Tea is a wonderful thing and I praise Shennong for discovering it in 2737 BCE. He was a daring man who combined different herbs and flowers together and eventually died of herbal intoxication (probably brewed something poisonous, but someone had to be the guinnea pig and pioneer. For centuries his discovery has added such a great beverage for us to enjoy. Here are some of my personal favorites (in no particular order).
Assam Black Tea – India
This is a tea if you like dark, strong black tea that will wake you the f*ck up when you’re feeling lethargic, drowsy or just feeling hung over after a long night of hard drinking. Assam has a rich aroma that has helped me recover from the effects of inebriation on more than one occasion. I would certainly recommend this tea to anyone who is looking for an alternative to coffee and is not a morning person, because black tea contains the highest level of caffeine (not as much as coffee, but the more you drink, the more hydrated you will become, so in my opinion, black tea trumps coffee in that aspect).
Darjeeling Black Tea – India
If you’re looking for a black tea that is a little less potent than Assam, then I would recommend Darjeeling Tea simply because it has a lighter color and a more floral flavor than Assam. Yeah I know, I said I wasn’t trying to sound like a douche bag tea snob, but I have no other way to describe it other than a lighter, less potent black tea compared to Assam.
Genmaicha Green Tea – Japan
I am usually not a fan of Japanese stuff and Sencha is just freaking overrated. But wait… I know what you’re going to tell me, but Genmaicha IS made out of Sencha. Yes I know this, but the roasted grains of rice added to the tea give it what is described as an “Earthy” flavor as standard Sencha usually just has a “grassy” flavor by itself. Does this make sense? Probably not until you actually try it, but this is something that most tea snobs will tell you and honestly I can’t really explain it any other way. Genmaichai is a little hard to find comparatively, but if you can get your hands on Sencha and just simply stick some uncooked rice in the oven or frying pan and roast them, then you will be able to make as much Genmaicha as you like!
Jasmine Green Tea – China
The best tea in China come from Fujian province (or so I’m told). Chinese green tea has been around for centuries and no one knows their tea better than the people who discovered it. Lucky for them, they discovered the sweet floral aroma of Jasmine and how it can blend with tea without killing t\you. (Imagine what would have happened if they used Belladonna or Lily of the Valley…). If you’re looking for a casual tea to drink during just about any season, I would recommend Jasmine.
Peony White Tea – China
This is a pretty basic White tea from China. White tea has the least amount of caffeine so it is better for people who don’t want to get the jitters and end up like Tweak Tweak from South Park. Drinking white tea has many health benefits such as more antioxidants than green tea and will not stain your teeth like black tea, oolong tea or coffee.
Silver Needle White Tea – China
If you are looking for an upgrade to the basic Peony white tea, then you may want to try Silver Needle, which is very similar, yet brews lighter in color and has an even more mellow taste and aroma, so much you may not even be able to tell that you are drinking tea. Many people don’t like water by itself and drinking White tea is a great way to hydrate since it also tastes great over ice.
Wulong Oolong Tea – China
I’m not sure how much credibility Oprah has, but back in 2004 or 2005 she mentioned Wulong tea as having a really great effect on your metabolism and great for dieting. Personally I do not believe that a simple tea can turn you into a sexy model, but it can aid in helping you lose weight if combined with the right diet and exercise. This aside, Wulong tea is a pretty good tea and is less bitter than most Oolongs, but some people like bitter and there’s nothing wrong with that, I also like bitter flavors as well, but Oolong tea is a very mild tea that is easier to develop a palate for because it lacks the smokey flavor of other Oolongs.
Lapsang Souchong Oolong Tea – China
Speaking of smokey flavor, if that is your thing, then you will definitely like Lapsang Souchong. This tea is the smokiest tea out there and taking a sip from it will remind you of something that just came out of a smoker. While not for everyone, Lapsang Souchong will definitely remind you of the scent of a burning fire place on a cold winter’s night.
Earl Grey – Flavored Black Tea – England
This is a very popular tea in the West and British people seem to love it as much as they love their soccer matches! Earl Grey has always been a great casual tea and I like it just because it’s very easy to find and you can have it any time of the day. I am not sure how they can infuse an oil into the tea without it appearing when the tea is brewed, but the oil of Bergamot, but this is what gives it that citrus scent and flavor since the oil itself is extracted from an orange. Earl Grey is a tea that keeps me awake in the mornings and up during the evenings.
Chamomile Mint Tea – United States
I didn’t find out about the calming effects of chamomile flowers and mint tea until I had several tea bags from Sleepy Time and the Calm brand from Tazo. Whenever I needed to calm down or if I was enraged, frustrated or hyper, I would drink this special combination of chamomile and mint and I was able to relax much easier. For some people it may put you to sleep, but for me it just kind of looses me up like a good massage from the hands of a beautiful woman! Well maybe not that good, (nothing can beat a massage from a beautiful woman with strong hands) but this tea certainly does relax me and I would suggest it to anyone who needs to release some tension.