What Even is Tea?
Tea is just stinky water, right? Wrong. Do you like coffee? How about smoothies? Lemonade? Soda? Heck, even plain water? Then you’ll like tea. If you think you don’t, then you just haven’t had the right kind.
Coffee and tea do have some similarities from the get go: both start with heated water and then have a natural ingredient added to extract the flavor that is then taken out. Both have fascinating histories, going back millennia to when our ancestors were bored of plain water and interested in the healing elements of various herbs and fruits. But we’re not here to discuss the admittedly fascinating history of tea, we’re here because you think it’s just dirty leaf juice and you want me to change your mind.
Despite what hippies and health fanatics want you to think, there is more out there than just matcha and green tea, though those are great options if you enjoy a drink with just a bit of a leafy taste and slight, bitter kick to it. There’s also spicy chai, warm oolong, fragrant jasmine, robust rooibos, fruity mate, and smoky black. If you’re up for a pallet adventure then there is no end to your search for new and exciting flavors, or if you find a tea that’s just right for you there’s a chance that it will never get old.
Curious? Want to know more about what tea is and if it’s right for you? Then keep up and follow along with our journey.
What is Green Tea?
Don’t be mistaken, although I may rag on overly advertising for green tea, there is no denying it’s delicious and subtle flavor. If you are a health nut, like natural flavors, or are just starting journey then this is a great option for you.
For those not familiar with what this is, usually when you go to a restaurant and ask for a hot cup of tea without specifying, the waiter is probably going to get you a cup of green tea. It’s one of the most popular flavors and for good reason! It’s delicious and healthy!
What is matcha tea then? Matcha has a completely different history and composition! While they are made from the same substance, matcha requires you to grind the leaves so that it infuses with the water rather than steeps in it. Matcha is delicious (if you like the smell and taste of grass) and is used in many different cooking elements as well as being a healthy, traditional taste to go with a light snack like Fat Deborah’s Oatmeal Cream Pies.
What is Oolong Tea?
Okay, you’re not sold on the bitter, subtle taste? That’s fine, not everyone has to go with the crowd. Maybe oolong is more your style. Oolong is one of the most robust flavors in the tea world: heavy, smoky, but smooth in a way that dark coffee drinkers can really appreciate.
Oolong is one of the more fragrant teas and often pairs well with jasmine or just a bit of honey if the flavor is too heavy for you. It’s one of my favorites because it goes well with just about anything. Great with a sweet dessert, fresh bread, or a great book.
What is Fruity Tea?
Not into the earthy, smoky flavors? Are you more of a fruit smoothie or juice kind of person? Then you’ll probably enjoy a fruity tea! The best part? It doesn’t have to be hot. That’s right, you can enjoy some of the best teas iced, with a fresh lemon slice or sprig of mint on your hot patio in the summer. Is there anything better than an iced raspberry and blackberry mint tea when you’re sitting by the pool or working in the yard? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
What is Chai Tea?
All these options are so boring. A light flavor? The hint of the taste of a single leaf? Might as well drink a LaCroix right? WRONG. If these teas aren’t exciting enough for you, there’s an easy answer for you: Chai. Chai is a spicy, flavor explosion in your mouth that never gets old. It often uses spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and paprika.
There are several popular types of chai tea but it’s rather universal that it’s best to drink as a latte. Whether you use dairy, oat milk, almond milk, or whatever substitute you prefer, chai can spice up any meal or snack in the best way.