Tea is an absolutely wonderful thing. For so many years, I stayed away from it, I just didn’t like it. Mildly flavoured hot water is what I would think of it as, and I preferred juices and sweet things. Over the years, I realized that orange pekoe wasn’t the only tea in the world! There were so many that I didn’t even know existed, so many delicious flavours to try! Plain teas, flavoured teas, tisanes, herbal teas, teas for headaches, teas for stomach aches, teas for alertness, teas for bedtime. The options are really endless.
Teas are mainly made from herbs and flavoured with flower petals, dried fruit, and so many other delicious things. There is literally a tea for every mood! I really fell in love with tea when I started working at an Aveda hair salon and boutique in the summer of 2009. Right across the street from the salon, there is a David’s Tea and a Starbucks. At the beginning, you would never fail to find me grabbing a soy latte at the Starbucks. Up until recently, actually, I was a coffee addict! Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good coffee from time to time. But one day, I decided to venture into the unknown, and check out David’s Tea. I walked in, and it smelled like heaven. All the gigantic tea tins were lined up against the wall, with large labels and delicious-sounding names. On the wall opposite were really beautiful cast-iron tea kettles, cute teacups, travel mugs, travel sized tea tins, accessories… I was in a tea wonderland! I’d go in every day, chat with the girls who worked there, try a different tea every day. Sometimes it would be just tea, sometimes a soy tea-latte sprinkled with cacao and cinnamon (DELICIOUS!). I went so often, I became friends with the girls at David’s Tea! I just love it in there. You walk in, and you feel welcomed and loved. It is true! I can imagine working around tea all day makes you a very loving person indeed!
Tea is a miracle drink. For centuries, different nations have used tea as homeopathic remedies for illnesses and disease, and as prevention as well. We borrow these practices nowadays, and I know I definitely feel the effect that tea has. It helps promote healthy skin, nails and hair. REALLY! They help maintain healthy functioning levels of basically everything in the body. They help keep you regular. They also help keep you sane! Try and be upset after a nice, soothing cup of tea. You simply can’t! I brew tea at least once a day. If I ever feel sad or stressed, tea will help soothe my nerves. When I have a stomach ache, tea will help soothe that as well. Tea is full of antioxidants, and I know after I’m done my cup of tea, I feel healthier. Maybe it is just because I KNOW it is healthy, but hey, it IS, so it’s a win-win!
There are different types of tea, and here are few of my faves, along with a few health benefits & recommended steeping time (of course, instructions vary, and are usually written on the packages).
GREEN TEA: Green tea has a nice, mild, slightly earthy/nutty sometimes grassy flavour. It is caffeinated, but much less so than coffee. Green teas contain healthy, powerful antioxidants. They can help lower cholesterol & maintain a healthy blood sugar level and are good for skin and teeth. I also find green tea very soothing when I feel slightly sick, anxious, nervous or have a stomach ache. The proper way to brew green tea is to make sure that the water does not come to a complete boil. Water should be about 80 degrees C, and let it steep for only a minute (sometimes even less), otherwise it will be too bitter.
BLACK TEA: Black teas generally have a strong, full-bodied complex flavour. It contains more caffeine than green tea, because the leaves of black tea are fully fermented. Black tea helps to maintain cardiovascular function (it is great for the heart!) and a healthy circulatory system. Because it is slightly more caffeinated, it provides a nice amount of stimulation and energy. Delicious black teas include chai, English breakfast and Earl Grey. Water should be boiling, and let it steep for approx 3-4 minutes.
WHITE TEA: White tea is the purest of all teas. It has a light, crisp, naturally sweet flavour and colour, and has very little caffeine. There are many healthy antioxidants in white tea, and it is great for skin and the complexion. The water should be boiled then cooled a little, and steeped for 3-4 minutes.
OOLONG: Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea. It is flavourful, full-bodied, mildly caffeinated. It is said that this is the best tea to aid in weight loss. It is best served with boiling water, and steeped for 3 minutes.
ROOIBOS: This is my favorite tea! Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from a South African red bush. It tastes slightly sweet. This premium tea is a healthy source of vitamins and minerals; it also contains antioxidants. Naturally caffeine free, Rooibos teas help promote digestion, support your immune system, and promote healthy skin, teeth and bones. It should be brewed with boiling water, and steeped for 5-6 minutes.
HERBAL: Herbal teas are made of a mix of herbs, spices and other plant flavours. They are naturally caffeine-free. They can taste like pretty much anything! And the brewing time is generally the same as rooibos, although it may vary depending on the ingredients.
If you never used to like tea, give it another chance. Go to a tea shop where the employees know and love tea. They can help you find your soul-mate tea! Smell the teas, ask for some samples, try them out. Go back every once in awhile to try another flavour. Buy a tea starter pack (they have great ones at David’s Tea!) You won’t be sorry 🙂
– Tea is great to help you lose weight! Drink tea in between meals to suppress appetite and tide you over until your next meal/snack.
– Tea is great for digestion. Have a cup after a heavy meal, or whenever you feel like you can’t digest properly.
– Tea can help you calm down. Have a cup when you feel stressed.
– Tea can soothe a stomach ache.
– Have some tea with some lemon when you feel a tummy rumble!
– Tea can help you fall asleep! Have some herbal or camomile tea before bed to wind down.
– Replace your morning coffee with a black or green tea for a milder, gentler dose of caffeine.
– Tea helps maintain a healthy body, and healthy and glowing skin!
– Tea promotes a calming effect on the body and the mind.
– Drink your tea plain, add some agave or honey to sweeten, or make into a latte with your favorite nut milk!
– Straight teas or flavoured teas, there is a tea for EVERYONE! Have fun!
Have a great day everyone!
Peace, love and herbal infusions for all!