A Tea is a Tea is a…


I drink herbal tea every day. But today’s topic-typical tea terminology-can get a bit perplexing, to say the least.

Talking about tea is one of those I’ll know it when I see it type of topics. We talk a lot about tea, but what do we really mean? We use this word to mean so many different things, you’d need to read the tea leaves to make any sense of it.

So let’s talk a bit about different teas and see if we can brew up some sense.

Tea is any beverage made by cooking plant material in water; think chamomile, peppermint and cinnamon.

What we usually call tea, think Lipton, is a beverage made from prepared leaves of a shrub, Camellia sinensis. Green tea is these leaves simply picked and dried. The first tender tips of these green leaves is known as white tea. If we ferment these leaves and dry them, black tea; half fermented, oolong. Remember, green, black, white and oolong all come from the same plant, the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.

My favorite functional tea herb is gotu kola, and I enjoy ginger as a flavorful tea. Do you have a favorite medicinal or beverage tea? Let me know your thoughts.

Cups up, everyone!


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The Tea Talk Blog is written by Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Yogi herbalist with over 40 years experience.
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