Why I Love Tea

Tea setSometimes your day just hits a point where life finally wears you down and to keep on with the day you need a pick me up.  IMMEDIATELY!!!!!  There are solutions all around to give you that dose of caffeine for the stamina to finish out the day, from coffee to energy drinks.  Although options abound, few offer both the pick me up potential and the health benefits associated with tea.  Tea is not the weak alternative for coffee drinks but it harnesses its own capacity to deliver caffeine and an assortment of other health benefits and flavors to suit almost any preference.  There are a million reasons to love tea but here are the reasons I try to keep in stock of this liquid gold:

Take a break to just reflect.   One of the main reasons I drink tea is the process.  Taking the steps of steeping and drinking the tea provides a much need reflection moment in my day.  Now true enough my tea is steeped with the hot water from my Sparkletts cooler but even a short amount of time to slow down and regroup helps me calm my brain in the midst of the storm going on around me.  To have something warm and comforting waiting for me in the middle of the day reminds me that there is more to life than the hustle and bustle.  Remembering that can be the key to sanity in an insane situation.

Pick me Up.  Surprisingly tea leaves have more caffeine in them than coffee beans.  It is the process of steeping that dilutes the caffeine.  To increase the strength for more of a pick me up steep more tea leaves for a shorter amount of time.

Potential Health Benefits: Different teas all pack a different punch when it comes to health benefits, here are just a few

Green tea: Full of antioxidants that can prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract stress, and improve cholesterol levels.  It also may provide some protection against UV rays

White tea: Studied for its potent anticancer properties.  The high polyphenol count has been found to inhibit wrinkle production by strengthening elastin and collagen (i.e. prevent fine lines and wrinkles).

Black tea: High caffeine content but also provides protection from lung damage from cigarette smoke and can reduce the risk of a stroke.

Different variety of flavors.  Honestly there are just too many to count.  I think for a lot of people not knowing what direction is right for them is a main reason they pass on tea when the tea box of flavors come around.   For advanced tea drinkers there are stores like Teavana that specialize in the many different varieties of tea.  The Teas By Flavor page by Teavana is a great way to explore new things you may like.  If you are just breaking into drinking tea here are some tried and true options:

Earl Grey: Combo of black tea and bergamot for a smoky but fragrant flavor.

Jasmine Tea: Super fragrant and flavorful it is made with jasmine petals for a slightly sweet result.

Chamomile Tea: More of a concoction of leaves, herbs and spices this tea still is very soothing and aromatic.

Chai Tea: A fun blend of spicy ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom and finished with almond.  A good break from more traditional tea flavors.

Photo Courtesy of Dimi, Turikish Tea on Flickr