Many Types of Tea: Which One for You?
Welcome to the enchanting world of different types of tea and which dessert to pair them with! Wondering what your personali-tea is? Just like you, each beverage has its own one-of-a-kind characteristics. Find out which is your cup of tea and which Enneagram personality type fits you best. Let’s get the tea party started!
Where Does Tea Come From?
All of the different types of tea come from one originator: the Camellia sinensis plant. This is a particular evergreen shrub that can grow as tall as sixty feet! When it is time to harvest, the shrubs are maintained at around three feet tall. Although they come from the same plant, all categories of tea have their own distinct features and characteristics. Fun Fact: The external surroundings of the environment affect how the tea leaves are produced! The climate and soil conditions are main factors on how the colour and fragrance of the tea will turn out.
Camellia sinensis shrubs being harvested
Types of Tea and What They Say About You
There are over 3,000 varieties of tea around the world, but they can be separated into nine main types: black, green, oolong, white, pu-erh, yellow, herbal, yerba mate and guayusa. See which desserts are best paired with it and find out what your favourite tea says about you!
Don’t be fooled by its name, black tea oxidises into a beautiful deep red colour! Each sip is greeted with smokey and earthy fragrances, with hints of sweetness, nutty, citrus and fruity flavours. The environment, in which the Camellia sinensis plant is grown, influences how each type of black tea receives its special flavour profile. Some of the well-known black teas include: English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Keemun Black Tea, Ceylon Black Tea and Lapsang Souchong.
Which desserts pair best with your black tea? We suggest milk-chocolate desserts! The creaminess of milk chocolate and the sweet flavour profile of black tea creates a perfect harmony in your taste buds. For the ultimate pairing, look for earl grey infused desserts, such as earl grey cake, cookies and doughnuts!
You are the Challenger: The Challenger is happy to speak for the group and fight for what they care about, never letting others control them. Black tea is the strongest tasting and is all around confident, but it’s complex; a lot goes into its flavours and composition. Challengers take a lot into consideration when they fight, even when it doesn’t seem that way, and they are incredibly resourceful.
If you’ve ever been to any bubble tea shop, you have most likely seen oolong tea flavours in their menu. This particular tea falls in a special place, since it has both the characteristics of green tea and black tea. When steeped, it turns into an enticing rich red/orange colour. Oolong tea tastes fruity and floral, but also has grass-like aromas. It’s a unique flavour profile, suited for every tea lover. The types of oolong tea includes: Milk Oolong Tea (Jin Xuan Tea), Phoenix Tea (Dan Chong or Dan Cong), Iron Goddess of Mercy (Ti Kuan Yin or Tie Guan Yin), Wuyi Oolong Tea (Da Hong Pao), High Mountain Oolong Tea (Gaoshan) and many more.
Fruity desserts and cheeses should be your go-to with your oolong tea. Since oolong tea can have complex aromas, pairing these desserts will taste amazing!
You are the Investigator: The mouthfeel of oolong comes with a lot of substance that an Investigator can relate to. The Investigator wants to get to the bottom of it, they’ll never accept things “just cause” they are. They feel their place in the world is based on their ability to understand it, so they frequently have a plethora of fun facts and stories to tell. Oolong has a light and complex taste, similar to the Investigator’s complex understanding of the world more based on facts than their emotions.
Perhaps the most well-known tea, green tea is mostly associated with Japan and, but also central in Chinese cultures. Its tea leaves exude a grass-like aroma, but each green tea type has their own distinct fragrances. Flavour types range from sweet, bittersweet, floral to fruity. Matcha Green Tea is the most popular type, but there are other types of green tea including Sencha Green Tea, Hojicha Green Tea, Funmatsucha Green Tea, Kabusecha Green Tea and much more.
Which desserts would be your perfect match-a? Try dark-chocolate desserts! Sweets with a strong dark chocolate flavour will taste great with your green tea, balancing out the bittersweetness of the leaves. To get the most of your tea, look also for green tea infused desserts such as green tea cake, mousse and cupcakes.
