It's officially National Hot Tea Month! All month long I'm going to be sharing my favorite teas, tea recipes, tips, and health benefits! During this cold winter season, it's a great time to enjoy a hot cup of tea. There are so many different types of tea you can buy, it can become very overwhelming for people who would like to incorporate tea into their diet. Below are some tips for beginner tea drinkers.
It's best to begin with the simplest and cheapest way to make tea: packaged tea bags. You can use tea bags to find tea flavors you enjoy and to create a habit of drinking tea. My favorite packaged tea bag brands are Harney & Sons, Tea Pigs, and Yogi Tea. All you need to do is boil water, pour the boiling water in a mug, and put in your tea bag!
If you are familiar with the types of tea you enjoy and would like more flavor, freshness, and variety, I would suggest trying loose leaf teas. If you enjoy multiple cups of tea at a time, loose leaf tea is great! You can reuse the same tea leaves a few times, depending on the strength of the tea. When I buy loose leaf tea to sample, I usually buy 1 oz. of tea which will make approximately 10 cups of tea.
To make loose leaf tea you will need boiling water, a tea infuser and loose leaf tea. Begin by boiling water, then add the appropriate amount of loose leaf tea to your tea infuser, and follow the tea infuser instructions. There are many different types of tea infusers, but they are all very simple. Each tea has a different steeping time and amount of loose leaf tea for each cup, and the tea shop you buy your loose leaf tea from will let you know these details. Typically, the general rule is one teaspoon of tea leaves per cup. The more tea leaves you add and the longer you steep your tea, the stronger your tea will be. You can store your loose leaf tea in a jar, tin, or container and place in a cool, dark place.
Below is a guide to the common types of tea you can buy:
Black Tea is a caffeinated tea that is typically full-bodied and strong in flavor.
Health benefits: Black tea is great for circulation, oral, and bone health.
White Tea is a caffeinated tea that is typically delicate in flavor and aroma.
Health benefits: The consumption of white tea has shown to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disorder. White tea has shown to improve oral health, skin, and overall health.
Green tea is a caffeinated tea that typically has a grassy, astringent quality reminiscent of the fresh leaves.
Health benefits: Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. Some benefits include: improved brain function, weight loss, and lower risk of cancer.
Oolong tea contains caffeine and has a floral, fruity quality.
Health benefits: The consumption of oolong tea has shown to sharpen thinking skills and improve mental alertness. Oolong tea has shown to reduce the risk of cancer, tooth decay, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
Chai tea is a caffeinated tea that is a powerful blend of tea, herbs, and spices.
Health benefits: Chai tea improves digestion, enhances the immune system, fights inflammation and has antioxidant properties
Red Rooibos Tea
Red rooibos tea is a caffeine-free tea and is typically refreshing, nutty, and full-bodied.
Health benefits: Red rooibos tea is great for headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, and premature aging..
Herbal tea is a naturally caffeine-free tea. Herbal tea is made from the infusion of herbs, spices, or other plant material.
Health benefits: There are many types of herbal tea and each contains its own benefits. Benefits range from: relaxation, improved immune system, improved vascular health, improved liver function, detoxification, and more!