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Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Wikipedia: Tea 
Last Updated: Aug. 8, 2017 

About Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

Growing tea shoots, showing new leaves and buds, with blurry forested backgroundTea Leaves and Shoots, Hawaii, © Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY 2.0.

What is tea?

Tea (Chinese 茶) is a beverage made from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The words for tea in many languages come from the root cha or chai. RateTea classifies teas in this category that are made exclusively from the tea plant; such teas are often called pure teas, unflavored teas, or, less commonly, straight teas, in contrast to flavored teas, which contain tea together with other ingredients.

Tea is usually classified based on how it is processed, which loosely corresponds to its level of oxidation--a process that darkens the tea and changes the color. Fully oxidized tea is called black tea, and unoxidized tea is called green tea (white tea is also mostly unoxidized). Oolong tea is a partially-oxidized tea that is often also roasted. Another class of tea, Pu-erh, is usually considered as a category of its own. Oxidation is sometimes called "fermentation", and black tea is described as "fermented", but this is misleading as there is no proper fermentation process happening as with vinegar or alcoholic drinks.

Woman picking tea in a tea field on a gentle slopeMost tea is made out of young leaves and buds, like this woman in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka is picking. Photo © Kosala Bandara, CC BY 2.0.
Most tea is made primarily out of leaves and leaf buds, although some teas are made out of only mature leaves and others are made only out of buds. A few teas, such as Kukicha, are made from twigs and stems, and some teas include a few bits of stem as well. Tea is also a flowering plant, and rarely, tea flowers are used to make a tea.

When the word "tea" is used by itself it usually refers to the tea plant. However, the word "tea" is also used together with other terms to describe other drinks made from steeping other plants in water. Teas that do not come from the Camellia sinsensis plant are usually referred to as "herbal teas", "herb teas", or "tisanes".

Traditionally, in most parts of the world, nearly all tea consumed and produced was black tea. Outside of Southeast Asia, the term tea is often assumed to mean black tea. However, the tea industry is changing rapidly, and green, white, and oolong teas are becoming more popular both among tea drinkers in black-tea-loving countries, and tea growers in areas that historically only produced black tea are also beginning to produce more of these other styles of tea.

Recent Pure Tea Reviews — RSS rss icon

76 / 100
Picture of Devonshire English Breakfast

"Devonshire" has one of the most full-bodied dry-bag aromas I've gotten from a breakfast tea, and unusually, it nearly matches the flavor for intensity. I detected virtually no difference between dry-bag scent, in-cup scent, and taste, the latter likewise being straightforwardly well-constructed within a nice, dark br...

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75 / 100
Picture of Breakfast Blend (Morning Rise)

Breakfast Blend (Morning Rise) from Numi Organic Tea

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend
Jan. 19th, 2019

Smells earthy, like a pu-erh, or one of the less sweet Yunnan blacks.

Numi's website says that this tea contains Keemun and that's the first impression I get from the flavor; it's full of dark molasses and and prunes or raisins with a bit of cocoa. The finish is dryer, and the earthiness I noticed in the aroma linge...

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70 / 100
Picture of English Classic Cold Brewed Iced Tea

English Classic Cold Brewed Iced Tea from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: ?????
Jan. 18th, 2019

When I was in England... the English gifted me with this tea. They said to me, "Here. Our tea of England. Drink it, and become English." And that I did... The truth is, this tea carries some spiritual essence of England within it's leaves. I don't know if England intentionally grows spiritual tree's in their lands, but...

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25 / 100
Picture of Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales from Twinings

Style: Black Tea – Region: China
Jan. 18th, 2019

I'm no big fan of this tea. This tea is not for me..... Anywho! I don't know what I was expecting. The taste of a prince, the taste of a wale... It did not taste like either. Trust me, I know.

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55 / 100
Picture of Organic Green Darjeeling Blend

Fairly sharp, light green tea. Not bad, but not much depth to it.

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Most-Rated Pure Tea

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Black Tea

Brand:Lipton Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
30
28 Ratings
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PG Tips Pyramid bags

Brand:PG Tips
Style:Black Tea
Region:Blend
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
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24 Ratings
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Irish Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:Irish Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
71
23 Ratings
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English Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:English Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
61
18 Ratings
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Assam

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Assam
Region:Assam, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
80
15 Ratings

Top-Rated Pure Tea

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Bao Zhong Oolong Tea

Brand:Rishi Tea
Style:Pouchong Tea
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
100
3 Ratings
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Honey Black Tea

Brand:Health & Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
3 Ratings
Picture of Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe

Wuyi Mountain Big Red Robe

Brand:Verdant Tea
Style:Da Hong Pao
Region:Wuyi, Fujian, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
3 Ratings
Picture of Wild Snow Sprout Tea

Wild Snow Sprout Tea

Brand:Wild Tea Qi
Style:Green Tea
Region:Yunnan, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
3 Ratings
Picture of Hu-Kwa Tea

Hu-Kwa Tea

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Lapsang Souchong
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
99
4 Ratings

Varieties, Kinds, or Types of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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