Yay! Winter is here! We tend to have tea now and then to keep us warm. In this blog let’s see some of the functions of tea, the health benefits of tea and natural, bioactive compounds in tea, as essential elements of a healthy lifestyle. Okakura sums up the historical and ancient belief in tea as more than just a pleasing beverage by writing, “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.”
Scientific research confirms what Asians believed for centuries – that green and black tea contains powerful natural antioxidants which can protect regular tea drinkers from many degenerative diseases.
Various Type of Tea people like to have:
White tea is the purest and least processed of all teas. White tea has a light colour and flavour and is appreciated by tea connoisseurs for its unmatched subtlety, natural sweetness and delicacy.
Green tea is the most popular type of tea and is the favourite choice amongst Asians. Some loose green teas are scented with flowers o mixed with fruits to create scented or flavoured teas. Straight green tea has a clean and delicious taste.
Oolong tea, (pronounced as wu long tea), is most commonly recognized as Chinese tea served at a Chinese restaurant.
Black tea is what most of us have grown up drinking. Full-bodied and strong, black tea tastes great alone or can be had with milk and sugar. And it makes great iced tea.
Herbal tea is the only one that does not contain any leaves from the Camellia plant family. It can be of three types a) Rooibos tea b) Mate tea c) Herbal infusions. Herbal infusions consist of pure herbs, flowers, and fruits. They can be delicious hot or iced.
Rooibos teas are herbal infusions made from a South African red bush. It is popularly called `Red tea’. It is delicious, comes in a variety of flavours and can be had either hot or ice cold.
Mate tea is considered the coffee lover’s favourite tea as it tastes like coffee. Mate is a wild shrub from Argentina that makes for a delicious, flavorful tea. Often consumed in a gourd with a filtered straw and shared among friends, these herbal teas are full of bold flavours.
Also called artisan or flowering teas, these teas actually `bloom’ as they steep. They are hand tied by tea artists and often include some type of flavour or scent along with the beautiful design. These romantic teas also make a great gift as they look beautiful.
Tea blends combines more than one type of premium tea, giving it a great flavour.
Both green tea and black tea are made from the tender shoots of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). The differences in the final product are due to the different methods employed in the processing of the tender shoots. Most of the beneficial properties of tea are due to the presence of high amounts of these polyphenolic compounds in tea. Research carried out so far indicate that polyphenolic compounds in both green tea and black tea have similar beneficial effects. Hence regular consumption of green or black tea will have similar benefits.
Word of Caution: Many people have the habit of drinking this tea 3-5 times a day. They get so addicted to it that if they skip it even once from their routine schedule, they may suffer from headaches the next day.
Black tea is also known to cause acidity issues in the stomach. Therefore, do not get addicted to this tea. Furthermore, avoid drinking tea after lunch or dinner, as it may lead to poor digestion, whereas at other points in the day, it can promote healthy digestion.
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