Types of Tea

Speciality Teas

This is the general term used to describe quality tea. Speciality teas can be both types of tea loose leaf tea and tea bag grade teas.

Generally speaking quality teas are the leaf tea varieties, although the Smith Family has searched very hard over the last 30 years and have produced a range of Speciality Teas for tea bags. Two generations of the family were involved in tea planting in India so we have a few inside secrets!

The general tea bag teas available in the UK are low grade fanning teas and are designed more to give colour in the cup than actual flavour. The following are the main types of teas: Black Teas, Green Teas, White Teas, Oolong Semi-fermented Teas and Flavoured Teas, all of which originate from the same plant; the Camelia Sinensis. Herbal Teas, Rooibos Teas and Tisanes are in fact commonly referred to as teas but are not from the Camelia Sinensis plant so are not technically a 'tea' as such.

Black Tea

As discussed Black Tea is a types of tea from the same planet involved in Green Tea or White Tea except that the processes involved are a little different but produces different types of tea. Black Tea requires the leaf to be oxidized, which creates the deep, comforting flavours that have long been associated with Breakfast Tea and Afternoon Blends. Black Tea is traditionally drunk with milk or lemon and have become our nations favourite beverage. Black Teas produce a strong full infusion with an amber coloured dark rich red liquor. Buy Black Teas here. It is the different location, climate and traditions that creates different characteristic within the tea

Green Tea

When the fresh tea leaves are plucked, they are not oxidized like the Black Teas or the semi-fermented oolongs. Which means that thsi types of tea is on opposite sides of the spectrum regarding the taste and colour of the tea. It also means that Green Tea has a higher antioxidant content and the leaves retain much of their medical properties. There are two methods of producing Green Tea; De-enzymed and Steamed. There are many different leaf styles; rolled, twisted, pan fired.

We have a huge range of green teas in our store, Buy Green Tea

White Tea

This is the rarest of the teas we offer. They are also the least processed. White tea is not oxidized or rolled. They are withered by steaming and then dried. White tea is made from the fresh buds of the tea plant, before they unfurl and dried in the sun or a warm drying room. White Teas is harvested on only a few days in the year, they are said to have the highest antioxidant levels due to the lack of processing involved. The liquor is a very pale champagne coloured with a light and soft flavour.

Oolong Tea

There are two main varieties of Oolong, both are partially oxidized but to different levels.; the dark variety is closer to a black tea, being 70% oxidized or the greener variety which is can be between 12-30% oxidized. Both of these teas have an exceptional difference in flavour and liquor. They are somewhere between Black Teas and Green Teas, also known as Wulong or Blue Tea, and our Oolong Teas are a fine example. Buy Oolong Tea from our store.

Herbal Tea

Our Herbal Tea range is very popular, they are a good alternative to traditional medicines. We have over 60 different blends of Herbal Tea from around the world including Lemongrass and Ginger, Greek Mountain and Lapacho Tea. Plants have been used for centuries as a helpful cure to simple aliments such as; digestion, sleeplessness, restlessness, heart burn, anxiety, colds and flu, weight loss, sore throat, muscle aches- even athletes foot! Herbal Teas provide us with vitamins and minerals that are missing from our modern busy lives and quick diets. Buy Herbal Teas from our store.

Rooibos Tea

Pronounced 'rrroy-boss' and sometimes called "Redbush", has become increasingly popular in recent times across the world. It is naturally caffeine free and as hydrating as water while having health benefits and the comforting similarities to traditional black teas. This is a native bush of South Africa and have been popular there for centuries. Rooibos Teas are very often flavoured and scented to make exotic tisane infusions or mixed with herbs to created added health benefits.

Fruit Teas/Tisanes Tea

Fruit Tea or Tisanes as they are now widely called as they are not from the same plant as tea. Are mixtures of fruits and herbs which creates a sweet, healthy sometimes medicinal drink. Our range includes teas like the Turkish Apple, Berry Fruit Cocktail, Lemon and Ginger, Flower Garden and more. Like the Rooibos Teas, Fruit / Tisane Teas are caffeine-free and are enjoyed all over the world.