OK, so maybe tea isn’t exactly the new coffee. Given that tea has been around since at least the year 2737 BC, it might be more accurate to say that it is the original caffeine beverage. It has been revered for centuries as a drink that possesses medicinal properties, fosters community and honors tradition. Finally western medicine has taken notice, proving that it’s never too late to start believing in tea.
White, green, oolong, black
Did you know that all tea comes from the same plant? What makes each tea different is the variety of the Camellia sinensis plant it comes from, where it’s grown, and how it’s processed. And herbal “teas” are actually not from the tea plant at all. They’re herbal infusions made of a variety of plants and flowers.
Benefits (lower BMI?! Sign me up!)
There are a multitude of health benefits that go along with drinking tea. Hot tea consumption is associated with a lower BMI and decreased cardiovascular risk and inflammation. It contains polyphenols, which have been shown to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, immune function stimulation and decreased platelet aggregation. L-Theanine, is an amino acid found in tea that has been associated with calming properties and neuroprotective effects.
The amount of caffeine in tea varies widely. This is because caffeine extraction is largely dependent on size of the leaf, steep time and water temperature — even where the leaf is plucked form the plant. But industry experts say that as a general rule, most cups of tea contain significantly less caffeine than an average cup of coffee. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, tea may be a better choice for you. But if you rely on your daily dose of joe, you may need to drink an extra cup or two of tea for the same effect.
Simply tea-liciousJasmine Green
Not sure how to brew the loose-leaf variety? Don’t be intimidated by versions that don’t come in a bag! Many websites provide helpful information for new tea enthusiasts, including charts with best brew times and water temperatures for different teas. An infusion cup like this one allows you to easily brew loose-leaf tea and strain in one simple step.
Varieties range in flavor from mild and smooth to rich and malty. The only way to get a sense of what you like is by experimenting. There are also a myriad of blends. This vanilla bean black is described as “decadent and creamy”, while this chocolate chai is “velvety, mellow and deep.” You can have as much fun trying to figure out what your taste buds detect in the tea as you can have just drinking it.
Take your tea to work day
Check out this awesome travel mug … liquids stay hot for hours and you can even leave the leaves in the basket contained inside the mug … perfect for your “third-of-the-way-through-the-shift” celebratory tea time!