Cozy Up With a Cup of Tea

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

cup-of-teaAlthough I love a cup (or three) of coffee in the morning, there is something about a cup of hot tea on a cold morning that I find so soothing. And I am not the only one! According to the Tea Association of the USA, Inc., tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and it can be found in almost 80% of all households in the United States. And although Earl Grey is still the most popular, more robust teas are gaining popularity. Keep the chamomile and the peppermint tea in stock, but add these teas to your tea repertoire for different flavors and health benefits. Matcha: This green tea could be considered a superfood or super-drink. Matcha is powdered, therefore we consume the entire leaf when we drink it. This makes matcha higher in disease-fighting antioxidants than other types of green tea. One of these antioxidants, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, has been widely researched for its cancer-protective properties. If preparing tea at home, you may want to purchase a matcha bowl and whisk. Use 1 tsp of matcha powder per cup of hot, not boiling, water. Kombucha: Known for its fizzy, tart taste, this fermented tea is consumed by many in hopes of boosting the immune system, slowing aging, and treating a range of ailments. Although more research is needed to back up these claims, kombucha can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Fans of the caffeinated tea report feeling energized after drinking it. Like other fermented foods, kombucha contains healthy bacteria that may aid digestion. Rooibos: Sometimes called red tea, rooibos is a sweet, nutty herbal infusion and is renowned as a relaxing, heart-healthy tea. It is naturally caffeine-free and rich in antioxidants and vitamins, therefore making it a perfect evening tea for when the body is stressed. Chai: In its native India, chai is a cultural staple that’s more popular than coffee. Families and street vendors prepare it with black tea, milk, and spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and pepper. Consuming warm, spicy drinks such as chai may help us feel satiated. Like other black teas, chai can act as a pick-me-up thanks to its relatively high caffeine content. Working together, chai spices such as cinnamon, ginger and pepper may stimulate healthy digestion, relieve aches and pains, and promote weight management. This tea is a great alternative to coffee. Photo from here, with thanks.