Once upon a time I used to work at Starbucks (and loved it!), but the tough part about that job was resisting the temptation to drink coffee…all.day. I’ll never forget my first day where I had to taste each of their coffee options black so I knew the flavors of each one and could pair them with a food item. That quickly started my addiction to caffeine, and after I moved on from that position I also felt I had to move on from all that coffee. It certainly wasn’t easy, but I cut out caffeine altogether for a while and then slowly started adding in some tea instead. I started drinking it for the health benefits, but I also love that you can control the amount of caffeine you take in and can even get a little beauty kick from it. There’s a lot of reasons to love tea.
If you’re looking for health benefits, tea (either green, black, white or oolong) contains a unique antioxidant called flavonoids, which studies show are good for your heart, reduce risks of certain disorders and could possibly even help with cancer. The more processed the tea leaves are the less there is of this antioxidant so green tea would have the highest levels of flavonoids. The tea leaves themselves also contain vitamins B2, D, K, beta carotene and potassium. Even caffeine itself, in moderation, helps boost metabolism. Just be sure to look at the temperatures to steep each at so you can get the most of the benefits.
Herbal teas, on the other hand, have low concentrations of antioxidants but come with their own benefits to the human body. I’ve been personally drinking spearmint tea before bedtime to help with hormonal acne, but there are plenty of combinations that are known to help with sleep, stress, colds and calming down your tummy. Just keep in mind that they’re not technically tea but instead an infusion of leaves, seeds, etc. that you extract in hot water, and make sure you steep them long enough to get the helpful properties of each one!
As with any tea (loose or bag) you want to find one that has good quality, even organic ingredients since you’re ingesting it. No artificial ingredients! Also important to point out are the quality of the bags the tea is in. If you’re not using loose tea, check to make sure the paper tea bag being used wasn’t treated with epichlorohydrin, which is a potential carcinogen. There’s also the plastic tea bags, which should be avoided altogether since they don’t stand up to the high temperatures of boiling water and can leak chemicals into your tea. You don’t want these counteracting all the good that tea provides! A good source for more information can be found here. This website even has a great chart that lists common brands and which ones to avoid.
Other than the beneficial properties, I think tea is a great opportunity to connect with friends and family. You can build bonds over tea, create great memories and reduce any stress from prior in the day. It gives you a reason to set aside time and relax. No matter what I’m doing, when I’m drinking my tea it puts me in a calming state of mind and allows me to sit down and enjoy it. Just another reason I love tea.