At Zojirushi, we’re a little obsessed with tea. Not only does tea boost focus when you need a little pick-me-up, but it can also give you that quiet moment of rest and relaxation when you’re looking to unwind after a long day. Most people may be familiar with black, green, and oolong teas, but there are thousands of different teas out there that are just as delicious and unique in their own ways. Today, we’ll be diving into a few of our favorite lesser-known teas to help you discover new flavors to explore and enjoy. Let’s dive in!
If you’re new to the world of tea, we suggest starting out with our introductory guide to learn about the most popular types of tea first.
What’s the Difference Between Tea and Tisane?
Herbal teas, also known as herbal infusions or tisanes, are made from blends of herbs, spices, and sometimes flowers. Though they are commonly referred to as teas, it’s important to note that herbal teas or tisanes do not contain caffeine, and are not made from the camellia sinensis plant. Herbs like peppermint, chamomile, and ginger are popular ingredients for herbal tea recipes, and even contain medicinal properties that can help with things like upset stomachs or nausea.
Consider chamomile tea, for example. Made from the dried leaves and flowers of the chamomile plant, this tisane has a beautiful floral scent with health benefits that range from lowering blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and even helping you fall asleep and relax.
Hibiscus tea, made from the hibiscus plant, is another great example of a flower that can boast impressive health benefits. It was first popularized in Western Africa and South America and is known for its fruity flavor and bright red color. Hibiscus, like most teas, is full of antioxidants, which can promote weight loss, fight bacteria, and help prevent disease.
Rooibos tea is another non-caffeinated tea that is also bright red in color but is not to be confused with hibiscus tea. Made from a South African Papilionace bush, rooibos tea is described as earthy, sweet, and full of flavor. Many people will enjoy rooibos tea with some milk, as it is naturally sweet and balances well with other flavors.
Honeybush tea is also made from a bush, that, as its name suggests, smells like honey. Processed in a similar way to rooibos, it is a rich and wonderful smelling beverage that has a lot of antioxidants, without caffeine.
Tea Varieties You Should Know
Now that we’ve gone through non-caffeinated herbal teas and tisanes, let’s talk about types of caffeinated teas that you may not be so familiar with, but should be!
Yerba Mate is native to South America and is a member of the holly family. Technically, it’s not a tea because it does not come from the camellia sinensis plant, but it is known for its tea-like features. Known for being a strong stimulant with caffeine levels similar to that of coffee, Yerba Mate brews up strong with an earthy flavor of straw and a touch of sweetness on the finish.
Matcha is a powdered green tea from Japan that is traditionally whisked in water before serving. This tea is made from plants that are grown in the shade, resulting in a deeper green color and more caffeine and l-theanine. Matcha tea is steamed immediately after harvest, preventing the oxidation process, and has an umami flavor that is great for lattes and baking.
Pu-erh tea is a very unique type of Chinese tea made from large, dark leaves that are semi-fermented, so it brews up an inky brown-black color. It has a distinct, full-bodied flavor with a wonderful earthiness, strong aroma, and thick mouthfeel due to the fermentation. It has a fairly high amount of caffeine, so enjoy it when you need a bit of extra energy!
Purple tea is a rare, wild tea produced from a special purple-leaved plant from the Assam region of India, though they are now grown in parts of Africa. You’ll be able to tell a purple tea from others due to its unique purple color, both from the bright dried purple leaves to the purple drink. This tea has less caffeine than others, and has been compared to green teas in flavor, with slightly less bitterness.
The Hot Tea All Winter Long
There’s nothing like warming up to a steaming cup of tea in the winter, whenever and wherever you want it. Our Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle SE-KAE48, which was designed specifically for enjoying tea, lets you enjoy hot tea in seconds with its dual infuser and strainer for all types of teas. The handle on the infuser makes it easy to remove your steeped tea leaves, and our signature vacuum-insulation technology will keep your beverages hot for hours. Now that you’re a tea expert, what type of tea are you looking forward to brewing next?
Did you discover a new type of tea that you’re looking forward to trying today? Do you already own a Stainless Tea Tumbler with Handle SE-KAE48? Make sure to share your thoughts, comments, and questions with us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan