The experience of living and travelling in South East Asia has given me many opportunities for drinking tea. I have enjoyed tasting teas in tea houses in Delhi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Penang, Sabah, Phuket to name some destinations. As an Australian Tea Master I am also familiar with hundreds of other teas but not all are to my liking.
You will read about the health benefits of drinking tea everywhere. The history of tea and the origins of the various types of tea are of interest too and widely promoted across other sites. How to make tea can be good to read about too.
Here are six reasons I find drinking tea to be beneficial. I drink tea every day and have a big stock of teas on hand to choose from. Green, black, white, purple, oolong all feature in my supply as well as various herbal infusions. I am not keen on fruity flavours but occasionally find something to suit.
They say you can’t beat a good cup of tea when you are thirsty. However, teas such as black, green, white and oolong contain varying amounts of caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and may contribute to dehydration or thirst.
To truly quench your thirst and rehydrate choose a herbal infusion. Herbal teas or infusions are made from herbs and/or fruit alone and contain a variety of health benefits. Don’t confuse them with tea blends which may include say a green tea with fruit, or black tea with some herbs and/or fruit. Overall you can’t go wrong with a pot of herbal tea.
My favourite is Rooibus. This is a South African herbal and is delicious hot or iced.
When I was working in a stressful job Tea was my moving meditation. Just taking the time to brew a cup of tea mindfully can quiet the mind and help tune into the present moment. The whole process of tea making requires focus. From choosing the tea to how long to boil the water, which cup to use – the mind is focused on the process. It can be long enough to calm down, think clearly, gather your thoughts before an important phone call. Try it.
For a still meditation you have to decide if drinking tea immediately before will be disruptive. I know I would have to go to the bathroom part way through if I drank tea before meditating!
My favourite is a white tea – Silver Needle. It is packed with anti oxidants making it an incredibly healthy tea. Some people believe it also helps with weight loss.
Find a place in the sun or a warm spot inside. Make sure you have plenty of room for your pot of tea, cup and saucer and some reading material. Pour one cup of tea, then another, and ……….. I enjoy drinking tea like this even more if I dunk a plain biscuit in it. My favourite biscuit for this is Malt but it can also be good with Gingernuts or Wine Biscuits. Dunking the biscuit makes you really focus as it will fall in the tea as soon as it softens so you have to be paying attention! It takes your mind off everything else. Once you have mastered the dunking you can then concentrate on drinking the tea and reading your book.
My favourite is Lemon Myrtle. One pot is never enough of this. If it runs out before the reading material – get up and refill the pot!
These days apartment living means home visiting/socializing is not as common as it used to be. It is more likely you will suggest meeting up at a café for a coffee or tea. A pot of tea lasts longer than a cup of coffee! So, no need to feel you should move on after the coffee is finished. With tea always ask for more water to be added.
The tea itself and your choice of tea can be a good discussion topic. Memories of tea drinking aunties, mothers or grandmothers can add to the conversation.
I use to have High Tea parties for friends so I could use the beautiful English China tea sets I had. Once I had a High tea for my son’s 30th birthday. He was living in another country and I used it as excuse to get some friends together. Not that I needed an excuse. I invited the mothers of his best friends from school days. We had a wonderful time.
My favourite is an oolong – Tie Guan Yin. Tie Guan Yin contains high levels of polyphenols. They boost brain health, good for keeping conversation going!
5. Release Creative Juices
The health benefits of Green Tea are well documented.
It could also be an antidote to writer’s block or artists needing inspiration. Tea enhances mood and creates positive feelings. This sparks the creative juices and off we go. Some people may find alcohol has the same effect but there is no guarantee the product will be coherent!
A limited study conducted by Peking University showed the group who drunk tea had more creative points than those who drunk water.
From my experience a pot of Green Tea alongside me while I am writing works wonders for keeping me calm and the brain ticking over. I recommend you try for yourself.
My favourite is Anji Bai Cha. This green tea is refreshingly delicate for a green tea. It can also be steeped a few times so you get good value from a slightly more expensive tea.
6. Natural Digestive
Not only can Herbal teas aid with digestion they may boost the immune system, assist in weight loss and provide relief from headaches. You would struggle to find a health issue that can not be helped by herbal teas.
Digestion and stomach ailments are very common and eased with My favourite of Mint Fusion. This is a fusion of peppermint and spearmint and very refreshing It is ideal to have a cup of peppermint tea following a meal or just to re energise after a long hot day
I have found the following sites handy for sourcing some of the teas I like: