The A-Z of Tea Types

There’s a type of tea for every letter of the alphabet (except maybe V – see below), but of course that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great wide world of tea varieties. Won’t you sing along with me? ♪ ♫ “A, B, C, D…” ♫ ♪

Assam
A state in northeastern India that ranks as one of the world’s largest tea producing regions. Known primarily for the black tea that’s also called Assam.

Bancha
A Japanese green tea that’s along the same lines as Sencha, but of a lower grade.

Ceylon
Black tea (with a few relatively rare exceptions) from the island nation formerly called Ceylon and now known as Sri Lanka.

Darjeeling
A black tea beloved of connoisseurs and known for its delicate flavor. Grown in the Darjeeling region of northern India and sometimes referred to as the champagne of tea.

Earl Grey
Earl Grey

Earl Grey
A popular type of flavored tea that’s made with a base of black tea flavored with the fragrant oil of a citrus fruit known as bergamot.

Fukamushi
A Japanese green tea similar to Sencha, but known for being deep steamed during processing and for its smaller leaf size.

Gunpowder
A strongly flavored almost smoky green tea processed into tiny pellets that resemble gunpowder.

Hojicha
A variety of Japanese green tea that’s typically made by roasting Bancha leaves.

Irish Breakfast
Probably the second most popular of the black blends of tea known as breakfast tea, with English Breakfast being the first.

Jasmine
A popular flavored tea that’s most often made with a base of green tea flavored with the essence of jasmine flowers.

Kukicha
Also known as twig tea, this is a Japanese green tea made from the parts of the tea plant other than the leaves and buds.

Lapsang Souchong
A strongly flavored black tea that is processed using the smoke from pinewood fires.

Matcha
A Japanese green tea once used primarily in the tea ceremony but now coming into wider use. Matcha is a powdered tea made by grinding the entire tea leaf.

Nilgiri
The lesser-known of India’s three major tea growing regions, Nilgiri, like the other two, is primarily known for its production of black tea.

Oolong
A type of tea most commonly produced in China and Taiwan, Oolong can vary from lightly processed floral varieties to more heavily processed full-flavored ones.

Puerh
A distinctive type of post-fermented black tea that’s produced in China. Has a strong, earthy flavor that may be an acquired taste for some.

Qimen
A small Chinese town in Anhui province. Best known for producing Keemun, a flavorful black tea that often has a faint hint of smokiness.

Rooibos
Not a tea in the strictest sense of the word, rooibos, also known as redbush, is an herbal beverage grown in South Africa.

Silver Needles
Also known as Bai Hao Yinzhen, Silver Needles is typically considered to be one of the best grades of white tea.

Tieguanyin
A popular type of Oolong tea whose name is sometimes translated to Iron Goddess of Mercy.

Usucha
Japanese for the matcha-based drink known as thin tea, as opposed to Koicha, or thick tea.

Vietnam
Not a type of tea, of course, but Vietnam is in the top ten of tea producing nations.

White Tea
One of the six main categories of tea, white tea is a lightly processed type that typically has a more subtle flavor than others.

Xiao Hang Pao
A Chinese Oolong tea also known as Little Red Robe. Made from the smaller leaves of the plants used to make the better known Da Hang Pao, or Big Red Robe.

Yellow Tea
Probably the least well known of the six major categories of tea, yellow is similar to green except for some minor differences in how they are processed.

Zhen Shan Xiao Chung
The Chinese language name for Lapsang Souchong.

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

3 thoughts on “The A-Z of Tea Types

  1. Pingback: An A-Z of Tea – Miscellaneous Edition « Tea Blog

  2. Pingback: The A-Z of Tea Terms « Tea Blog

  3. Pingback: The A-Z of Tea Types « Tea Blog

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