The 5 Types Of ‘Real Tea’ And Other Little-Known Tea Facts

Tea only plays second fiddle to water when it comes to global popularity, and yet so many of us know so little about it. That’s why this episode of Mental Floss’ List Show is dedicated to 36 different tea facts you may not know.

For example, the five types of “real tea” is really all about the fact that a lot of things we call “tea” are actually “tisanes”, because they don’t actually include the actual tea plant in them. Of the five types Mental Floss is referring to here, there’s black, white, green, oolong and pu-erh (a kind of fermented tea that’s actually really good, but not super popular.)

The “colour” of tea is related to its oxidation level, so white tea is freshest and hasn’t been allowed to oxidise, while black tea is fully oxidised, creating a stronger flavour. Green tea, on the other hand is usually prepared to bring out flavour, either by being fired or steamed. Oolong is a Chinese tea that’s been very slightly oxidised.

That said, we don’t want to give away the whole video, so hit play on the video above to see the whole thing, or below to check out Mental Floss’ other videos. When you’re finished, find some good tea to drink and bask in your new-found knowledge.

36 Facts About Tea [Mental Floss]


  • Great video! I never thought that a tea’s colour has something to do with its oxidation level. I love drinking green tea and it gives me peace of mind knowing about its health benefits. Another drink I’m into these days is juice cleanse. But it is quite difficult to maintain my diet outside the home, so I talked to my coworkers who are also struggling to lose weight because of sedentary lifestyle.

    We ended up using homejuice office catering because they offer affordable low carb meals and they have a great menu from vegan salads, gluten free and sugar free foods. They also have a 1,3 or 5-day juice cleanse for $69.

    Having a healthy lifestyle is easier to accomplish when you have a group of people who share the same goals. In my case, my team at work are very supportive and committed, and corporate catering makes the whole process enjoyable and convenient.

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