Every year, the tea-producing nations in the world celebrate Dec. 15 as International Tea Day. Though the aim is to create awareness about tea farming, the day is now celebrated by tea lovers worldwide.

While this day has been observed since 2005, the United Nations introduced a new International Tea Day on May 21 in 2019. Nevertheless, both days came to be celebrated as International Tea Day.

Though the origins of tea mark its roots in China, it later became popular all over the world, with over 30 different varieties. The main types include black, green, white, herbal, oolong and pu’erh.

While we celebrate the fine sentiment behind the day by savoring a cup of tea, let's take a look at the most popular varieties of tea that keeps the $10 billion dollar industry afloat.

White Tea

White tea is known to be one of the most delicate tea varieties because it is so minimally processed. They are, in flavor, very delicate and elegant on the tongue. According to Teatulia, white tea is harvested before the tea plant’s leaves open fully when the young buds are still covered by fine white hairs, hence the name "white" tea. Popular white teas include Silver Needle and Bai Mudan and have a lower caffeine content than green or black tea. Though it is said that the finest white tea comes from the Fujian province of China, white tea is produced in Nepal too.

Oolong Tea

This semi-oxidized tea variety contains several vitamins, minerals and helpful antioxidants. Oolong teas are traditionally rolled, twisted, or curled into tight balls or thin strands. As this variety is oxidized at varying levels, the flavor can range from light to full-bodied, floral to grassy and sweet to toasty. As for the color of the leaves and the brewed tea, it can go from green to golden to brown. The best oolongs come from both Taiwan and China, though some will insist that Taiwanese oolongs are superior.

Black Tea

The most common and popular, black tea is mostly produced in the Indian city of Darjeeling and the state of Assam. These teas are heavily oxidized and brew up strong, bold and often malty. Thanks to its flavor, strong aroma and robust taste, people all over the world enjoy this tea, particularly in Britain and Ireland. Black tea also has some good health benefits like reducing blood pressure and lowering the risk of stroke.

Yellow Tea

This variety is native to China and is called a miracle drink. Considered the rarest tea in the world, Yellow tea is sweet, bright, and has a floral taste and a gentle fruity and floral aroma. It has a medium body, not too strong or weak. Yellow tea originates from China, mainly from the provinces of Hunan, Sichuan and Zhejiang.

Pu’erh Tea

Named for a city in the Yunnan region of China, Pu’erh tea is created according to a specialized process that involves a longer fermentation period. After the oxidization process, the leaves are aged for months or years. They are mostly sold in a pressed cake form with the year of the tea stamped on the package. Flavor and color-wise, some brew up light while others can be dark and intensely earthy. Perfect for pairing with a good cigar.

Representation. Pixabay