Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the white, green and oolong varieties. Black tea generally is stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine if you are looking for an energy boost.
Masala chai has a history of more than 5,000 years in India. The word “chai” literally means “tea” in the Indian language of Hindi and “masala” means “spiced.” The spices are steeped in warm milk, and then the tea is brewed within the spiced milk. Many popular mixtures of masala chai today are derived from ancient herbal mixtures that were used for healing thousands of years ago in India.
Flowering tea is a form of hand-tied tea that unfurls into an attractive arrangement of tealeaves and, usually, flowers. To make flowering teas, tealeaves are moistened, then sewn into various shapes, such as spheres or hearts, and dried. When they are submerged in water for brewing, they open to form an anemone-like shape. If flowers are sewn inside of the display tea, they will emerge as a string, garland or bouquet. Most flowering teas are made in China and are popular for their striking appearances.
Green tea is close in family with white tea. It is a sharp tea made from tea leaves that have been steamed and dried quickly without fermenting. Green tea has been studied far more than any other tea and contains several claims from scientists on its nutritional benefits. Most studies revolve around its role in preventing cancer and stress.
Oolong tea (pronounced Ew-long) has the second highest caffeine content. In comparison with the other teas, it falls between green and black with moderate oxidation. It commonly is brewed to be strong, with the bitterness leaving a sweet melon-like aftertaste.
Rooibos (pronounced Roy-boss) is an herbal tea made from a small, evergreen shrub that grows outside Capetown, South Africa. It also is known as “red bush” or “red tea” and is known for its woody-sweet, lightly tannic flavor. Most rooibos is oxidized, though it also is available “green” (unoxidized). Due to the naturally sweet flavor of rooibos, it often is used in so-called “dessert blends,” teas that are blended with ingredients like chocolate, vanilla, caramel and fruits for a sweet flavor.
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