Tea is one of the world's most popular drinks and is widely consumed in Asia and Europe in particular. The beverage is brewed by boiling the leaves of a species of plant (Camellia Sinensis) in hot water before serving. While there are many types or categories of tea on the market, they are all harvested from this species. In this article, we'll be taking a look at some of the most popular teas consumed today.

Green tea

Among all the teas consumed in the world today, this one is linked to a variety of health benefits the most. It originally came from China before it was transported via trade lines to the rest of Asia. Today, green tea is an important aspect within the cultures certain countries, particularly Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern and Korean cultures. Lately however, consumption has been spreading to Europe and the America's as more and more people become aware of the benefits. As all tea leaves begin to oxidize during processing, they begin to progressively darken, losing their inherent components. Green tea is made from leaves that have undergone the least amount of oxidation and wilting. As such, it still retains much of its original components.

It is a natural source of caffeine and is said to have some of the highest flavonoid percentages of any plant. It is these flavonoids that give it its powerful antioxidant and anticarcogenic properties. Tests conducted on animals suggest that it may reduce the risk of cancer, cognitive function and cardiovascular diseases. It also contains vitamin c along with a host of minerals.

White Tea

White tea is another variant that undergoes very little oxidation during processing. However, the leaves and buds do experience some wilting. This variant is almost exclusively grown in China where it maintains consistently high levels of demand from the populace. The leaves and buds used for white tea production are usually from younger and more expensive plants. It is allowed to wither slightly in an effort to preserve its natural flavors. While green tea is named because of the color of the beverage, white tea is named after the white hairs that are present on the delicate bud of younger plants. High grade white teas are some of the most expensive leaves in the world. Because it undergoes similar oxidation levels as green tea, their properties and health benefits are alike.

Black Tea

Black tea is made from leaves that have experienced full oxidation and some wilting. As such, the lowest grades of this variant are commonly the cheapest. Expect to consume this grade of black tea when you drop by your local Chinese restaurant. Likewise, you'll find this variety in abundance when shopping for them at the supermarket. It has some traits that set it apart from the rest however. It is one of the strongest tasting teas and generally contains more caffeine than other lightly oxidized variants. It is also durable and can be kept for years while still retaining its flavor, unlike green tea.

While all three variants have general price points, it is difficult to assume that one would be pricier than the other mainly because of the many grades that each variant has. Suffice to say, high grade black teas would easily cost more than medium grade green teas.

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