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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

92 / 100

Laos Wild Phongsali (No. 585) from TeaGschwendner

Style: Black Tea – Region: Laos
Apr. 4th, 2020

Half-litre pot at home, made from curly sticks of dried leaves, varying in length from 1 to 1.5 inch. Pours neatly clear dark copper brown (against white china) with no sediment. Clear aroma of black tea with mild notes of fruit and hints of herbs. Mild, bitterish flavour of black tea, with round fruity hints and herba...

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55 / 100
Picture of Original Blend Russian Caravan

The aroma is very mild. Liquor has an amber appearance. Flavor is mild. I'm a bit underwhelmed by this tea. I was expecting it to be stronger on all front. I will not bother with this particular blend again.

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72 / 100
Picture of Keke Gul Te (Nr. 765)

Keke Gul Te (Nr. 765) from Carstensens Tehandel

Style: Junshan Yinzhen – Region: China
Mar. 22nd, 2020

Half-litre pot at home, made from inch-long thin handrolled leaves - they look like tiny sticks. Pours clear light straw (against white china) with no sediment. Clear aroma of tea (yellow, to be sure, but the scent is not very different from that of green or white), with a faint touch of peach. Delicate bitter flavour ...

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50 / 100
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Green Tea from Lipton Tea

Style: Green Tea – Region: ?????
Mar. 22nd, 2020

This is the last of a set of food-service Liptons I got from a cafeteria, an individually wrapped bag that I finally have gotten around to trying and rating a couple months later.

The dry bag had little aroma, which is nothing new for most mass-produced or food-service green teas I've tried. The wet bag has a bit o...

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90 / 100
Picture of Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast from Fortnum & Mason

Style: Irish Breakfast – Region: Blend
Mar. 12th, 2020

Having never had Irish Breakfast tea before I was a bit taken aback when I opened the container to not find tea leaves, but little pellets like the low cost tea my brother buys! Having imported it all the way here I was really disappointed until I brewed some and discovered it makes the best milk tea ever.

This i...

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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
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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
19 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) (3835)Brands of Pure Tea (Camellia sinensis)

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