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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

90 / 100
Picture of Gold Leaf Tea

Gold Leaf Tea from Akbar

Style: Ceylon Black Tea – Region: Sri Lanka / Ceylon
Jan. 15th, 2020

I was astonished by this tea's quality as well as value for its price. One of my friends recently bought this from a Russian market, and he had only recently opened the container so it was very fresh.

The dry leaf though is explosively aromatic. This is by far the most aromatic Ceylon black tea I've ever found in th...

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65 / 100

This is a new entry in Upton's growing list of breakfast blends; it was created as on of their 30th anniversary specials. It is not as robust or malty as some breakfast blends, but not extra mild either - it falls somewhere in the middle. This has a little nip to it. The price is a little high.

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70 / 100

A flavorful and complex oolong that is better than your average Chinese restaurant tea. This has a very nice garden/forest like aroma. The flavor is complex and leans toward the brighter, cleaner end of the oolong spectrum. The price is a little higher than I would expect for an everyday oolong, but it makes sense g...

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85 / 100
Picture of C.T.C. Irish Breakfast Blend

A blend of Assam teas that turns out to be smooth and flavorful, and offered at an excellent price by Upton. It has been one of their top sellers, for a long time, and it is not hard to see why. This does not have the rough edges or iron notes that some breakfast teas have. It is earthy, nutty, and not a challenge t...

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80 / 100
Picture of Organic Ho-ji Cha Kamakura

This is a very nice hojicha. It is pleasantly roasty, but there is some complexity (dashes of soy sauce and caramel) and the underlying bancha comes thru well. The aroma is woody and fresh.

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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
3
30 Ratings
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PG Tips Pyramid bags

Brand:PG Tips
Style:Black Tea
Region:Blend
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
25
24 Ratings
No image of this tea

Irish Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:Irish Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
38
23 Ratings
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English Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:English Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
13
18 Ratings
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Assam

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Assam
Region:Assam, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
55
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
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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Honey Black Tea

Brand:Health & Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
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
98
3 Ratings
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Formosa Amber Oolong Select

Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Amber Oolong
Region:Taiwan / Formosa
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
98
3 Ratings

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

Browse All Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis) (3820)Brands of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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