Herbal tea is one of the most popular drinks in America. Americans drink more herbal tea than black tea, green tea, and white tea combined. Most people start drinking herbal teas because they feel cheers up the whole day. It's not uncommon for typical American women to drink 4-5 cups per day while typical men consume around 3 cups. One of the most interesting facts about herbal teas is that majority of them are consumed with either honey, lemon, or both inside the cup!
Here is a list of Top 12 most popular types of herbal teas in America
1) Chamomile Tea
This is the #1 most popular herbal tea in the USA. People drink chamomile tea before bed because it can help them relax, fall asleep and improve their sleep quality. The word "chamomile" derives from Greek χαμαίμηλον (khaman melon), which means "earth apple", as its scent reminded Greeks of an apple. This herb has no caffeine so you cannot get addicted to it like coffee or other caffeinated beverages. Chamomile tea bags are inexpensive and can be found almost everywhere including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc. Most people drink this type of herbal tea without adding anything to it.
2) Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a type of herbal tea that most Americans drink after dinner or before going to bed. Peppermint helps people with digestion issues. Peppermint tastes very refreshing and has no calories, peppermint contains menthol which makes it a great breath freshener as well. Peppermint can be drank warm with honey or iced cold from the refrigerator.
3) Ginger Tea
Ginger tea has been used as a medicinal herb in China, India, and Japan since ancient times. People drink ginger tea to prevent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach aches. Ginger root comes from a flowering plant called Zingiber Officinale which is originally from south-eastern Asia but now can be found in almost every tropical and subtropical part of the world. Ginger tea has a very spicy taste which comes from ginger root essential oil called: gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone. Ginger root is also what gives ginger ale its name and distinct flavor.
4) Rooibos Tea
Rooibos is a species of "Aspalathus" that belongs to the legume family, its species name comes from South Africa's Afrikaans term for "red bush". Rooibos contains no caffeine at all, it has a naturally sweet taste so people put sugar or honey inside the cup. This type of herbal tea is very popular in America because of its low tannin levels which are helpful for those who want to avoid stomach problems.
5) Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is made from dried hibiscus flowers and has a beautiful bright red color thanks to hibiscus anthocyanins. Americans love hibiscus tea mainly due to its high vitamin C content which is around 3 times higher than fresh orange according to USDA. Hibiscus also contains polyphenols and has one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all other plants. This type of herbal tea can be drank hot or cold and with honey, sugar, or lemon inside the cup.
6) Fruit Tea
This is a very popular category in the American tea industry, there are hundreds of different types of fruit teas such as peach, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc. Since fruit teas contain no caffeine they make great alternatives for people who want to stay away from caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soft drinks (Coca-Cola & Pepsi). People drink fruit tea mainly because it tastes good and gives them some extra vitamins.
7) Black Tea
Black tea is mainly derived from two types of plant: Camellia Sinensis and Camelia Assamica, Camellia Sinensis is originally from China while camellia assamica comes from India. Americans drink black tea usually with milk or lemon inside the cup (known as English Breakfast tea). Black tea has a lot of caffeine (almost 3 times more than green tea) which makes it perfect for those who want to stay alert. Caffeine in black tea helps in releasing dopamine into the brain.
8) Oolong Tea
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea that means "black dragon" as oolong leaves resemble the shape of a dragon as they are long and thin. In ancient China, it was common for people to experiment with different types of tea so they can have access to more caffeine sources which increase alertness, energy & concentration. Oolong tea has around 1/3rd amount of caffeine compared to black tea because its fermentation process is about halfway between green and black tea.
9) Green Tea
Green tea has been known for more than 4,000 years & was first recorded during China's Song Dynasty. It is believed that green tea was popularized by Japanese monk Myoan Eisai after he brought the plant from China to Japan in 1191AD. Although people usually drink green tea with lemon there are no calories inside lemons so you can use honey or sugar inside the cup as well. The caffeine levels in green tea are roughly around 1/3rd of black and oolong teas which makes it perfect for late afternoon drinks because it gives you a lot of energy without making you feel hyperactive.
10) White Tea
White tea is a category of tea that includes whole leaf buds harvested from Chinese Camellia sinensis plants before they open fully. This type of tea contains no caffeine as well as it has very low levels of tannin which makes its taste very light and pleasant. The original tea plant looks more like a huge bush than a tree and it is native only to China, however, it is very difficult for people to harvest whole leaves from the original tea plant so they started cultivating them with Camellia sinensis var. assamica which gifts white tea with high levels of antioxidants.
11) Yellow Tea
Yellow tea becomes brighter during processing compared to green, oolong, and black teas so it's also called "bright" or "yellow-green" tea. This type of herbal drink comes from Southern regions of China where the humidity level is high so yellow tea leaves become darker than white or green due to the increased fermentation process. Yellow tea contains a lot of vitamin C and has a very low caffeine level which makes it perfect for those who want to reduce their daily intake of caffeine.
12) Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea is a fermented tea that comes from Yunnan province in China, this type of tea has been produced since the Qin Dynasty (around 221BC). Pu-erh tea leaves are usually sun-dried or sometimes they are baked so they can also be classified as "semi-fermented" teas. In ancient China, this type of herbal drink was developed as a post-meal digestive aid because it reduces bloating & improves intestinal health. Even though black & green teas contain more polyphenol content than PU-er tea, Pu-erh is still very popular.
Now you know all 12 popular types of tea as well as their benefits as a natural beverage, not only will it help your health, but drinking herbal drinks will also improve your mood and your day, cheers!