You are a tea fan and would like to try something more exotic than the classic tea varieties? Then you’ve come to the right place. We have put together a selection of 13 unique tea varieties for you.
- Houjicha Tea
Houjicha tea is a special Japanese green tea made from roasted tea leaves. This roasting process gives it a unique, earthy aroma and a full, robust flavor that is often described with notes of roasted nuts and caramel. Unlike many other green teas, Houjicha has a darker color and lower caffeine content, making it a good choice for those seeking a less stimulating tea.
- Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh is a fermented tea from the Yunnan province in China. This particular tea is known for its intense, earthy flavor and rich, dark infusion. There are two types of Pu-erh – raw Pu-erh and cooked or aged Pu-erh. Raw Pu-erh naturally ages and develops a more complex flavor over time, while ripe Pu-erh undergoes an artificial fermentation process that gives it a more intense, earthy aroma.
- Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is a partially fermented tea that can have a wide range of flavors and aromas depending on the fermentation duration and processing method. Oolong tea can range from light and floral to dark and robust. Typically, oolong tea is more oxidized than green tea but less than black tea. It is mainly produced in China and Taiwan, where it grows in high mountain regions. It is known for its ability to be steeped multiple times and its complex, layered flavor, often described as a balance between the fresh, bright taste of green tea and the rich, full-bodied flavor of black tea.
- Smoked Tea
Smoked tea is a unique, exotic type of tea that stands out due to its special production method. The most well-known smoked tea is Lapsang Souchong from the Fujian province in China. Lapsang Souchong is traditionally smoked over pine wood, giving it its distinctive, strong smoky aroma. This process results in a complex, robust flavor that is often described as smoky, woody, and sometimes slightly sweet. The infusion has a deep amber color, and the aroma evokes a crackling campfire. Order on amazon.
- Green Earl Grey Tea
Green Earl Grey tea is a lighter variation of the classic Earl Grey tea. Green tea is flavored with bergamot oil, giving it a fresh, citrusy note. Compared to traditional Earl Grey, it is milder and contains less caffeine but retains the characteristic taste of bergamot. It can be enjoyed hot or as iced tea.
- Shaded Tea
Shaded tea, also known as Kabusecha, is a Japanese green tea that is shaded one week before harvest. This leads to an intense green color and a sweeter, richer flavor due to increased chlorophyll production. The uniqueness lies in its delicate balance of um-ami and fresh herbal notes, resulting from the interplay of shade and sunlight during growth.
Kukicha, also known as “twig tea,” is a special Japanese tea made from the stems, stalks, and young twigs of the tea plant. While most teas are primarily made from the leaves of the tea plant, Kukicha utilizes the often overlooked parts of the plant to create a distinctively light, nutty, and slightly sweet taste. Due to its low leaf content, Kukicha also has a lower caffeine content compared to many other green teas. Its unique flavor profile and low caffeine content make Kukicha an interesting alternative for tea lovers. A wide variety of this exotic tea can be found at amazon.
Genmaicha is a traditional Japanese tea blend of green tea (usually Bancha or Sencha) and roasted brown rice. The roasted rice gives the tea a distinct nutty flavor and a pleasant toasty aroma often compared to the scent of popcorn. The green tea complements this with its light bitterness and freshness.
- Black Matcha
Black Matcha is a lesser-known but fascinating variation of the well-known green Matcha tea. Like green Matcha, black Matcha is finely ground into a powder and whisked with hot water. The main difference lies in the tea type used. Instead of green tea, black Matcha is made from fully fermented black tea leaves. The result is a tea with the creamy consistency and preparation method of green Matcha but with the full, robust flavor and darker color of black tea. Black Matcha also has a higher caffeine content and can be a bolder and more intense alternative for those who enjoy the earthy taste of green Matcha but desire a bit more kick. You can order this extraordinary tea variety, for example, from teadealers.com.
- Yuzu Tea
Yuzu tea, also known as Yuzu Cha or Yujacha, is a traditional Korean tea made from the Yuzu fruit. Yuzu is a citrus fruit widely cultivated in Asia, with a unique flavor profile often described as a combination of mandarin and grapefruit with a hint of lemon. To make Yuzu tea, the peel and/or flesh of the Yuzu fruit are preserved in sugar or honey, creating a thick, marmalade-like paste. For serving, a spoonful of this Yuzu paste is dissolved in hot water. The tea has a sweet and tangy taste with a strong citrus aroma. You can find this tea in many Asian stores.
- Chaga Tea
Chaga tea is an exceptional tea variety made from the Chaga mushroom, which primarily grows on birch trees in cold climates such as Russia, Korea, Eastern Europe, and Northern Canada and America. The tea has a rich, earthy flavor and a dark color that is reminiscent of coffee. You can find Chaga mushrooms for this exotic tea, for example, on Amazon.
- Puerh Cha Gao
Puerh Cha Gao is a concentrated tea paste made from slow-cooked Pu-erh tea leaves. Unlike traditional Pu-erh tea, which is usually sold loose or in cake form, Puerh Cha Gao is formed into small dried blocks or cups. Both have a rich, earthy flavor, but Puerh Cha Gao is more intense and convenient to use, as a small piece is dissolved in hot water. Over time, its taste and aroma can become even more complex, like all Pu-erh teas.
- Yellow Tea
Yellow tea is a rare Chinese tea variety that falls between green tea and Oolong tea. Through a special “yellowing” process, the leaves take on a yellowish hue and develop a richer flavor compared to green tea. It is characterized by a gentle sweetness and fruity or floral notes. Due to its intricate production process and limited quantity, yellow tea is often more expensive and rarer than other tea varieties.