It’s Teatime! 5 Delicious Teas to Try
San Diego Top Teas
Teavana Purify Wellness Tea
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Most Americans probably consider tea as an alternative to coffee, but in the rest of the world, tea reigns supreme (sorry, coffee, we still love you). In fact, tea is the most widely consumed beverage on the globe, aside from water! December 15th is recognized as International Tea Day, but there’s no need to wait until then to pour a cuppa’.
Tea comes from brewing the leaves of a specific shrub, native to Asia, in boiling water. It originates in China and was long used for healing before becoming a popular drink. Tea wasn’t introduced to Europe until the 16th century, where it became incredibly popular in England and sparked the nation to join the tea industry. Though we typically think of the British when we think about tea, Ireland actually consumes more of the drink! The national average for Ireland is 4 cups per person, per day, making it one of the largest consumers of tea in the world.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking into tea. Walk into any tea shop, or even your local grocery store, and the countless number of flavors and kinds can be daunting. The first thing to know is that there are five kinds of tea that are most popular: black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, and herbal tea. The first four are usually caffeinated, and the differences between them have to do with how the tea is processed. Herbal tea is the only kind that is not actually tea. It contains no tea leaves, and therefore no caffeine. Herbal teas are brewed from herbs like chamomile, lavender, and rosehip, and will usually promote calming or sleepiness.
Since there are so many types of tea, and a vast number of blends and additives, a consumer can find teas that benefit him or her in different ways. Of course, tea can be an alternative to coffee for your first caffeine intake in the morning. Teas have varying levels of caffeine, but typically black teas and greens teas have the highest amount so these types are perfect for a morning brew. A lower caffeinated tea with a more exciting flavor would be best for an afternoon pick me-up. Herbal teas or decaffeinated teas are nice at night, especially to promote relaxation or help you fall asleep.
Tea was initially used for medicinal purposes in many cultures, and that basic tenet of tea culture still stands true today. Many brands offer styles and flavor combinations that aim to improve physical and mental health through ingredients that have natural healing properties. In the same way you might ingest extra citrus when you feel a cold coming on, some teas include immune defense or fruit blends to increase metabolism. Teas also contain natural antioxidants, which help keep the cells in your body healthy.
If considering joining the tea drinkers of the world, knowing how to buy tea is important. There’s a common understanding that loose leaf tea is better than bagged tea. While tea bags are convenient, using a tea strainer and whole, loose leafs is considered to provide a full-bodied flavor, since the leaves have room to expand in the water. When purchasing higher quality teas, definitely try a tea strainer for yourself and you’ll be able to taste the difference!