You are the Achiever: Green tea has many health benefits and is a well respected tea. The Achiever looks for success in their life in any way they perceive that success to be. They look for the respect that green tea has as well as how it excels in so many ways (i.e., health, popularity, and usefulness).
Just like yin and yang, if there’s black tea, there’s also white tea! The fragrance palette is quite delicate, it often comes in floral and fruity flavours. Compared to the black tea, it has a lighter aroma and it doesn’t have the “grassy” taste that some people might not be a fan of. Every sip is refreshing, usually prepared cold for the hot summer weather! If you’re interested in expanding your white tea blends, look for Yin Zhen Bai Hao (Silver Needle), Bai Mu Dan (White Peony), Gongmei (Tribute Eyebrow). Shou Mei (Noble, Long Life Eyebrow) and Fujian New Craft (DaBaiCha or DaHoaCha).
Since this type of tea is subtle, we recommend light and fruity desserts to be served with it. Treats with mild flavours pair amazingly with the sunlight sweetness of white tea. You can also enjoy white tea infused desserts such as white tea panna cotta, cookies and scones.
You are the Loyalist: The Loyalist is the type that looks for security the most, and also has the most trouble finding it. In the effort, they provide that feeling for others and become a safe haven, often loyal and fiery for those they care for. White tea is one you can drink at any time of the day; it’s always there for you. Don’t take the white tea for granted, once you gain their trust and see them for their delicate sides, nothing can stop them.
Have you heard of pu-erh tea? Well, you have now! Different to most flavour profiles, pu-erh tea has a unique mushroom taste. This is because this tea is fermented in a natural process. You’ll be able to find microbes and microflora in your pu-erh tea. Although it has a vegetal taste, it has strong pungent bittersweet notes. Actually, there are two types of pu-erh tea: Raw Pu-erh and Ripe Pu-erh. The key difference? It boils down to the fermentation process! Raw Pu-erh has a vegetal taste with floral and bittersweet notes. As it matures and develops, its flavours become earthy. In comparison, Ripe Pu-erh is nutty and woody. As it ages, it gives off smooth and sweet aromas.
The Pu-erh teas fit best after a heavy meal! If you’re into richer desserts, such as cheesecake and brownies, go ahead and enjoy your cravings! The microbes and microflora in pu-erh tea aid in balancing good bacteria in your gut. These bacteria help you to break down big food molecules and turn them into energy. Pu-erh tea will help you digest and relax your stomach to make room for more dessert! You may also enjoy pu-erh infused desserts such as pu-erh chia pudding, tiramisu and ice cream.
You are the Individualist: The Individualist is a highly creative, self-aware, and expressive personality. Although they don’t always understand their emotions, they are highly aware of them, which is reflected in Pu-erh’s soothing effect on the body. Because of the Individualist’s desire to express themselves authentically and have significance, they are often unique and interesting people to get to know. The fermentation and process of making Pu-erh is lengthy and involved, similar to the Individualist’s process of understanding and expressing themselves.
Yellow tea is prevalent in Korean and Chinese cultures, offering many health benefits for its drinkers. It may strengthen your bones, decrease the signs of ageing and may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Yellow tea is on the mellow and fruity side, yet still has palette similarities to green tea. Despite having a grass-like aroma, it is smooth to sip and has a distinct yellow hue once steeped. There are two types of yellow tea: Huo Shan Huang Ya (Amber Mountain) and Jun Shan Yinzhen. Huo Shan Huang Ya comes at a hefty price since it is cultivated in small quantities. Jun Shan Yinzhen tea is a yellow tea from Junshan Island of the Hunan Province in China.
Cookies are the best combination with Jun Shan Yinzhen tea! This pairing is a match made in heaven! Enjoy your cookie dry, or dip it into your tea… the choice is yours! If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy yellow tea, try yellow tea cake, cookies and iced tea (perfect for hot days!).
