Choose from Hundreds of Flavors of Tea

Several Flavors of Tea

Finding an unsweetened beverage to break a soda or heavily sweetened drink addiction is challenging.  However, with a little food exploration, numerous un-sweetened choices are out there, calorie-free and packed with flavor. 

Tea is one of those options.  Tea is really a catch-all term for a class of beverages.  Teas and tisanes is a more accurate term.  Tea, strictly speaking, is made in a variety of ways from the leaves of Camelia sinensis.  What portion of the plant it is, where it is harvested from, and what type of process it undergoes determines which variety and quality of tea results.  Good quality tea, of whatever variety or origin, is a totally different breed, a different flavor experience to what is commonly available in a teabag at a standard American grocery store. 

Taking a trip to a local European, Indian, or Asian grocery can open a whole new world of tea varieties and beverages.  Black, green, white, and oolong teas also come scented or flavored with other things such as smoke, spices or flowers.  Authentic chai,  is made with inexpensive Indian tea, but flavored with a whole melange of spices to tantalize the nose and palate. 

Even if one doesn't like the Camelia sinensis versions of tea, there are “teas” to choose from, which bear no resemblance to actual tea, other than by preparation method.  Tisanes are herbal teas, and include teas made with herbs, flowers, and fruit.  Many people are familiar with herbal teas such as mint or chamomile, but there are numerous varieties of single-flavor teas and hundreds of varieties of blends available, as well as “teas” such as the caramel-y sweet rooibos from South Africa and yerba mate, the caffeinated plant that is hugely popular in South America.  Some of the teas bear a sweetness all to themselves, such as licorice and to some degree, cinnamon.  Some bear a stimulating heat, such as ginger tea.  Some are relaxing and mild, like chamomile.


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