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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

73 / 100
Picture of Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India)

Orange Pekoe (Ceylon & India) from Harney and Sons

Style: Black Tea – Region: Blend
Nov. 17th, 2018

I had this in a bag last night at Disney Hall. It's one of the best bag teas I've had. Nice malty taste, nothing bitter about it. I'll have to try the loose version.

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17 / 100
Picture of Taiwan Lapsang Souchong Black Tea

This tea sorely disappointed me and left me feeling sad and empty. I thought from the description that I was going to like it, but the description was somewhere between severely misleading and blatantly wrong. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample. But PLEASE, update the description for this tea because it is...

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52 / 100
Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Chado High Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend
Nov. 9th, 2018

For a food-service tea, this seemed slightly above average...I've had worse, but wouldn't seek it out for home consumption. This is one that, if you spot it in a motel or (as I did) receive it as "hot tea" in a breakfast cafe off I-70 in Kansas, can be consumed safely and without obvious problems. I realize that's no...

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98 / 100
Picture of Organic Sweet Colombian Black Tea (Wiry 2)

Yet another Colombian tea from the Bitaco estate. Thank you Simpson & Vail for the samples! It's been exciting how many of these I've been able to try lately, and I love every one. They are only subtly different, but I am still able to appreciate the differences. This one, as the name suggests, was the sweetest one I'v...

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76 / 100
Picture of Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea

Kenya Kosabei TGFOP Tea from Organic Herbie

Style: Black Tea – Region: Nandi, Kenya
Nov. 5th, 2018

A good "sipping" tea that I found I enjoyed most when I drank slowly. This tea had some characteristics of a Ceylon and some of a Darjeeling. I found it slightly tricky to brew. I liked its aroma, but could be a bit thin-bodied and bitter. Thank you to Organic Herbie for the free sample!

Dry leaf, which has a fine, ...

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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
5
28 Ratings
No image of this tea

PG Tips Pyramid bags

Brand:PG Tips
Style:Black Tea
Region:Blend
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
32
24 Ratings
No image of this tea

Irish Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:Irish Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
15
23 Ratings
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English Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:English Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
16
18 Ratings
No image of this tea

Assam

Brand:Two Leaves Tea
Style:Assam
Region:Assam, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
38
15 Ratings

Top-Rated Pure Tea

Picture of Hu-Kwa Tea

Hu-Kwa Tea

Brand:Mark T. Wendell
Style:Lapsang Souchong
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
100
4 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
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Prince of Wales (Loose)

Brand:Twinings
Style:Black Tea
Region:China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
3 Ratings
No image of this tea

Russian Country

Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Russian Caravan
Region:Blend
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
3 Ratings
Picture of Laoshan Black

Laoshan Black

Brand:Verdant Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:Shandong, China
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
4 Ratings

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

Browse All Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis) (3734)Brands of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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