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This topic has lighted a bulb in my head. I love drinking tea and can’t imagine not having a few during the everyday. From what I am speaking with people at work, hardly anyone knows the basic tea properties and benefits (even having only three kinds in the office kitchen). Most of my colleagues pick a teabag based on its taste and not considering the side effect that might follow- like keeping a green tea teabag in the cup for too long. I found, having just basic knowledge, very useful and want to share it with you in this article.
Having a tea, it is not only having something warm to drink; you can have a more healthy substitute for coffee when you need a little boost after lunch or calm your mind after work rather than propelling it even more with a sugar drink.
Drinking tea benefits remind me of old granny remedies handed over in family from one generation to another. However strange they might sound they were always working, and you needed only very basic ingredients to prepare a magic potion. Just like a syrup made from onion and sugar for cold symptoms, I remember from my childhood. When I look at ingredients tags on some new sweet drinks (which list seems to grow every year), I find it even more convincing that simplicity in my diet is the best I can do for my body. Now, let’s see some tea facts.
Another benefit or not, depend you’re asking is caffeine content. If you can’t work without having a couple of coffee cups a day, you may find it interesting that black or white tea can give you the same short term kick.
Green tea shortly after picking is fired or steamed at high temperatures. During the drying process that follows, tea masters roll the leaves into pearls or long twigs depending on the green tea varietal. Unlike black tea, green tea is unoxidised, meaning the oils in the leaves never react with the air, and that is why it keeps a green hue.
Green tea is about 30 per cent polyphenols by weight- the antioxidant mentioned earlier, having a significant effect on your gut, blood sugar, and neutralising chemical oxidants in cells.
One of the most popular features of green tea is caffeine content. It is giving short-term mental alertness that you’re expecting after drinking a coffee. If you are wondering now what is the caffeine amount difference comparing to coffee, green tea contains between 30 and 50 mg for 230 ml serving. Since the caffeine in green tea occurs naturally, the amount depends mainly on the variety of tea plant, its growing conditions and the way it is processed and brewed. Tea made with older leaves usually has less caffeine than tea made with younger tea leaves.
Green Tea Brewing Time
After about 1–2 minutes of steeping, the caffeine of the green tea leaves is almost completely gone into the water. It will not help to avoid caffeine when it kept less than a minute. If fact, hardly any other healthy substance will be released then, so there is no point of doing so. Longer brewing time impacts, on the other hand, on tannins release. After about 2 minutes it starts to release much faster. Tannins bind the caffeine and change its effect in the human body. The general rule is that longer steeping helps in achieving a calming effect rather than an energy boost.
Different kind of black tea you may know: Assam, Darjeeling, Ceylon, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Masala Chai, Irish Breakfast, Lapsang souchong
Black tea is fully oxidised to bring out the most profound flavours. When cheaper it tends to have a bitter and one-dimensional taste, on other hand chocolate, caramel or highly floral when it’s the best quality. An interesting fact is they contain more tannins than different tea kinds; you may know tannins very well from red wine taste that gives you that dry feeling in the mouth.
The leaves are cut up when worse quality or rolled to release their natural oils when better. They are left for several hours to react with the air, then roasted to stop oxidation and dry them out.
As for caffeine content, black tea has around 42 mg per 230 ml serving. The level of caffeine in this tea changes with the time it is given to steep.
White teas are the least processed as they are just dried. Neither oxidised nor roasted they are the sweetest and most delicate of the tea varieties. They tend to be light and floral.
Because it is made of tea buds, each white tea is different so steeping time will vary. The best way is to try it every 30s to find the most desirable taste for the one you have.
What makes white tea unique is the leaves and buds used to make it can only be picked for a couple of weeks in a year. Throughout the winter months, the bushes lie dormant but when spring comes tea picket had to work fast to pick the bush as soon as they appear.
Also, white tea, because it undergoes the least processing, it is thought to have higher levels of antioxidants.
Is also called Wu long tea or Wuyi tea. The name Oolong entered the English language from the Chinese name meaning black dragon.
Oolong has its place between green and black tea, is only partially oxidised. Lightly roasted oolong tea can be golden-green in infusion with floral and creamy notes, whereas as a heavily roasted oolong will present an infusion rich with amber hues and woody, fruity character.
Oolong like green and black tea described earlier contains caffeine.
Rooibos, as opposed to tea from China or Japan, comes from South African and is naturally caffeine-free. Red rooibos tea is fermented and has a sweet honey taste and a vibrant red hue. Green rooibos is greenish-brown and has an almost bitter taste.
Some botanically are claiming that rooibos is not a pure tea at all as it doesn’t come from the tea plant. It’s a herb that grows as a small shrubby bush in just one place- the Cederberg region of South Africa. There were trials to grow rooibos bush outside this region, but so far, none have been successful.
An interesting fact is that rooibos red colour comes from the fermentation process because the rooibos bush is actually green, just like the tea bush.
While being caffeine-free rooibos contains micronutrients, including copper, iron and potassium.
Many people and I love drinking peppermint tea because we enjoy the taste, but it also has several potential health benefits.
There is not much research on peppermint tea, some of the oils and other compounds in peppermint leaves, such as menthone, limonene, and menthol have been studied so far.
In a few articles I read, authors have suggested that menthol, which has a cooling sensation that may help ease tension or migraine headache pain when a person apply peppermint oil to the forehead or temples. It is possible that the aroma from peppermint tea may give a similar effect.
Although the well-know peppermint tea property is a positive effect on digestive issues, such as an upset stomach, bloating, and gas, there are also studies on peppermint tea as it helps to reduce the severity of menstrual.
Peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free! and contains zero calories
Camomile name comes from Ancient Greek and words kamai (earth) and melon (apple). Once the flower heads are picked, they are kept whole and slowly dried to ensure the best possible flavour. Most chamomile teas are made by crushing the flowers, but the best chamomile tea comes from brewing the whole flower.
Chamomile is well-known for its sleep-inducing properties. It is also believed to soothe indigestion and period pain due to its muscle-relaxing properties. Traditional Chinese medicine uses chamomile to support of the lungs (colds and flu), heart (nervous disorders), and stomach (digestion). Essential oils of chamomile are used extensively in cosmetics and aromatherapy.
Camomile contains no caffeine.
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