All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes. – George Orwell
Tea is the second most popular drink in the world next to water, and it is becoming a very popular drink of choice for Canadians today. In Canada we drink about 9 billion cups of tea each year! What makes tea truly appealing is how healthy it is for you and how versatile it can be. There are different types of teas and endless variations and flavors – so there will always be a perfect tea for you. Tea has a long history and is steeped in traditions from around the world, making it an intriguing topic for those interested in culture. Yes, our fellow tea loving friends, there are so many reasons to drink tea … and so many reasons to love tea. But where does one start? We’ve put together our top 10 reasons to love tea, so here we go:
1. Tea is Good for Your Heart
Stock up on your favorite black and green teas now because there are many studies that show how tea may help prevent stroke and heart disease. When you include tea as part of a daily healthy diet you are assisting your body in reducing high and bad cholesterol. This is really important for heart health since cholesterol can eventually build up in the artery walls and slow down – or even block – the natural blood flow to the heart muscle. Furthermore, the phytochemicals in tea may improve blood vessel function as well as enhance the arteries ability to dilate – in turn increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure. Tea is great for improving and increasing circulation, which plays an important role in cardiovascular health.
2. Drinking Tea is Like Going to the Spa
It’s amazing how the humble tea plant – camellia sinensis – has so much power in rejuvenating the body both inside and out! Tea is soothing, relaxing and the ultimate stress reliever; which as we all know is part and parcel of maintaining beauty within and with-out. When you reduce stress in your life, you are doing yourself a huge favor – bye bye lack luster hair, brittle nails and acne! Green tea is especially known to contain compounds which enhance the skin’s suppleness and improves complexion. It is thought that green tea combats wrinkles, age spots, sun damage and fine lines thanks to EGCG which re-activate skin cells. Try drinking tea plain with a slice of lemon to stimulate the health benefits of tea. If drinking tea for beauty is not enough for you, then why not use it as an ingredient in beauty products to reap the benefits of its anti-aging, toxin busting and anti-inflammatory properties. Check out some great DIY tea beauty recipes from pinterest here.
3. Tea is Hydrating
A cup of tea contains more than 90% water, and it is an important source of fluids which can count towards your daily liquid intake, according to the Tea Advisory Panel UK. Black tea is a good source of potassium, which helps your body stay hydrated and balances the fluids in your system. So, there you go, all the more reason to explore the world of tea and drink liberally throughout the day!
4. Tea Takes it Easy on the Caffeine
We have great news! You can drink tea moderately throughout the day without having to worry too much about its caffeine or calorie content. Most teas contain only 25 – 35 mg of caffeine per 8 oz serving, while the same serving of coffee can contain between 95 – 200 mg of caffeine. By Health Canada standards, a daily caffeine intake of 400 mg for a healthy adult shows no adverse effects. With that said, if you want to get a good night’s sleep you can try a decaf tea in the afternoon. Or switch to a caffeine free herbal tisane instead like our Egyptian Chamomile or Rumi’s Secret before going to bed so you can sleep better.
5. Tea is Calorie Free
Tea is so tasty, quenching your thirst and filling you up with nutrients. It’s a great alternative to soda and other high-calorie artificial beverages. Here’s a little secret: drink tea when you are feeling a little peckish between meals, as it will help give you a feeling of being full all the while saving calories and nourishing your body. Tea is virtually calorie free when you take it without any sugar or milk, and it even supports weight loss by increasing your metabolism. If you are trying to lose weight, green and oolong teas are especially helpful. If you find yourself craving something sweet but want to go easy on the calories, choose a naturally flavored or scented tea like our Victoria Rose or Monk’s Blend (black tea, pomegranate and vanilla) to help eliminate the craving — while practically giving into it! Clever you!
6. Drinking Tea is Like Meditating
Tea awakens the mind, helps us to stay aware, and tames the train of thoughts that is usually going through all our heads when we have a lot going on. The act of drinking tea helps us to stay “in the moment” and at ease, and tea itself contains theanine which promotes relaxation. It also improves concentration, alertness and fends off fatigue.
Fun fact: Buddhism, meditation and tea are closely linked from ancient times in China and Japan. Those who practiced Buddhism were not allowed to eat or sleep in order to focus on their meditation practice, however they were allowed to drink tea. It helped them focus on their purpose, stay awake for meditation and it became a central part of their daily lives.
7. Tea Makes You Feel Good
There are plenty of studies which suggest that the theanine found in tea also reduces anxiety and calms us by increasing the number of inhibitory neurotransmitters. The result is a better mood, and happier, emotionally balanced you. Tea may help moderate the levels of serotonin and dopamine which are responsible for making us feel good.
8. Tea Cultures from Around the World are Fascinating
Tea is heavily steeped in interesting traditions and cultures from around the world. Every time tea is discovered by the people of a region, it quickly wins their hearts and captures their minds. Tea does not only become a beverage of choice (tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, after water) but it also becomes a way of life.
In the Middle East getting together for a cup of tea is all about hospitality, gathering around a table with friends, and drinking the afternoons away while playing card games or smoking the hobbly wobbly. In Japan, the time-honored tea ceremony is an elaborate ritual, as the tea master takes time to prepare and present matcha tea with artful skill that takes years to perfect. In India, the most popular drink by far is masala chai, a black tea blended with spices for its Ayurvedic health benefits. In China, tea was traditionally used as medicine and in the Golden Ages it was consumed for pleasure and artistic inspiration. Every culture has it’s own unique story of tea which makes it yet another reason for us to absolutely love tea!
9. Tea Makes you Stronger
Tea contains catechins (an antioxidant) and biotin (Vitamin H) which boosts and strengthens the immune system. Tea contains flavonoids, which aid in the prevention of cellular damage and many diseases. Vitamin D also found in tea helps build stronger bones, while the amino acids found in tea help your body build muscle, bone, skin and hair, as well as fight bad bacteria and viruses. Some studies also suggest that tea may improve muscular strength by reducing inflammation, strengthening bone development, and by discouraging the breakdown of muscles and bones.
10. Tea and Food Go Really Well Together
All foodies rejoice! Food and tea were absolutely meant for each other. There is no doubt about that. I mean could you imagine eating a scone without tea?! From Afternoon Tea, to Cream Tea and High Tea, it seems like the Brits caught on early how to enjoy food with tea at all times of the day. These rituals are now deeply rooted in tea culture, but new ways to enjoy food and tea together are emerging and evolving. The art of food and tea pairing- much like pairing wine with food – is one such way. Full-bodied teas like Assam and Pu-ehr are delicious with hearty dishes like omelette and lasagna; while green & oolong teas compliment lighter vegetarian dishes, rice and salads. While these suggestions are really helpful, it’s really best to go by your own intuition and personal taste preference.
People have also been cooking with tea for generations. For example, have you ever heard of the famous Chinese snack called the tea egg? It’s a pre-boiled egg which is cracked and then boiled again in tea, and it is as tasty as it looks! Try boiling rice in Jasmine green tea broth or baking a cake with chai tea. At Venus Sophia we serve Earl Grey Shortbread and macarons made with our Afternoon Tea blend. You can cook or bake almost anything with tea. The possibilities are endless!
Note: When we are talking about tea we are referring to black, green, white, oolong and pu-ehr teas which all come from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis. Herbal infusions and tisanes like rooibos and chamomile are commonly called “tea” due to some similarities in preparing and brewing methods; but they are infact not real tea. That is their source is not from the Camellia Sinensis plant.They only come from herbs, flowers, other types of plants/bushes or even dried fruit.