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Types of Tea


I was in one of our customer’s cafe last week, basking in lovely spring sun and enjoying their beautiful food during lunch time. 

Chatting to the owner, Robyn, who has been happy serving leaf tea as it has pumped her tea sales beyond her expectations.

Robyn started buying from us 6 months ago, and have been very happy with her standard tea range – English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Sencha China, Peppermint and Chamomile.

She has moved on from serving Chai latte made with powder to our Chai Masala. This has attracted many Chai devotees to her cafe.

Now Robyn is ready for more. But finding it impossible to digest all the technicalities with all the different tea types.

Do you find yourself in the same boat? Wanting to stock more, but the tea types are just too confusing?

Fear not, let’s go through the tea types in short 🙂

Common tea types: 

Then there are “non-tea Tea”

The first five come from the same tea plant, Camellia Sinensis, so their nutritional make-up and health benefits are similar. The other two (infusions) are strictly speaking not “tea” as all you are infusing is dried fruit and/or herbs. 

14NOP-Nandana_Ceylon_OP Black tea The “western favourite” black tea has a dark brew with strong aroma and taste.

  • great with milk and sugar
  • the tea base for Chai tea
  • many grades from a few dollars a kg to a few hundred dollars
21LGJ-Long_Jing_XiHu Green tea Due to the little processing, green tea has kept the colour, original bittersweet taste and aroma of the freshly plucked leaves.

  • widely known for its slimming and germ fighting properties
  • Chinese green tea cheaper usually, more robust taste
  • Japanese green tea greener and grassier in taste usually
30WDG-Gin_Shan_Creme Oolong (wu-long / black dragon tea) Simply put, oolong is a good after meal tea. A good oolong is simply addictive!

  • great for digestion
  • reputed to help weight loss
  • varied taste from green tea to black tea like taste
40SNP-Silver_Needle_Zhenghe White tea White tea got its name from the almost colourless brew it produces.

  • light taste
  • high price (good ones are buds, not tea leaves)
  • antioxidant powerhouse
Puerh-loose-leaf Pu-erh Unlike any other tea, Pu-erh is better AGED. Just like vintage wine, a good vintage Pu-erh comes with a handsome price tag. You may even find some leaves as old as you are!

  • earthy taste, but not bitter
  • brew with hot boiling water
  • great for digestion. good after meal tea
  • gentle to stomach, caffeine drops as it ages
60CHA-Cha_Cha Fruit infusions Welcomed as a great family favourite, the fruit infusion is typically made up from a range of dried fruit and can be enjoyed hot or cold.

  • caffeine free, high in Vitamin C
  • Kids friendly – put in your kids menu
  • condense it into syrups for mocktails, waffles and ice cream!
  • usually has natural flavours added
Rose for a cafe full of ladies Herbal infusions Since early history, people have been using plants to heal, enliven and enhance their wellbeing.

  • While most herbs do not contain caffeine, some herbs such as yerba mate, cocoa and guarana do.
  • Check the ingredients before consumption as some herbs may react with certain medications, conditions or pregnancy. Ask your doctor or medical professional if you are unsure.
  • herbs are best not to store for too long – flowers in particular during summer season are prone to infestation.