas. 

Green Tea

When it comes to the processing of teas, green teas are going to be the next mild in their flavor profiles. The goal in processing is to make sure that the leaves don't oxidize. The more oxidized they are, the blacker and darker the tea is going to be. Green teas are heat cured so that the oxidation process doesn't happen. Green teas are usually Japanese teas and the most common of those teas is called matcha. Instead of leaves, matcha tea is cured and then ground down into a powder. 

White tea and green tea are just two of the different kinds of true teas and there are various varieties within those categories.