11 Different Types of Tea You Can Enjoy 

Tea is one of the oldest drinks around.

Two cups of healthy herbal tea with mint, cinnamon, dried rose and camomile flowers

The earliest records of this beverage date back to the Shang Dynasty in China. Over the years, tea has spread across the globe and several new variations have appeared as a result.

If you’re a fan of this delicious, warm drink, there are a lot of different teas that you can try. 

Many types of tea come with different health benefits and medicinal purposes. So, if you’re intrigued by natural remedies, you might want to incorporate some of these teas into your diet. 

Types of Tea

Here are nine different types of tea to try out the next time you crave a hot drink. Whether you drink them plain or sweeten them with sugar and milk, you’ll be glad you gave them a shot. 

Black Tea

Black tea has a strong, earthy taste, so if you’re a fan of teas with more intense flavors, you will probably enjoy this one.

black tea in clear tea cup with tea leaves

Black tea gets its slightly bitter flavor from the intense oxidation process it goes through.

Many people drink black tea with sugar or milk to create a milder beverage, but it can also be delicious on its own. 

This tea is a component of several common blends. Earl Grey tea, English breakfast tea, and masala chai are a few popular examples. 

Black tea can offer several health benefits. Its caffeine can give you a boost of energy, making it a great alternative to coffee.

Some studies suggest that black tea’s antioxidant properties can strengthen your immune system. 

Green Tea

Green tea has a mild, earthy taste that makes it one of the most popular tea flavors around.

green tea in clear tea cup with tea leaves

Unlike black tea, it does not go through an oxidation process. As the name suggests, this tea has a brownish-green color after brewing. 

There are many types of green tea, including gunpowder tea and Biluochun. It’s also a component of matcha, which is a powdered form of green tea that’s part of Japanese tea ceremonies. 

Many people enjoy green tea for its medicinal properties. For example, some evidence suggests that it can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Green tea contains antioxidants as well, which help strengthen the immune system. 

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is a category of several types of tea that come from brewed herbs and spices.

brewed herbal tea with tea leaves

However, they often do not contain any tea leaves. Herbal teas have mild, earthy flavors and can have many health benefits. 

A few common herbal teas include jasmine, chamomile, peppermint, and rooibos. You’ll often find herbal teas in a blend, as many of these flavors pair wonderfully. 

Herbal teas are a common part of traditional medicine. One example is chamomile tea’s relaxing properties.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you might want to try drinking this tea before going to bed. In addition, peppermint tea can help soothe digestive issues like heartburn or nausea. 

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea, or “black dragon tea,” is an earthy tea that originates from China.

oolong tea brewed in mug and tea leaves

Its taste can vary depending on the type, but many people describe oolong as somewhere between green tea and black tea. 

There are many variations of this delicious tea. Da Hong Pao is one of the most popular types— it has a floral, fruity flavor. There is also the Tieguanyin, which originates from Fujian and has a fruity taste. 

Oolong tea has multiple potential health benefits. Some studies suggest it can improve your metabolism. It contains amino acids as well, which can help with cognitive function. 

White Tea

White tea is a term for a broad category of teas that undergo little to no processing.

white tea leaves and brewed tea cup

Unlike most teas, they do not have any oxidation, either. As a result, white tea has a reputation for its sweet and refreshing flavor. 

Bai mu dan, or “white peony,” is a popular type of white tea with a fruity taste and a full body.

There is also shoumei tea, which is stronger than most white teas and has a taste similar to oolong tea. 

If you want healthy, white teeth, you might want to drink a little more white tea. Some evidence suggests that drinking white tea can help fight plaque and strengthen your enamel.

It’s very high in antioxidants, too, so it can be a great choice if you have a weak immune system. 

Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, a plant native to Southeast Asia.

pu-erh tea leaves and brewed tea

While many types of tea go through oxidation, pu-erh tea undergoes fermentation as well.

As a result, this tea has an earthy taste and scent that some people compare to mushrooms

There are several different types of pu-erh tea to choose from, but they fall under two main categories: raw pu-erh and ripe pu-erh.

The former tends to have a sweeter taste, while the latter has a bitter taste similar to black tea. 

The caffeine content in pu-erh tea can help give you a boost of energy, so consider drinking it in the morning when you’re feeling lethargic.  

Matcha Tea

If you’re a fan of green tea, you’ll probably enjoy matcha tea as well.

Matcha and Green Tea

This Japanese tea is a specific type of green tea that comes in a light green powder. When you brew it, you get a grassy, nutty, and slightly bitter green tea. 

Not only does matcha make a tasty drink, but it’s a common ingredient in Japanese desserts as well.

