Bitter cold winter days call for sitting by a warm fire while enjoying a hot cup of soothing tea. January is National Hot Tea Month, a perfect time to share all the benefits of tea, a little bit of history and some fun facts about this popular beverage.
The History of Tea:
Have you ever wondered where tea came from and what made someone put leaves in hot water for flavor? According to a legend, in 2737 BC, a Chinese emperor was sitting under a tree while his servant boiled drinking water when some leaves blew into it. The emperor happened to be a renowned herbalist, and he decided to taste the infusion that had just been created by accident…he loved it, and that’s where tea comes from!
Did You Know?
- When storing your tea, avoiding these five storage conditions will make a huge difference in the shelf life of your tea. These factors are light, heat, moisture, odor and air.
- Store your tea away from strong competing aromas, such as coffee, so that you keep the tea’s own delicate flavors.
- It takes around 2,000 tiny leaves to make just one pound of finished tea.
- There are over 1,000 flavors of tea.
- Tea flavors differ based on the region of its origin.
- White teas (which are the least processed) and Black teas that can be mixed with spices.
- Green tea is more popular because it has less caffeine than most drinks.
- Herbal teas can have a delicate flavor because they are blended from dried fruits, herbs and flowers.
- To steep the perfect cup of tea, timing is crucial. Ideal steeping times vary depending on what variety of tea you’re making. For example, black tea’s steeping time is 3-5 minutes.
Feeling a little over whelmed with so many choices?
Well don’t be! Start simple and experiment as you go with different flavors and ways to brew your tea. Whether you prefer a teabag vs loose leaf tea, there’s no wrong way to enjoy a cup of tea and the choices are truly endless.
Not only is tea delicious and soothing, it has many health benefits. Used centuries ago to cure people’s ailments, brewed tea is still used today for the same reason.
Here’s a look at some of the additional benefits of drinking tea:
- Tea is packed with antioxidants. These help keep our bodies “young” and protect them from toxins.
- It has less caffeine than coffee. (The kinds that do contain caffeine) usually contain about 50% less than coffee which means you can drink it without affecting your nervous system.
- Research shows a correlation between tea and heart health. A recent study says people who drink tea have a 20% less chance of having a stroke or heart attack than those who don’t.
- It can help with weight loss, especially when paired with a well-balanced diet and exercise. Tea is usually calorie-free, and it can give you energy and cause your body to burn more calories throughout the day.
- It’s an immune system booster. Studies show that tea helps immune cells reach their targets more quickly.
- Tea is known to fight off fevers, high blood pressure and lower stress levels.
So, the next time you’re feeling stressed or just want to warm up, go ahead and grab that cup of hot tea, you’ll be glad you did!