TEA TIME

Growing up in the Sussex countryside in the south of England, tea was always a vitally important cog in the wheel of society. In order to function properly – interact, relax, socialise, comfort, press on etc one had to understand the importance of a cup of tea. It’s not just a warm drink, it’s a ritual necessary for passing the time, helping someone recover from the shock of losing a loved one and everything in between.

Peter Pan summed it up nicely…

peterpan

Now, many years later living in a coffee-mad city I am so glad to see that tea is again proving its worth. Ordering tea in a local restaurant or coffee shop (guess the clue is in the name there) was like asking for a cup of warm, watery nothing (cat pee, my Granddad called it).  This is changing though and the art of making good tea is becoming much more appreciated, along with the health benefits.

A simple key to tea for me (see what I did there) is the following:
Slow metabolism – green tea
Sleepless nights – chamomile
Common cold – elderflower
Stressed – lemon balm
Nauseous – ginger tea
Bloated – peppermint

Here are a few healthy teas to add to your daily intake

Black tea
The most common variety. It has a slightly bitter flavour and contains about 40mg of caffeine per cup. It’s high in antioxidant compounds known as theaflavins and thearubigins, which have been linked to lower levels of cholesterol. Research has shown that people who drink three or more cups of black tea daily may cut their risk of stroke by 21%.

Green tea
Packed full of antioxidants called catechins, it is said to ward off everything from cancer to heart disease. One study found that each daily cup of green tea consumed may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.

Herbal tea
Herbal teas aren’t actually teas – they’re usually a combination of dried fruits, flowers and herbs. However they are warm and wet (vital in a tea) and teas likes hibiscus are thought to ward off high blood pressure and hypertension. Chamomile tea may promote sleep and peppermint tea may calm the stomach.

Rooibos
South Africans have known this for generations and the rest of the world is starting to catch on. Rooibos is known to ease digestive problems, improve sleep, help maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure.

brewing times

Picture credit | Popsugar

— Emily

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