Basically, tea is an aromatic drink that is generally prepared through pouring hot water over a few cured leaves of tea plants. These leaves can be in two forms, loose leaf tea and teabags. Certainly teabags are most commonly known as they are best for quickness but may lack in a little taste and freshness.
Not many tea drinkers actually know that all different types of tea or true teas are actually leaves of the same plant! The camellia sinensis. Each type is merely processed differently to provide various colours and tastes. However health benefits of tea are not all the same with each tea due to this. Some provide more specific benefits for certain symptoms. Herbal tea is a drink in disguise as in fact it’s not a true tea at all. Because leaves in herbal teas are not from the camellia sinensis we cannot describe herbal teas as a true tea. One main difference of herbal teas compared to true teas is that many herbal teas do not contain caffeine which although good in minimal quantities tends to be bad for us tea and coffee drinkers as we consume too much!
Tea for Energy
Fatigue is a common problem among many of us and can persist throughout our life if not dealt with. Helping your body by eating better, getting plenty of sleep and doing our best to keep stress at bay will help fight fatigue. Even when we get enough sleep we still feel times of fatigue and it baffles our minds to why we are. Few herbs are renowned for their ability to help fight fatigue. In the near future we will write up an article describing some of these super herbs as far as tiredness is concerned.
Tea is a great remedy for getting health benefits and fighting off certain ailments. When it comes ones such as fatigue herbal teas are at the forefront in the battle. Why? Herbal teas are created for such purposes as getting our bodies more resistant and powered up in dealing with ailments, as well as getting healthy minerals and vitamins to power us up. Concerning being sleepy some great herbal teas contain ginseng, gotu kola, licorice root and ginkgo biloba. All great herbs to fight against fatigue.
Caffeine is another contributing factor of energy boosting effects of tea. Although we know it to be energy boosting it also has its side effects of consuming too much. Coffee is a great example ofa beverage with high quantities of caffeine which we mainly drink it for. However the caffeine in tea is lower, much lower with some types. Aiding to provide a more prolonging effect of energy without the energy crash we can get with too much caffeine.
8 Different Types of Tea
There are many different types of tea even though they generally come from a single plant known as Camellia Sinensis. There are thousands of varieties of tea that are generally identified by their color, area in which they grow, and when they are harvested.
There are 8 distinguish types of tea:
White tea: Lowest in caffeine levels, white tea provides a great substitute to coffee and other true teas while getting the health benefits of tea. Minimal processing takes place in preparation making it close to its natural form. This allows all antioxidants to reside within the tea making it the richest in these antioxidants.
Yellow Tea: Most uncommon of all. Traditionally used for a speciality as a gift to emperors for its color. Sadly the many secrets of creating yellow tea was lost until around 1970’s where it came back into production. Still today crafting methods have not been fully recovered but it’s now on the market and tea masters are continuously working to get back the old speciality of yellow tea. However you will still find it hard to find it as it’s mainly used for people of importance.
Green Tea: Prepared by methods to allow the tea to retain its natural green colour of the leaves. Little processing allows little to no reduction of health benefits in green tea. EGCG present in the tea is the main culprit for its reputation of being one of the healthiest teas in the world. Great for adding to your diet to speed up weight lose by increasing your body’s metabolism to burn off calories.
Oolong Tea: Between black and green tea comes a partially oxidised tea known as Oolong or Wu Long tea in Chinese. Oxidisation ranges quite significantly in varieties, you can expect ranges being anywhere from 10 to 70 percent. Resulting in green and dark Oolong types with unique flavors. Perhaps you don’t like the grassy or bitterness and powerful strength of black or green teas? Then try out Oolong tea to get that perfect cup of tea.
Black Tea: Every day astounding cups of tea are consumed and the main type of tea is black tea. Production covers roughly 80% of the total tea produced worldwide. Highly oxidised resulting in a dark black color delivering strong flavours. Caffeine content is highest in black but still has less quantities compared to coffee. Occasionally referenced as red tea, not to be mistaken for red rooibos tea.
Pu erh Tea: Dark post fermented tea consisting of complex and fruity flavours within its woody and earthy visuals. Two categories exist, raw Pu erh and ripe or cooked Pu erh. One method is a sped up fermentation process while the other is slow aged. Prices of slow aged can be real expensive for its long process time, similar to fine vintage wines. Where cooked is less costly but is produced to form a similar version of slow aged. Although a slow aged Pu erh would be more desirable.
Herbal Teas: Grown tremendously in popularity in recent years. You can find a number of different herbal teas such as raspberry leaf tea, dandelion root tea, nettle tea and more that provide a number of healthy benefits to the body. With added super ingredients herbal types can be powerful in dealing with symptoms such as flu’s and colds or deprived sleep.
Blended Teas: Powerful way in getting goodness from multiple tea types is by consuming a tea blend. Herbal teas can provide a great abundance of nutrients and vitamins without the goodness of a true tea but with the combination of the two then you get the benefits of both. Combining teas and ingredients is great in creating teas for specific symptoms.
