Tea has a long-standing tradition within the hot beverage world. Often, the question is whether someone is a coffee or tea drinker. While both camps have their passionate supporters, tea is an almost universal invitation for relaxing in the intimate setting while coffee is much more impersonal. From the hills of England to the Caucasus mountains, from the shores of the Far East to the deserts of Arabia, and everywhere in between, tea is a welcome addition to a gathering at any time of day. With its widespread appeal, there are surely types of tea that even the most avid tea enthusiast has yet to taste. The following drinks are necessary for the completion of your boiled-water palate.
This organic rooibos tea, known as the South African healer, is used throughout many parts of the world to treat an assortment of ailments, including headaches, blood pressure, insomnia, and allergies of all kinds. Rooibos is a caffeine-free blend, so it’s safe for night-time consumption, but you can drink this delicious red tea any time for its flavor alone. Also, because it is full of essential vitamins and minerals, it’s an excellent preemptive drink for even the healthiest people.
- Turkish Tea
While the actual leaves used in Turkish tea are of the general red or black variety, the brewing process is what makes it unique. It requires two teapots, one stacked on the other. The top one holds the loose leaves in a small amount of hot water; in the larger, lower chamber, boiling water creates the steam that cooks the tea into a concentrate. You then use the hot water to dilute the blend to your desired strength before serving it in small teacups. This coffee replacement is suitable at any time of day, depending on whether or not you’d like to sleep.
- Plum Tea- Types of Tea
Whether or not to sweeten tea is often a topic of debate. Some purists prefer the natural taste of the tea itself, as opposed to a brew mixed with sugar or honey. With plum tea, sweetening is not an issue. The natural sugars from the fruit make this tea delicious on its own, without the need for additional flavor.
- Matcha Green Tea- Types of Tea
This green tea powder is unique from other varieties of green tea, both in taste and brewing method. Known for uplifting the neurological processes and keeping you awake and alert for hours, the flavor of this coffee substitute is somewhat of an acquired taste. With a little honey, matcha tea becomes the ultimate health elixir for your mind, body, and soul.
- Yerba Mate
The national drink of Argentina and a favorite throughout much of South America, yerba mate (pronounced mah-tey) is also growing in popularity in the Middle East. Unlike most teas, the infusion is a cross between coffee and tea, with hints of tobacco and chocolate. High in caffeine and known for stimulating the mind with focus and clarity, mate is the ultimate social beverage. When brewed in its traditional gourd, the drink is passed around a circle of friends, each topping off the cup with fresh hot water. If you don’t have a gourd handy, you can brew the dry leaves as you would any loose-leaf tea. Mate is the pinnacle of infused drinking.
There are other great tea options with various benefits including Melissa (lemon balm), jasmine, and fennel (rezene). In short, due to the remarkable variety of climates and landscapes, there is a vast assortment of teas grown across the world. Don’t sell yourself short by thinking the standard pekoe teabags are the be-all-end-all.