Friday, July 20, 2012

{Would You Like A Cup?}

Indulge in...

A Cup of Tea

I love tea. I drink it every day, hot or cold, and prefer it straight...though a little lemon or honey every so often is quite nice. Not only is tea one of the healthiest beverages on earth, it helps keep one mentally alert, protects against disease and renews the spirit (trust me). So in the spirit of sharing that which makes us healthier and happier, I thought I'd explore different kinds of teas and their benefits via Tea Forte!

{Types of Tea}

Black tea is most familiar to many of us. Any Earl Grey drinkers out there? How about English Breakfast? Black tea is the most processed type of tea and can be steeped in hotter water for a longer period of time, which is why it contains the most caffeine per cup. Since the leaves are fully oxidized, the tea has more of a complexity and astringency...meaning there is a "dry mouth" sensation left in your mouth (similar to that of cabernet sauvignon, which is why I'm not surprised I like it so much).

Green tea (my favorite kind) is processed minimally to preserve its freshness and to allow as many antioxidants as possible to remain behind. Therefore, it is recommended that one steep green a little more carefully, as steeping too long at too hot a temperature can cause it to become bitter. I, personally, love the different blends of green tea (jasmine, flowers, etc.) and find it to be very soothing.

Oolong tea is partially oxidized (so it falls somewhere between black and green), giving it more of a black tea look with a green tea a little kick. It is a more delicate tea, but can contain a bold flavor.

White tea is the least processed type of tea, and, since they only contain the buds and young leaves of the plant, they can be a little more expensive. Picked during a short window of time when precipitation is at its lowest, it is a very high grade tea that is often sought after and prized by tea connoisseurs. Slight oxidized, white teas can be steeped for longer and at higher temperatures than green tea and still produce good results. White teas have been recently found to better enhance other flavors in comparison to other teas...a recent phenomenon.

Herbal tea is technically not tea, since it does not originate from the tea bush, but it doesn't hurt to include. Herbal tea essentially blends herbs, flowers, berries, spices, fruits, etc., for a variety of flavors and functions. Chamomile for inducing sleep, ginger for reducing nausea...all caffeine-free and great for the palate.

{Benefits of Tea}

Cardiovascular Health. Tea has been speculated to help lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol , and improve blood flow by aiding in the expansion of blood vessel lining.

Oral Health. Tea contains natural fluoride which encourages healthy enamel.

Immune System. Antioxidants found in tea helps the immune system to fight infection, bacteria, viruses, etc. Tea is also rich in vitamins and minerals, such as B1, B2, B6, C, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Weight Loss. Since tea has no calories, it is a great substitute for sugary drinks and may help boost metabolism.

Cognition. Amino acids found in tea can help you gain a calmer, yet more alert, mental state.

Bone Health. Studies have shown that drinking tea can lead to higher bone mineral density.

Cancer. It is believed that tea may help reduce the risk of cancer, though this is currently being researched.

Treat Yourself To A Cup!

Images via Pinterest


Post a Comment