Tea is a great part of all traditions and cultures. So, here is a list of top and unique kinds of tea leaves available all over the world. If you are a tea person, then trust me, you may find various forms of your tea.
Why Is Tea So Important?
When it comes to starting the day, the first thing that clicks our head is tea. Tea has become a great starter for almost any situation. When we meet our friends, we ask them to hang out at a tea stall. Whenever we wake up, the first thing that we need to be in our senses is tea. In the evening time, we have a variety of snacks that complement tea. So, tea has a major role in our lives, both psychologically and ritually.
Unique Kinds Of Tea Leaves
There are numerous kinds of tea leaves, all made with different ingredients and at different places. Their importance at every place is different. So, here is a list of some unique kinds of tea leaves available in the world.
Primarily being one of the most special types of tea is Kukicha. The unique thing about this is that one can collect it as a byproduct or residue of tea production. It is rarely caffeinated.
Butterfly Pea Flower
One can get misguided by the term, but it is an age-old drink of South- East Asia. Furthermore, one can significantly reduce the chances of getting blood sugar by consuming this tea.
Butterfly Pea Flower tea is a really interesting and colorful drink. It’s made from the flowers of the Clitoria ternatea plant, which are bright blue. When you brew these flowers in hot water, the tea turns a deep blue color.
One of the coolest things about this tea is that it changes color based on the pH level of what you add to it. If you add something acidic, like lemon juice, the tea changes from blue to purple. This makes it not only tasty but also fun to watch and serve.
Health-wise, Butterfly Pea Flower tea is known for being rich in antioxidants, which are good for your overall health. People often drink it for its potential health benefits, such as improving skin health and reducing stress. It’s also caffeine-free, so it’s a good choice if you’re avoiding caffeine.
In addition to being a beverage, the bright colors of this tea make it popular as a natural dye in foods and drinks.
A traditional Japanese drink (not available in any other part of the world), Kokeicha has a beautiful appearance. Another tea obtained as a residue of tea production, it has a soothing texture and fragrance. What makes it special is that it’s not just leaves; it’s actually made by shaping green tea into needle-like forms. This is done by making a paste from green tea leaves, then pressing it through molds to get that needle shape. When brewed, Kokeicha has a fresh, grassy flavor, which is typical of green teas. It’s known for its distinct appearance and the special process used to create it, making it a favorite among tea enthusiasts who enjoy trying different kinds of teas.
An age- old beverage of South America, it indeed holds a great amount of traditional and cultural importance. The tea leaves of Yerba Mate are extracted from the holly tree, which grows in the rainforests.
A great option in the list of unique kinds of tea leaves, it is a must try tea. Originally grown by the small cultivators of Kenya, it is a beautiful and refreshing tea with an attractive purple-ish hue.
Purple tea is a relatively new and unique type of tea that comes from Kenya. What sets it apart is its distinct purple color, which is due to a type of natural pigment called anthocyanins. These are the same compounds that give blueberries, raspberries, and red cabbage their color.
Here are some key points about Purple Tea:
- Health Benefits: Purple tea is known for its health benefits. The anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants, which can help protect the body against free radicals (harmful molecules that can damage cells). It’s also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help in improving vision and heart health.
- Low Caffeine: Compared to black and green teas, purple tea has lower caffeine content, making it a good option for those who are sensitive to caffeine.
- Taste: The flavor of purple tea is quite unique. It’s more subtle than black or green tea, with a slightly woody and grassy taste. Some people also notice hints of plum or berry flavors.
- Brewing: When brewing purple tea, it’s important to use water that’s not too hot, as overly hot water can make the tea taste bitter. Steeping it for about 3 to 5 minutes is usually enough.
- Color Change: Similar to Butterfly Pea Flower tea, the color of purple tea can change with the addition of lemon juice or other acidic substances, turning it from purple to a brighter, more pinkish hue.
- Use in Cooking: Beyond being a beverage, purple tea is sometimes used in cooking and baking for its color and health benefits.
Overall, purple tea is not just a unique and flavorful drink, but it also offers a variety of health benefits, making it a popular choice among tea enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals.
Another variety obtained from Japan is the very famous Sencha tea. It is a variety of ryokucha in Japan. A great option to lose weight, it also has a way of dealing with chronic illnesses.
