Tea 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Most Popular Drink in the World

Tea is one of my absolute favorite things. It wakes me up in the morning and keeps me going all afternoon. There's a lot that goes into crafting good tea, which comes through in the range of types and flavors. You can enjoy a light and refreshing green blend or go dark with black tea. Whether you're new to the tea-sipping scene or looking to learn more about your favorite brew, here's a breakdown of four different types to enjoy this Summer.

Green Tea

Cultivated for centuries, tea is the top drink around the world. One of the most popular types, green tea leaves are picked and then heated or steamed to stop the aging and browning process. This type of tea has a slight bitter flavor with an almost nutty aftertaste. There are also several different types of green tea, including sencha, matcha, and tencha, which are based on where it is grown.

Black Tea

Similar to green tea in that it is made from the same plant, black tea is stronger in flavor and darker in color. It differs from the green variety due to the oxidation process before the leaves are completely dried. This adds a smoky and rich profile to the tea. There are a couple of types including asaam, darjeeling, ceylon, and Kenyan. Black tea has a higher caffeine content than green and, depending on how it's brewed, can range from black in color to tan.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas are made from an infusion of different types of herbs, spices, and other ingredients to create a delicious blend for sipping. Most are caffeine free and offer a calming or stimulating effect, like chamomile tea for relaxation or invigorating mint that will lift you up. The infusion is steeped in hot water and can be sipped hot or cold. But you can take the drink even further and mix an herbal flavor, like lemon, with green or black tea.

Sweet Tea

If you're looking for something really refreshing, sweet tea is what you need. A beverage that rules in the South, the tea is made by steeping bags of black tea with lots of sugar in hot water then poured over ice — then served with more sugar. You can also flavor this delicious sipper with lemon or other fruits like raspberry or mint.

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POPSUGAR Photography | Sarah Lipoff

Looking for more inspiration? Check out all the different things you can do with Pure Leaf Unsweetened Iced Teas here!