Right now I am sitting at one of our local hot spots in Chico, California, the T-Bar & Fusion Cafe, and loving the change in weather and a warm cup of tea in my hand. With all the different tea aromas circulating around me, I could not help but feel inspired to write an article on why I love tea. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have a soft spot for coffee as well, but tea was my first love. I still remember when my mom would brew Lipton’s Black Tea with a little sugar and milk in it for me on a cold day. Since then my palate has expanded to enjoy a wide variety of tea leaves and I appreciate the earthy flavor of tea throughout the year. I would not consider myself a tea connoisseur, but I don’t think of myself as a connoisseur of anything. I just like what I like Here are my reasons for why I love tea!
1. The Flavor: First and foremost I love the flavor of tea. It has a milder flavor than coffee and has many different varieties. I can always find one to fit my mood. Green tea has more of a grassy flavor and a little more caffeine than other tea leaves so I tend to enjoy it first thing in the morning. On a hot day I am always in the mood for a fruity tea, like peach blossom over ice to quench my thirst. Before bedtime I like a warm cup of chamomile tea with honey to help me wind down. With hundreds of tea varieties to choose from, I am confident you can find a tea to suit your mood too!
2. Health Benefits: Every week it feels like there is more research boasting the health benefits of tea. Green tea appears to get the most media coverage in regards to cancer prevention and promoting weight loss. The bioactive compounds in tea have been shown to help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, improve cognitive function, and increase immunity. Some studies have shown the health benefits of tea are inconclusive, but I personally feel drinking black or green tea can be good for your health and not pose any health risk. Herbal teas lack the clinical evidence of health benefits compared to green/black tea, but they can still be a satisfying beverage during your day. They too, contain antioxidants and bioactive compounds which may aid in your health. If you are pregnant use these herbal teas with caution and let your doctor know.
3. Calorie Free: I am not one to count calories, but I can’t help but notice that tea contains healthy bioactive compounds and no calories. Lots of drinks out there such as soda, sports drinks, and coffee concoctions contain lots of calories that may aid in weight gain and not offer any health benefits. Tea is a great substitute because it has lots of flavors and you can pair it with many meals and drink it throughout the day. Even if you add milk and sugar it usually does not compare to the calories in soda. I like adding milk because it binds with the tannins in tea to help soothe the astringent flavor.
4. Cheap & Easy to Make: Tea is an inexpensive beverage. A tea bag usually costs less than 20 cents, and if you use loose tea leaves it costs less than 50 cents a serving. If you know how to boil water or heat water in the microwave you can make tea. Loose tea leaves tend to have better flavor than tea bags and may take a little longer to brew. Click here if you want to know how to brew loose tea leaves. There are some teas out there that may cost lots of $$, but as a general rule tea is cheap.
5. Connection: Some of my favorite memories involve a conversation over a cup of hot tea. Sharing a pot of tea with a new friend, family member or childhood friend can be a bonding experience. Tea can also be a form of love, such as making a fresh cup of tea for sick loved one. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Cultures such as Britain and China have been socializing over tea for centuries. Tea can also be enjoyed alone, giving you the opportunity to build a better connection with yourself and your own thoughts.
Now you know my top reasons for loving tea. If you love tea for other reasons, please comment and let me know