Sencha tea, a renowned Japanese green tea, enjoys immense popularity and widespread consumption. It is celebrated for its harmonious blend of sweet and bitter notes, coupled with a vibrant, grassy scent. Below are some essential characteristics of Sencha tea:
- Production Method: The leaves of Sencha are promptly steamed after picking. This process halts fermentation, maintaining the vibrant green hue and the tea’s natural, fresh taste. Following this, the leaves are meticulously rolled, shaped, and dried.
- Taste and Scent: The taste profile of Sencha is distinctive, offering a balance between sweetness and bitterness, with an underlying vegetal flavor. Some varieties may exhibit a subtle taste reminiscent of seaweed, adding a hint of the sea. Its aroma is commonly described as freshly grassy.
- Health Advantages: Sencha, like its green tea counterparts, is abundant in antioxidants, especially catechins. These compounds are known for their potential to safeguard against heart ailments and certain cancers. Additionally, Sencha is believed to have calming properties and can support weight management efforts.
- Caffeine Levels: While Sencha contains caffeine, its levels are generally lower than those found in black tea or coffee. The caffeine content can vary based on the brewing method.
- Brewing Techniques: When brewing Sencha, it’s advisable to use water at a moderate temperature (about 70-80°C or 158-176°F) to prevent the tea from becoming overly bitter. A steeping time of 1 to 2 minutes is typically sufficient, as longer steeping might result in a bitter brew.
- Variants: Sencha comes in various grades that differ according to the harvest time of the leaves, the processing methods used, and other factors. Premium grades of Sencha usually offer a more sophisticated flavor and are less prone to bitterness.
Frequently consumed as a daily beverage in Japan, Sencha tea is valued for both its delightful taste and health-promoting properties. Its flexibility as a hot or cold beverage makes it a fitting choice for various times of the year and diverse occasions.
Considered as a type of green tea (famous for its weight loss abilities), Green Rooibos is rich in antioxidants, proving to be very beneficial. Contrary to the mesmerizing green color of green tea, it is dark in color.Green Rooibos is a special kind of tea. Unlike regular Rooibos tea, which is reddish-brown, Green Rooibos is not fermented (a process that changes the flavor and color of tea leaves). This means it keeps its natural green color and has a slightly different taste. It’s also full of healthy stuff, like antioxidants, which are good for your body. People often drink it for its health benefits and because it’s caffeine-free, so it won’t keep you awake like regular tea or coffee.
A classic tea more to be treated as a medicine, raspberry tea is a powerhouse of various nutrients and antioxidants. Moreover, it boasts the overall metabolism of the body. Raspberry tea is often seen as more than just a refreshing drink; it’s like a natural medicine. Packed with different nutrients and antioxidants, it’s really good for your health. Antioxidants are special substances that help protect your body from damage. Raspberry tea can also boost your body’s metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. So, drinking raspberry tea can help your body work better and more efficiently.
Also Read 16 Tea types and benefits
Commonly known as po cha in China, it is an everyday beverage for the people of China, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet and Ladakh. The prime ingredients used in this tea are the leaves, yak butter and salt.
Lemon Balm Tea
A great tea with a magical tinch of lemon, it is one of the greatest kinds of tea. One can consume lemon balm tea for curing the problems related to their gut health.
Lemon Balm Tea is a herbal tea made from the leaves of the lemon balm plant, known scientifically as Melissa officinalis. This plant is part of the mint family and is valued for its lemony scent and flavor, as well as for its therapeutic properties. Here are some key points about Lemon Balm Tea:
- Flavor and Aroma: As its name suggests, Lemon Balm Tea has a lemony flavor and aroma, but it’s more mild and sweeter than actual lemon. It also has a slight hint of mint, given its botanical family.
- Health Benefits: Lemon Balm Tea is known for its calming effects, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s also been used traditionally to aid in digestion, improve sleep, and relieve symptoms of indigestion. The tea is rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for overall health.
- Caffeine Content: This tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it a good choice for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake or for a relaxing beverage in the evening.
- Preparation: To make Lemon Balm Tea, fresh or dried lemon balm leaves are steeped in hot water. The longer you steep the leaves, the stronger the flavor will be. It’s typically recommended to steep for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Versatility: Lemon Balm Tea can be enjoyed hot or cold. It is often blended with other herbs or teas to create different flavor profiles. For instance, mixing it with chamomile can enhance its relaxing effects.
- Culinary Uses: Beyond being a beverage, lemon balm leaves can also be used in cooking for their lemony flavor, in dishes like salads, soups, and desserts.