Consider enjoying some matcha tea along with some Japanese-style matcha tiramisu or cake. 

Matcha tea is full of antioxidants, so if you’re hoping to reduce inflammation or boost your immune system, you’ll want to give this delicious tea a shot. 

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is not quite as common as the other types of tea on this list.

yellow tea with tea leaves and teapot

It can be pretty expensive, especially outside of China. Yellow tea is quite similar to green tea, though it has less of a grass-like taste. 

As the name suggests, this tea features a yellow color after you brew it. Because it has a very mild flavor on its own, you’ll often find yellow tea infused with herbs or other types of tea.

One of the most common types of yellow tea is Junshan Yinzhen, which originates in the Hunan province of China. 

Many people drink yellow tea to help manage digestive issues. This tea might also increase metabolism, which can help with weight loss. 

Yerba Mate

While most of the types of tea on this list originated in Asia, the origins of yerba mate are in South America.

yerba mate tea leaves

This is an herbal tea that comes from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate tree. It has a notably earthy and grassy flavor and is overall quite different from most of the teas on this list. 

You can drink yerba mate either hot or cold. The traditional preparation of this tea involves steeping it inside of a hollowed-out gourd, though of course, you can use your favorite cup or mug. 

Many people have used yerba mate tea for medicinal purposes. Some studies suggest it can help lower blood sugar and manage symptoms of diabetes.

Yerba mate tea has a lot of caffeine as well, so it can be a great way to improve your energy and mood. 

Chai Tea

Chai tea, also known as masala chai, is a type of tea that originated in India.

Masala chai spiced tea with milk and spices on dark rusty background

It is made by brewing black tea with a blend of aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. The spices give the tea a warm, spicy flavor and a delicious aroma.

Chai tea is traditionally brewed and mixed with milk and sugar, which adds a creamy sweetness to the tea. It is a popular beverage in India and has gained popularity around the world in recent years.

Popular coffee chains like Starbucks offer various chai tea drinks, and this type of black tea has become a popular beverage around the world.

Purple Tea

Purple tea is a type of tea that is grown in Kenya and is known for its unique purple leaves.

purple tea

Purple tea leaves contain high levels of anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that give the leaves their distinctive purple color.

This tea has a delicate flavor that is similar to green tea but with a slightly nutty taste. It is also lower in caffeine than other types of tea, making it a great option for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Purple tea is not very common, but it’s becoming more popular among tea drinkers who are looking for a unique and healthy tea option.

Types of Tea

  1. Black Tea
  2. Green Tea
  3. Herbal Tea
  4. Oolong Tea
  5. White Tea
  6. Pu-erh Tea
  7. Matcha Tea
  8. Yellow Tea
  9. Yerba Mate 
  10. Chai Tea
  11. Purple Tea

Which tea is the most popular?

Black tea is probably the most popular tea around the world. There are many types of black tea, including Ceylon, Earl Grey, English Breakfast tea, and many more. Even chai tea comes from black tea leaves!

Which tea is the healthiest?

Green tea is widely considered the healthiest tea. It contains antioxidants and polyphenols that improve health. Green tea is also the least processed as it does not undergo oxidation like many other kinds of tea.

The health of any tea drink depends on how you drink it, however. If you add a lot of milk and sugar to any tea, it will be a less healthy drink.

What tea has the most caffeine?

Typically, black tea or pu-erh tea are the most caffeinated teas. Every tea is different, however, and some teas within the same overall “type” have very different levels of caffeination.

What plant does tea come from?

Many teas come from the camellia sinensis plant, also known as the tea plant. The camellia sinensis plant is a shrub that produces black tea, green tea, white tea, and oolong tea.

Camellia sinensis is native to Burma and Southwestern China. How the camellia sinensis plant’s leaves are processed creates different kinds of teas and flavors.

Does all tea come from one plant?

All “true” teas come from one plant, the camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas, however, do not come from this plant.

The name of most herbal teas are the plant they come from, like chamomile, peppermint, lavender, hibiscus, and others.

Final Thoughts

From the common green tea to the more obscure yerba mate, there are plenty of delicious teas out there that every enthusiast should try at least once. While some might cost more than others, their unique tastes might be worth the price. 

Not only are these teas delicious, but they can come with several health benefits as well. Almost every option on this list contains antioxidants, for instance. And, certain teas can help aid digestion, improve your mood, or even help with weight loss. 

So if you’re sick of drinking the same tea every day, it might be time to branch out. Give one of these teas a try next time you’re craving a hot drink—you won’t regret it. 

If you like tea, check out the most popular tea drinks at Starbucks that you can grab on the go!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.