Browse Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis) (3826)
Read Reviews (2942)
Brands of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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

43 / 100
Picture of Organic Darjeeling Green Tea

Similarly to my review of TJ's Darjeeling white tea, I hope this isn't very representative of Darjeeling greens; for it lacks aroma and flavor. The dry-bag aroma is basically nil, with the in-cup scent only very faint. Only the wet bag has something resembling a smell I would associate with green tea, and it's still ...

Read Full Review
74 / 100
Picture of Organic Sencha Tea

Organic Sencha Tea from Trader Joe's

Style: Sencha – Region: Japan
Feb. 14th, 2020

Despite having a wide spectrum of experiences with TJ's teas (from excellent to revolting...but mostly good), I somehow thought this would be a cheap knockoff and not very high quality. Somewhat surprisingly, while not the best bagged green I've had (that would be an unbranded tea my daughter brought back from Japan)...

Read Full Review
45 / 100
Picture of Hot Brandy 2016

Hot Brandy 2016 from white2tea

Style: Black and White Blend – Region: ?????
Feb. 11th, 2020

I commend White2Tea for the attempt at combining white tea with black tea in a cake like this. It was an interesting experiment. But, while the taste really isn't bad, the effect it has on me is very uncomfortable. That also hasn't changed over the years (I've had this cake for a while and have been aging it and period...

Read Full Review
54 / 100
Picture of English Breakfast

English Breakfast from Lipton Tea

Style: English Breakfast – Region: Blend
Feb. 11th, 2020

I bring news! Whether it's good news or not is up to the reader. This tea, as a brand with the same name, is not retired after all, as of Feb. 2020. Instead, it has found its way to the food-service division of Unilever, Lipton's corporate overlord. I'll upload a photo of its newest packaging separately. I was abl...

Read Full Review
41 / 100
Picture of Organic Spring Blossom White Tea

This was my first Darjeeling white tea, and it's about as impressive as sitting through an hour-long staff meeting with a well-advertised, nicely dressed, but ultimately monotonic guest speaker droning on about an uninteresting subject.

At first, I was intrigued. The best part of the experience was the dry-bag ar...

Read Full Review

Read More Reviews of Pure Tea (2942) ...

Top Reviewers

RankUser#%
1Reviewer icon Alex Zorach91124
2Reviewer icon Amanda 1825
3Reviewer icon Sylvia1163
4Reviewer icon Brytta Sóþword993
5Reviewer icon Kelsey862

Review 87 teas to get on this list!

Advertisement

Most-Rated Pure Tea

No image of this tea

Black Tea

Brand:Lipton Tea
Style:Black Tea
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
3
30 Ratings
No image of this tea

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
No image of this tea

English Breakfast

Brand:Twinings
Style:English Breakfast
Region:?????
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Teabag
13
18 Ratings
No image of this tea

Assam

Brand:Two Leaves and a Bud
Style:Assam
Region:Assam, India
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Sachet
55
15 Ratings

Top-Rated Pure Tea

No image of this tea

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
No image of this tea

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
No image of this tea

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) (3826)Brands of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

FacebookTwitterInstagramTumblrPinterestGoogle+Patreon