Lemon Balm Tea is appreciated not just for its pleasant taste but also for its soothing and healthful properties. It’s a popular choice among herbal tea enthusiasts and those seeking natural remedies for stress and digestive issues.
A fermented tea primarily obtained from the Yunnan Province of China, it tastes like boiled mushrooms. Regardless of the taste, pu- erh tea has the power to enhance your eyesight.
By the name itself, it is clear that the tea is made up of the beautiful flowers Chrysanthemum, generally growing in East Asia. not only this, but this floral tea has a sweet taste and fragrance.
Brown Rice Tea
One of the truly unique kinds of tea of the world, the name itself speaks up. In this, the tea bags contain brown rice in roasted form, which are then dipped in boiling water.
One of the famous kinds of tea leaves is the oolong tea. An oxidized tea, the range of oxidation ranges from low to very high. Depending on this, the colors vary from light yellowish to mustard yellow in terms of intensity.
This tea is a celebrated beverage of South Africa. With an intense taste and texture, it is non- caffeinated. The flavor is similar to Rooibos, and is also considered as its cousin.
A classic beverage originally from Thailand, Cha yen is a true example of the fact that tea can be adaptable too. Moreover, it is a variety of iced tea. Not only this, but it has a tinge of sugar, star anise, milk and sugar, making it highly delicious.
Another mushroom tea in the list of unique kinds of tea leaves is the chaga tea. There is a variety of mushrooms called Chaga mushrooms, which are boiled to get the tea. It was originally from Siberia.
Rich in antioxidants and other healthy benefits, white is synonymous to ‘anti- aging tea’. The color of this tea is not exactly white, but it’s near to golden white, making it look heavenly and the taste is surely unforgettable.
Da Hong Pao
One of the ancient kinds of tea leaves is the Da Hong Pao. Originated from China, the amazing feature about this tea is its effective weight loss properties. Also, it is one of the most expensive teas as it may cost you $10,000 a pot.
Da Hong Pao, often translated as “Big Red Robe,” is a highly prized and famous type of Chinese oolong tea. Originating from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian province of China, this tea has a rich history and is surrounded by many legends. Here are some essential aspects of Da Hong Pao:
- Flavor Profile: Da Hong Pao is renowned for its complex and robust flavor. It typically has a deep, roasted taste with hints of stone fruits, spices, and a subtle sweetness. The tea also has a long-lasting aftertaste that is highly valued by tea connoisseurs.
- Aroma: The aroma of Da Hong Pao is rich and woody, often described as reminiscent of roasted nuts or even slightly floral.
- Appearance: The tea leaves of Da Hong Pao are usually dark, long, and twisted. When brewed, they unfurl and produce a deep amber-colored liquor.
- Health Benefits: Like other oolong teas, Da Hong Pao contains antioxidants and other compounds that may offer various health benefits, such as aiding digestion, boosting metabolism, and potentially reducing the risk of heart disease.
- Caffeine Content: Da Hong Pao has a moderate level of caffeine, less than black tea but more than green tea.
- Brewing Technique: To fully appreciate Da Hong Pao, it’s typically brewed using the Gongfu style, which involves multiple short steeps with a high leaf-to-water ratio. This method brings out the complexity and depth of flavor in the tea.
- Cultural and Historical Significance: Da Hong Pao is one of the most famous and revered teas in China. It’s often given as a luxurious gift and has been historically presented to emperors and other dignitaries.
- Rarity and Price: Authentic Da Hong Pao, especially from older tea bushes, is extremely rare and can be very expensive. Some of the original Da Hong Pao bushes are centuries old and are now protected; tea from these plants is virtually priceless.
Da Hong Pao offers a unique and sophisticated tea-drinking experience, known for its rich flavors, cultural significance, and revered status among tea lovers around the world.
A classic tea with the name artichoke tea, the surprising thing about this is that it doesn’t involve the vegetable. Instead, it contains the stalk, leaves (dried) and roots of the artichoke.
Dandelions are beautiful yellow flowers, which denote liveliness and energetic spirit, and so is the tea. The tea is light yellow in color with a refreshing taste and beautiful appearance.
Last in the list of unique kinds of tea leaves is essiac tea. Being an age-old and cultural drink of Ojibwa, it belongs to Chippewa (an Indian- North American tribe). Moreover, it tastes slightly bitter, with a flavor like grass.