It's tea time somewhere. In the US alone, 80% of households have tea in the cupboards and four of five consumers will put their pinkies up on a given day (Millennials being the biggest fans). Increasingly, tea lovers are exploring unique tea expressions from around the world and finding new beauty and complexity in this simple beverage.  

Here are some of the most unique teas worth experiencing around the globe: 


green tea matcha GIF by Adventures Once Had

Matcha may be the trendiest tea variation hitting cups today. This finely ground green tea is replacing lattes and cappuccinos in urban cities like New York City and L.A., but its origins spring farther eastward. Matcha comes from Japan and is uniquely grown in the shade before harvesting. Matcha is ground without stems or veins and the highest quality Japanese matcha is used for sacred Buddhist ceremonies. (Other qualities are great to cook with! Matcha Ice Cream, anyone?) Often prepared with milk instead of water, the taste of matcha is rich and deep like dark chocolate and the look is unmistakably bright seafoam green.    


India is a colossal player in global tea production. Tea is a craft and passion more than a cut-and-dry business. Places such as Darjeeling have since become notorious with quality and unique flavor, and while Indian tea is grown in four main areas, one of the most pristine is the high-altitude Nilgiri region. Experts call Nilgiri teas, "one of the great undiscovered gems of the tea world." Beautifully aromatic, this tea is defined by a smooth and mellow, medium-bodied taste that is naturally sweet. This balance between subtlety and intensity makes Nilgiri tea arguably perfect.  


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Also known as blooming tea, Chinese flower tea is as much visual art as it is an enjoyable beverage. A bundle of dried tea leaves is wrapped around a dried flower. When water is added to the bundle, the tea leaves unfold as if blossoming. In China, it is common for herbs and flowers to be used for tea as much as green, white, or black tea leaves. Unlike other tea experiences, Chinese flowering tea is all about the moment of enjoying; first with the eyes, then the taste buds, and finally with the healthful benefits.  


The 10th largest producer of tea in the world and leading producer in South America, tea in Argentina is almost exclusively yerba mate. That's yer-bah mah-tay. This tea is ingrained in the culture of Argentina and famous for its high caffeine. Blending the energy boost of coffee and health benefits of tea, yerba mate promotes focus and energy without the typical crash or jitters from coffee or energy drinks. Yerba mate's flavor is bold and earthy, much like a strong green tea. In Argentina, this tea is consumed as frequently as water.  


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A strong blend of black teas makes up the famous German tea served in East Frisia for the elaborate Ostfriesische Teezeremonie. While none of the individual teas are produced in Germany, the blend is a distinct creation of East Frisia. The mixture includes Assam and Darjeeling from India and Ceylon from Sri Lanka. The Frankenstein result is strong and wonderfully caffeinated. East Frisian tea is consumed between two and four times a day by locals who sweeten their cups with special rock sugar and cream. 


While not in the top 20 largest producers in the world, Taiwan has a long heritage in producing the finest varieties of oolong tea- a semi-oxidized leaf coming from the same plant as green and black tea. Crafting a cup of oolong is a labor of love as the preparation is long and intricate. Treatment stages include both sun and air drying, frying, kneading, various roasting, more kneading, fermenting and re-fermenting. The result? A complex tea with expansive flavor variety depending on the area its grown, you can explore dozens of Taiwan oolong tastes. Like other teas, oolong packs immune-boosting polyphenols so the more the better.  


ar roman turkish tea GIF

Often known for Turkish coffee, this middle eastern country is abundant with tea production and tea drinkers. In fact, Turkey produces some of the boldest, most distinct black tea in the world. Called Rize tea after its area of cultivation in the Rize Province, Turkish black tea is grown in fertile soil with plenty of moisture and sought for its powerful dose of antioxidants. Tradition insists on never mixing Turkish black tea with milk but adding a cube or two of pure cane sugar to smooth the intense flavor.

Have you tried these unique teas? Tweet @NewAgeBevCo with your favorite.