By Lorna Reeves
The leaves of the Camellia sinensis (tea plant) are so amazingly versatile. From them, six different types of tea can be made, with processing determining whether the resulting dried tea is white, green, yellow, oolong, black, or dark. Terroir (geography, weather, and soil, among other factors) and, of course, the varietal or cultivar play an important role, too, in the taste of the various kinds of teas in each of these categories. With the tea plant now growing in more than 64 countries and with thousands of teas from which to choose, it was daunting to select just 15 teas to feature here. TeaTime contributing editors and award-winning tea educators Jane Pettigrew and James Norwood Pratt kindly offered suggestions. We opted only to include teas whose flavor profile is so distinct or unique that every well-rounded tea drinker should experience them at least once, as well as a couple of teas that are well touted for their health benefits. We hope you enjoy sipping these 15 noteworthy teas.