You are the Helper: The Helper is the best hype person you could ask for, with an innate ability to see the best in people and communicate it. If you need a compliment, support, or shoulder to cry on, The Helper is there. This is reflected in Yellow Tea’s smooth and mellow flavour, one anyone can enjoy and benefit from. But both Yellow Tea and the Helper are beautiful and deserve appreciation for their individual and independent qualities.
Contrary to their name, herbal teas aren’t actually “teas”. Why? They don’t come from the Camellia sinensis plant, the origin of tea leaves. Herbal teas are created through dried fruits, herbs, flowers and spices. The combination of these ingredients create a wide variety of herbal tea flavours. If you’re feeling for something zesty, there’s Lemongrass! Craving for something earthy? There’s Rooibos! The world of herbal teas is endless. Some of the popular flavours include Peppermint, Ginger, Hibiscus, Chamomile and Lavender.
It all comes down to your choice! If you’re enjoying fruity and spicy teas, consider tart desserts. If you’re into more mint and floral teas, pair them with chocolate desserts for a delightful combination. Feeling playful and frisky? Try other herbal infused desserts such as hibiscus desserts, peppermint desserts and lavender desserts!
You are the Enthusiast: The Enthusiast looks at everything through excitement and appreciation. They need to be a part of as many things as possible to live life to its fullest. The Enthusiast wants the variety and freshness that herbal tea offers. Although the Enthusiast can be out of touch and avoidant with their emotions, the fresh and minty tastes of some Herbal teas represents their ability to remain spontaneous and optimistic.
Originating from the soils of South America, yerba mate is an emerging tea competing for its spot for its health benefits. This special tea actually comes from the mate plant, which is native to the rainforests in South America. Yerba mate tea contains stems and thin three branches, creating an earthy yet bittersweet taste. It contains a generous amount of vitamins and minerals, which can provide you a boost of energy while improving your immunity. There are three types of yerba mate: Classical Argentine Yerba Mate, Paraguayan Yerba Mate and Guacho Yerba Mate. Each one is dependent on the cultivation and growing process, as well as how it is steeped.
Which desserts pair best with your yerba mate tea? We recommend baked goods such as croissants, dulce de leche, pound cake and madeleines! Perfect for breakfast, or even as an afternoon snack. If you enjoy the taste of yerba mate, try out desserts like yerba mate crepes, scones and chia pudding.
You are the Reformer: The Reformer may come off as reserved or even rigid, but on the inside, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like the Yerba Mate tea, the Reformer has many flavours and emotions in their interior life. They just feel an obligation to be “good”, so they express them subtly. The Reformer is grounded (like the woodsy flavour of Yerba Mate) in their feeling that they have a mission in their life, and that they must stay true to their values.
Similar to Yerba Mate, guayusa originates from South America and popularised by its hearty benefits. It stems from the guayusa plant, found in the upper region of Amazonian rainforest in Ecuador. If you’re a coffee lover, consider switching your morning coffee with a cup of guayusa. A cup of this tea contains 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is slightly more than your average coffee beans. The taste is reminiscent of yerba mate, but it is sweeter with a lighter mouthfeel. You can compare it to a green tea with a creamier texture.
Any dessert of your choice would work with guayusa tea. Since guyusa has such a unique taste, it is able to pair with any other flavour. We suggest you eat it with waffles, nougat, and egg tarts! To savour its taste to the fullest, consider trying out guayusa powder bars, pancakes and smoothies.
You are the Peacemaker: This type of tea is reflective of other teas, but doesn’t have an exceptionally strong taste of its own. That and the ability to pair with anything reflects the Peacemaker’s ability to adapt to and support others, while avoiding conflict. However, Guayusa is a beautiful and unique tea with a distinct flavour, it just needs a moment and the right care to show it. Make sure to give this tea and this type the appreciation they deserve.
Now that you have learned about the different types of tea, we hope you sit down, boil some water, and sip one of your favourite teas and do not forget to accompany it with a dessert. Keep on sippin’!