Though tea is gaining popularity, you’d never really know it with all the Starbucks and Counter Culture Coffee that has taken over every city block. You have to make a vain effort to not find one in fact. Clearly, the message is coffee reigns and has successfully brought the masses to its altar. It’s a strong part of American culture. Whereas tea gets little respect. We know coffee, we know wine…but tea? Not so much.
What many people may not realize is, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world (the first is water). How is that possible? One reason is, there are literally thousands of varieties of tea grown around the world. Which means, you can never get bored. The options are limitless. Here in the U.S., we have only begun to scratch the surface of understanding tea. Simply put, tea is the most versatile beverage that can suit all your needs, cravings, and mindless consumption. Here are a few reasons why tea should be what you reach for next. But first, a very important point of clarification and quick tutorial is necessary.
Tea = Black, Green, Oolong, and White all come from the same plant, a warm-weather evergreen named Camellia sinensis. Yes, you read that correctly, they all come from the same plant.
Tisane = Everything else that we pour hot water over technically is an herbal infusion like Ginger, Jasmine, Chamomile, or Cinnamon.
Both words are used interchangeably. “Tea” is used for just about any hot beverage that isn’t coffee (po-tay-to, po-tah-to). For the sake of popular nomenclature and convenience – let’s keep it simple and call everything tea. Again, here’s why you should get more acquainted with tea and make it the only beverage you’ll need:
There are endless options of types, flavors, aromas, colors…you will have a ball exploring. Aesthetically they’re beautiful and come from many fascinating regions of the world. Make it your personal source of small entertainment. If you’re the earthy and hardy type or the light and floral type, there’s plenty to choose from.
You can enjoy it any way you like, at any time of the day – iced, hot, with tapioca bubbles, as a frothy latté, or add some rum and you have a great ‘no kids allowed’ beverage. You can even cook and bake with tea. It’s whatever you want it to be.
There are options that will still keep you energized and alert when you need it, without leaving your nerves feeling jittery and your gut feeling uneasy. A good and hardy black tea or Maté will do the trick. Slowly weaning you off the coffee dependency -yes, it’s possible.
4. CALMING PROPERTIES
Other varieties will wind you down when you need to. Some teas (tisanes) are designed to help you ease into relaxation and calm. Create an evening ritual that encourages you to destress and decompress. Be nice to yourself and pour some Chamomile before bed as a loving treat.
Finally, they are truly and actually good for you. There’s a long list of benefits and claims to drinking teas and tisanes. From weight loss and fighting against chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol. True tea has thousands of bioactive compounds like flavonoids, amino acids, and are high in antioxidants. Not to mention, vitamin C, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. Tea is more than 5000 years old and it started as a medicine.
Bonus: It’s a great way to stay hydrated!
Tea is a ‘win-win’ beverage that is both purposeful and enjoyable. Hard to go wrong with a beverage that you can have at any time of the day, any way you’d like it prepared, and be good for you at the same time.
Juliette Austin, is a long time avid tea drinker and personally handcrafts home made loose leaf tea recipes. Her passion for herbs and tea stems from her discovery of the incredible diversity, culture, and rich history of tea throughout the world. Juliette truly believes herbal tisanes and teas are gifts meant for our healing, vitality, and enjoyment. Within the African diaspora, there’s always a tea for every moment, every mood, every occasion, and every ailment. An ancestral knowledge that was healing and communal in nature. Tea brought people together and so she aims to share and bring the power of good quality tea and history to others.
“If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are too heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you.” ~Gladstone, 1865
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