There are a lot of different types of tea out there. One type is herbal tea, of which there are literally 100’s of varieties. Herbal teas have so many options because so many plants can be brewed. One can brew peppermint leaves, ginger root, chamomile, and so many more. But even with normal tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant, which is used to make traditional tea, there are still a ton of variations on the sub-type as well as the actual growing, production and brewing process. We’ll be covering three of these traditional variations in this article: spearmint tea, oolong tea, and black tea.
Spearmint: Soothing & Calming
Spearmint tea, which one can brew from the leaves of the spearmint plant, lends itself to a lot of different uses. One of the most common of these uses is to relieve nausea. This plant can calm stomachs, soothe headaches, and has a slight numbing effect which makes it especially useful for sore throats, doubly so when it is hot. Peppermint tea has very similar effects.
Oolong: Medicinal or Mythical?
Oolong tea comes from Camelia sinensis (the plant that is also responsible for green and black tea) and has a lot of uses in traditional Chinese medicine. Science does not necessarily completely support many of these, like the claims that it helps heart health, fights cancer or decreases risk of diabetes. Oolong tea does, however, act as an anti inflammatory, and that alone could contribute to a lot of it’s beneficial effects. Research has linked Inflammation in the body with mental disorders, joint pain, and more. As well, it has a good amount of caffeine in it and pairs well with a variety of fruit flavors such as peach.
Black: Versatile & Strong
Black tea—one of the types of tea that comes from the traditional tea plant—is the one that so famously became an object of adornment (and in the states, derision) in Britain and colonial America, as well as much of Europe. After traders imported these leaves from Asia, they became a staple of Europe. Black tea is the same type of tea that goes into making English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea, which many consider to be among the strongest types of tea in regards to caffeine content. Black tea is also often the type of tea that goes into making American Iced Sweet Tea/Sweet Tea in general, though brewers sometimes substitute green tea for this use. It also has some base levels of L-theanine, mainly found in green tea and something we will be covering later.
Black tea normally has a base caffeine amount of 60-80mg, with an 8 oz coffee normally having around 120mg. Compared to herbal tea, which has no caffeine, and green tea, which tends to hover around 30-40mg, black tea is very strong. It has also become a hit with those who wish to cut down on caffeine consumption, but do not want to entirely stop their morning cup of coffee. There are quite a number of other alkaloids in the camila, which we will cover more in-depth in future articles.
In our next article we will be going over more types of teas, both herbal and those from the tea plant. Stay tuned!