10 Health Benefits of Tea
Are you planning to make a big shift for better health? You might as well start with what you drink. Tea is a good alternative to coffee, and for a variety of reasons. While it may take some time for you to get used to it — especially if you have been a fan of coffee for as long as you can remember — tea makes up for it by delivering benefits that can improve your health. Here are 10 reasons why it is time to make a switch from coffee beans to tea bags, health benefits of tea:
1. Tea fights off cold and flu symptoms. In one research, volunteer individuals were made to drink up to five cups of tea a day for four consecutive weeks. The results showed that frequent tea drinkers have increased their immune defense compared to those who drank coffee. A bolstered immune system is what shields you from contagious diseases like colds and influenza.
2. Tea helps improve heart health. People who have a high risk of getting a heart attack are literally like walking time bombs. Drinking tea will help clear up the arteries from cholesterol that clogs them, thereby preventing a heart attack from occurring. A study conducted in the Netherlands also supports this claim, wherein there is a 70% less likelihood of having a heart attack among those who drink tea often
3. Tea helps you lose weight. By drinking at least five cups of tea per day, you can increase your metabolism rate, which in turn can burn up to 80 calories. Within 12 months, you could lose eight pounds simply by drinking tea. Coupled with exercise, you can achieve your desired weight easily. Our bodies can also build up a lot of water weight. There are teas that can help lose this water and rid the toxins in our body and one specific tea that is extremely powerful in doing this is 3 ballerina tea.
4. Tea promotes disease prevention. Cancer is among the diseases that tea can fight off due to its antioxidant content called polyphenols.
5. Tea reverses the effects of aging. Tea has natural antioxidants that help the body get rid of free radicals, which are responsible for aging.
6. Tea helps maintain healthy teeth and gums. Tea contains fluoride as well as tannins, which help protect the teeth from plaque. Choose unsweetened tea for a better defense against discoloration in which sugar is the suspect.
7. Tea has less caffeine. Drinking coffee causes nervousness, sleep interference, and even headaches, especially if you take your cup of joe in large servings. Opt for tea instead because it certain teas only contain 30-40 milligrams or less per cup.
8. Tea promotes stronger bones. In another study conducted between tea drinkers and non-drinkers, it was revealed that those who have been drinking tea for a decade or more have stronger bones compared to those who have not. It is suggested that perhaps the phytochemicals, which can be found in tea, are responsible for this health benefit.
9. Tea aids in rehydration. While most caffeinated drinks are diuretic and cause frequent urination, regulated consumption of tea can still provide fluid needs of the body. The key here is moderation — one thing you definitely can’t do with coffee because it is addicting.
10. Tea does not contain any calories. Sweeteners are the only ones that add calories to your cup of tea. Skimping on sugar and drinking a calorie-free beverage such as tea can help you lose at least a pound per week.
A Brief History of Tea
The history of tea is a long and fascinating one, traversing cultures and dating back to as early as 10th century BC. Tea was earlier figured in a legend wherein it was discovered in China around 2737 BC by accident. According to the legend, a Chinese emperor named Shennong drank a bowl of boiled water with the tea leaves that fell into the pot and was surprised at how flavorful the drink had become. Although there are no historical records to prove this story, it was made clear in some annals that tea was first discovered in the Yunnan province around the same time the Shang Dynasty (1500 BC-1046 BC) was ruling the country.
For the first half of its journey toward global importation, tea remained a medicinal beverage to the Chinese, with records of earliest consumption commencing during the Han Dynasty. At first, the supply of tea was limited only to the royalty. Eventually, during the Tang Dynasty, the practice of drinking tea spread to the lower classes and the drink was established as a national symbol. It was also around this time that tea started to be introduced to Japan by Japanese monks who studied in China. Soon, the Japanese developed the Tea Ceremony, which is now considered part of Japanese culture.
It was during the 17th century that the Dutch East India Company shipped tea back to Holland in bulk. Tea drinking soon gained popularity among the Dutch, and the neighboring countries in Western Europe followed suit. It was not until the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza that tea finally made its way to England. As a Portuguese princess, Catherine was used to drinking tea and this led to the British shipping the coveted leaves all the way from Java. Around the same time, the colonies in North America started receiving imported tea from the Dutch shippers.
How to Make Tea
Making a cup of tea is typically a simple method. Consisting of adding a tea bag into a mug or cup, boiling some water and letting the tea bag steep until the strength is at a desired level. However, many tea drinkers do not dive into the various types of tea and do not use loose leaf tea. Many different teas require more attention to make the perfect cup without any bitter tastes. With black tea being the most popular and most produced worldwide it is why the method above tends to be suited and is the general understanding of making a cup of tea.
Therefore, why do other types of tea require a different method? Well you have to get to know the tea. White tea is a very pale, light, smooth, silky tea and by using boiling water tastes can be bitter and unpleasant. In a way its cooking the tea as white tea can’t handle that temperature without effecting the tea. In fact, this causes some people to dislike a certain tea and believe it to be unpleasant tasting where if they know how to make a perfect cup which is of high quality it may just change their minds. All of our articles on the various tea types will describe how to make tea for that specific type.
Tea bag or loose leaf? Commonly asked is whether you should go with tea bag or leaf and it’s a simple answer, Loose leaf tea wins. We are talking about quality here but if we were saying which is most convenient and quickest to make then tea bag would be the choice.
There are also a variety of ways on how to make tea including iced teas and combing the tea with alcohol. Later we will be adding information on these categories.