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Hello. Is it tea you’re looking for?

Hello. Is it tea you're looking for?

There’s nothing quite like starting your day off with a hot, steaming cup of tea. It’s an aromatic and rejuvenating drink, and is particularly warming in the cold winter months.

Made from the leaves of the tea plant grown mainly in India, Asia, Kenya and Sri Lanka, tea boasts a number of health benefits. It can improve digestion and metabolism, and is known to reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Tea also protects bones and helps with losing weight.

But what’s in a tea? Tea contains theophylline, bound caffeine (often called theine) and L-theanine. It’s also rich in antioxidants which stops the oxidation that causes cell damage and health problems.

Tea is enjoyed worldwide and is renowned in formal settings such as afternoon tea where friends meet to enjoy the drink alongside scones, sandwiches and cream cakes.

There are many different types of tea on the market. Here’s an outline of the most popular types:

Black tea

Popular varieties of black tea include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chai and Darjeeling. This type of tea is processed with withered leaves and rolled before being heated. It is aromatic, has a rich taste and can be sweetened with honey, chocolate, herbs or spices.

White tea

This crème de la crème tea is made from the leaves of an evergreen called Camellia sinensis. It’s a pure tea and holds most of the natural elements of the plant.

Green tea

With its vivid green colour and juicy sweet flavour, green tea is refreshing and has a bold flavour. Sencha is a traditional steamed Japanese green tea which has a light roast finish as well as a pine aroma.

Green Tea

Yellow tea

Maybe not as well known as other teas, yellow tea is quite rare. This tea is steamed under a damp cloth which gives the leaves a slightly yellow colour and is known for its savoury, fruity and fermented aroma.

Oolong tea

This tasty green tea can activate enzymes that cut down fat found in the blood stream. It also helps to detoxify the body and has antioxidants, aiding weight loss and improving mental alertness.

Matcha tea

The leaves have been finely powdered which are added to a cup of hot water then whisked with a bamboo brush to produce a rich, frothy texture.

Herbal tea

Packed with health benefits, herbal teas are caffeine-free and often used to treat common ailments. Rooibos tea can relieve headaches, while floral varieties are great for eliminating toxins and nourishing the liver. Peppermint tea is known to soothe an upset stomach and chamomile tea is calming and used to treat insomnia, sleeping disorders and anxiety.

July 15, 2016