Tea is enjoyed by many people around the world, and despite the stereotypes of British people loving their tea, the UK only rank 3rd in tea consumption. The table below shows the top tea drinking countries and their preferred choice of tea.


Tea Consumed Per Capita

Favoured Teas


3.16kg annually

Black Tea, Rosehip, Linden Flower


2.19kg annually

Black Tea

United Kingdom


Black Tea, Earl Grey, Peppermint and Camomile



Black Tea



Black Tea, Rosebay Willowherb


Basic Tea

There are 5 different basic types of tea. These are Black Tea, Green Tea, Oolong Tea, White Tea and Pu-erh Tea. All of these different types of tea are made from harvesting the same plant (Camellia sinensis) but at different stages of growth and outing the leaves through different levels of oxidisation.

White Tea

White tea is a tea that has very low caffeine and a very high level of antioxidants. It has a mild flavour and when infused with water has a light colour. Due to the mild flavour of this tea, it is best rank without anything being added to the tea as this could overpower the tea.

White tea is made by harvesting the unopened tea buds and young leaves and are that are silver in colour and are left to dry up, out of all basic tea types, white tea is the least processed.

White Tea Bowl - Free photo on Pixabay

Green Tea

Green tea is a tea that has a low level of caffeine and contains a high amount of minerals and antioxidants. Green tea has a light green appearance and has a light and almost grassy taste to it. Due to the mild flavour of the tea, it is best drank without anything being added although a wedge of lemon makes a nice addition.

Green tea is made by taking the leaves from the tea plant and are immediately heated up as this stops the leaves from being oxidised. This is also the reason why green teas has as many health benefits as it does.

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Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is a type of tea that falls between black tea and green tea. Depending on how long the tea leaves are oxidised for will depending on the characteristics of the tea. The shorter the oxidisation time will lead to an oolong tea with characteristics more akin to a green tea while longer oxidisation time will lead to an oolong tea with more characteristics of a black tea. Oolong tea is typically oxidised for 2 to 4 hours. Oolong tea, when brewed, is golden or light brown in colour and has a delicate flavour.

Oriental Beauty Oolong Tea from Taiwan | This photo is licen… | Flickr

Black Tea

Black tea is the most common type of tea and contains a higher level of caffeine compared to other teas. Black tea has a dark appearance and a strong flavour. Black tea can be enjoyed with milk, sugar or even a wedge of lemon.

File:English Westminster Tea.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Pu-erh Tea

Pu-erh tea is a unique type of fermented tea that’s traditionally made in the Yunnan Province of China. It’s made from the leaves of a tree known as the “wild old tree,” which grows in the region instead of being made from cultivated bushes. Depending on the length of oxidisation, the colour of this tea can be black or green. When brewed Pu-erh tea is said to have a slight mushroom taste.

 File:Soultea-Pu-erh-first-grade.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Flavoured Tea

Flavoured teas are created by taking a basic tea such as as black , green and oolong and adding fruit, flowers, herbs and spices to them. Flavoured teas can come in a wide variety. The more popular flavoured teas are listed below.

Earl Grey

Earl great is the most popular flavoured tea in the UK. It is created by taking black tea and adding bergamot extract and citrus. Its origin comes from when people would try and mask the flavour of pore quality teas in the 1800's.

File:TwiningsEarlGrey.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Jasmine Tea

Jasmine tea is an example of a flavoured tea that uses green tea as the base, although black tea and oolong tea can also be used. The fragrance of Jasmine flowers are infused with the tea giving the tea a floral smell but is a long process which requires the tea and flowers to be stored in a special humidity controlled room.

Jasmine Tea, First Grade Jasmine Green Tea - York Emporium

Masala Chai

Masala Chai is a type of tea originating from India. It has a base of black tea and is mixed with an array of different spices which can include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, star anise, and sometimes fennel, nutmeg, pepper and coriander and is often served with sugar and milk.

 File:Contents of a bag of chai tea.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Tisanes aka Herbal Teas

Fruit Teas

Fruit teas are a type of tea that contain dried fruits. They tend to have a natural sweetness when brewed and contain a lot of vitamin C and antioxidants and no caffeine, making it an ideal choice before bed.

Tea Fruit - Free photo on Pixabay

Flower Teas:

Flower teas are a type of tea that is made up of dried flowers. Flower teas contain  no caffeine and can be high in antioxidants. Flower teas give of an incredible aroma and can be quite therapeutic.

Dried buds of the Chinese tea rose with wooden scoop | Flickr

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