A Journey Starts with a Single Steep: 6 Essential Introductory Teas
At Sencha, we feel that the exploration of tea is highly personal and we strive to be a guiding resource for everyone whether you are years into your Tea Journey or just starting down the path of discovery. The world of tea is full of variety and nuance and can seem overwhelming when viewed from the outside. In order to give you a jumping off point, we have put together a guide to the best introductory teas from six true tea types. Keep reading to discover our recommendations for building a strong base for your tea knowledge and palate.
Keemun is a well-known traditional tea from China that offers a great option for tea drinkers just gaining familiarity with black teas. This tea is approachably mild with a profile characterized by rich, toasted flavor and a slightly smoky finish. Keemun, known as an English Breakfast tea, stands up well to milk and sugar and provides a decent amount of caffeine to get your day started off on the right foot.
Iron Goddess of Mercy
Of the true tea types, oolong teas offer the widest variety of flavors ranging from vegetal to malted depending on level of oxidation the leaves undergo. Iron Goddess of Mercy, or Tie Guanyin, is a popular oolong tea from China said to have been discovered through the divine inspiration of Bodhisattva Guanyin. This tea steeps a smooth, rich cup redolent of roasted chestnut and dried apricots and offers moderate caffeine. Like most oolongs, Iron Goddess of Mercy can be steeped multiple times for a deeper exploration of the flavors that develop as the leaves unfurl.
Approaching green teas can be daunting, especially for tea drinkers unused to
the vegetal astringency that often characterizes this tea type. Whether you are just starting out on your tea journey or are simply looking for a smoother cup, we recommend trying our Dragon's Well green tea. Also known as Longjing, this traditional pan-fried tea from China is characterized by a light grassy profile with subtle notes of flowers. Dragon's Well is one of the smoothest and most floral green teas available.
Pai Mu Tan
White teas are made from the youngest leaves of the Camelia sinensis plant are among the least processed of the true tea types. White teas are characterized by subtle flavors and delicate fragrances. Pai Mu Tan is a traditional white tea from China made up of early buds and leaves of the tea plant. This particular tea steeps a smooth flowery cup with slight earthy notes and hints of melon.
Pu-erh Golden Tip
Pu-erh teas are unique in that they are the only type of tea to be fermented.
During the processing of pu-erh teas, the leaves are allowed to develop microbial bacteria which assists in the oxidation process. Pu-erh teas are most often characterized by flavor profiles similar to black teas and darker oolongs. Pu-erh Golden Tip steeps a full-bodied and aromatic cup nuanced by deep earthy flavors. This tea is chock-full of antioxidants and probiotics which help regulate the body and promote gut health.
Yellow teas are the rarest of the true tea types and are primarily produced in China. Hunan Gold is a large-leaf yellow tea grown in the Hunan Province characterized by crisp and almost fruity flavor profile. This tea steeps a bright, moderately caffeinated yellow cup that is livelier than green teas but more mellow than black teas
Steep Your Way To Teavana
Whether you're new to the tea world or looking to expand your loose leaf collection, this guide offers our best recommendations for examples of the six true tea types. For further exploration, check out our full tea catalog here.