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After water, tea is the most popular drink in the world. According to an estimate, every year, an astronomical 7,68,500,000,000 (Nearly 768 billion) cups of tea are consumed around the globe

There are over 3000 varieties of tea in the world. Tea, an evergreen plant is part of the Camellia family. There are several varieties of this plant, producing different types of teas. The types depend on the manufacturing and crafting of the leaves. These oval shaped leaves are shiny, smooth and appear pointed. Camellia Sinensis is indigenous to China and parts of India. The climate and soil composition affect flavor, but all tea by definition is from this plant. Left to grow wild the tea plant develops into a tree many metres high but under cultivation Camellia Sinensis is kept to a height of approximately three feet. The Camellia Sinensis don’t truly become tea leaves until and unless they are treated.

In terms of consumption, today tea is the most popularly manufactured drink in the world, produced in more than 25 countries around the world. Mainly cultivated as a plantation crop, grows well in acidic soil and a warm climate with atleast 50 inches of rain per annum. Tea’s flavour, quality and character are completely dependent on the region, the altitude, the type of soil and the climate in which it is grown.

Let us look at some varieties of tea:

White Tea

White tea is the unopened bud of the tealeaf. After the bud is picked the moisture is allowed to evaporate. White tea is very high on antioxidants and has minimum caffeine. A true white tea is only produced in Fujian China and is fuzzy in appearance and looks silvery. It has a mild flavor. White tea Is rare and expensive.

Black Tea

Black tea is also referred to as Ceylon or English Tea. It is a fully fermented and brings out its flavour, colour and robust characteristics. Black tea is produced differently in different countries. Black tea is very high in caffeine. The production of black tea involves four steps- withering, rolling, oxidizing and firing or drying. It loses some of its vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants from the manufacturing process.

Green Tea

Green tea is high in antioxidants, Vitamins C and other minerals. Green tea has more caffeine than White tea. Green tea is steamed and fired after plucking. When brewed, the leaves turn light green in color. The Green tea has a tangy taste to it. Green teas from Japan have a herbal or grassy taste. Green tea is often considered to be the most healthy among all kinds of tea.

Oolong Tea

Oolongs or Black Dragon, which is the literal transition, is manufactured in China and Taiwan. A semi-fermented tea that is withered in the sun, rolled lightly until it turns red, and then fired. There are two categories of Oolong-fragrant and amber. Fragrant is closer to a green tea and has notes of flowers and Amber is closer to a black tea with notes of ripped fruit.

Darjeeling Tea

Darjeeling tea is from the Darjeeling district in West Bengal, India. It is available as black, white or oolong. When properly brewed, it yields a thin-bodied, light-colored infusion with a floral aroma. The flavor can include a tinge of astringent tannic characteristics, and a musky spiciness sometimes described as "muscatel"

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