Friday, December 1, 2023

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    How To Become A Connoisseur Of Tea?

    “As much as you can eat healthily, it is also important to drink healthy,” said Kristin Chenoweth once. We focus so much on what we eat that we often forget to drink the healthiest or the best beverage. The mention of beverage reminds me of a very special evening with my friends. While I tell you the evening tale, I will also help you learn how to become a connoisseur of tea.

    The Tea Drinkers

    The Tea Drinkers
    Source: Medical News Today

    It was a perfect evening – with relentless rain pounding the glass windows, the chilly breeze making us shiver, the garden in its full bloom, and the ground broken up into small islands by hundreds of rivulets- surrounded by the friends of my lifetime. All of us were the best of friends – similar professions, similar hobbies, same college, and similar lifestyles – and we all loved our cup of tea – and yet we were always at loggerheads to the types of tea to drink! Yes, as strange as it may sound, we never could agree on the same type of tea – we all liked our tea in different ways and passionately believed why our choice was better than the others.

    Today was no different. We were all sipping on our cup of tea, yet, no one had the same tea in their cups as the other. Yes, seven different cups of tea, on the same day, at the same time, in the same place.

    Let’s Become A Connoisseur Of Tea!

    1. Black Tea

    Black Tea
    Source: New Atlas

    Our host, a very gracious and warm host usually, was at the end of her patience when we all asked for our third cups of tea; she said, “As much as I love having you all as friends, I don’t think I can make seven different cups of tea for the third time. Let’s decide on any one type, and all of us can have it!” Least did she expect a torrent of information hurled towards her with everyone telling her how their tea was better than the other? She sat down quietly as she listened to Pooja say, “What is better than black tea?

    Even though it is high in caffeine, it has some amounts of theophylline (which dilates the breathing passages) in it. It helps in protecting the lungs from exposure to smoke, both cigarette smoking and environmental. Do you all know that black tea expands the airways and increases blood flow, and so it decreases the risk of stroke and heart diseases? Moreover, we can add milk and sugar to it.”

    2. Green Tea

    Neha was quick to point out to Pooja that black tea was actually the highest in caffeine content and not a very healthy option. She continued, “Green tea is surely the best option. It has anti-oxidants, especially EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), which prevents various cancers, relaxes and calms the mind, and prevents tooth decay!

    3. Yellow Tea

    Yellow Tea
    Source: Namhah

    How about Yellow tea? said Ritika. “It is also similar to green tea with a milder taste and doesn’t have the grassy taste like green tea. Yellow tea is believed to have similar health benefits to green tea, such as preventing cancer and lowering cholesterol; it may be more effective than other teas in preventing liver damage also.”

    4. White Tea

    White Tea
    Source: Healthline

    Gauri chipped in, in her usual happy tone, “let’s settle for White tea. It has the lowest caffeine content, has anti-bacterial properties, prevents cancer as it has catechins, decreases cholesterol and high blood pressure levels, and improves immunity. It also gives radiant skin. So why not have white tea?”

    5. Oolong Tea

    Oolong Tea
    Source: Healthline

    Janhvi smiled and replied in her ever soothing and placating tone, “White tea thins the blood, and so I can’t have it. It will interfere with the medicines that I am taking. I suggest Oolong tea. It is a traditional Chinese tea with a unique processing technique. It helps to inactivate enzymes in the body which reduce triglycerides,” she said, giving us a pointed look, meaning that she had given the best option. She carried on to tell us, “Oolong tea also contains niacin, which detoxifies the body and antioxidants, which may prevent tooth decay.”

    6. Fermented Tea

    I sighed and said, “Janhvi, all of that is right, yet don’t you feel that the taste of Oolong tea is not something everyone agrees with? How about we try Fermented Tea? It is the most naturally fermented in all of the teas. It doesn’t have a very strong taste, which may be acceptable to everyone. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. It is rich in beneficial probiotics, antioxidants, and can kill harmful bacteria, which may help fight several diseases. I know it’s difficult to purchase, but then we do have it with us today.”

    7. Herbal Tea

    Herbal Tea
    Source: Ode Magazine

    Avantika, our host, who was always found with herbal teas, seemed to get interested in the discussion and said, “let’s try herbal tea. All other teas are prepared from the Camellia plant – black, green, yellow, fermented, Oolong, and white – unlike herbal tea. Herbal teas are naturally free from caffeine and are of different types – Rooibos or Red tea, Mate tea, Chamomile tea, among others; we can choose our flavors. They have multiple benefits. Herbal tea has the highest antioxidants than any other tea, almost five times more than green tea. It even tastes like coffee! 

    • Mate tea is a mood elevator, reduces bad breath, and eases an upset stomach. It even improves metabolism and reduces allergies.
    • Rooibos tea has anti-cancer properties and regenerates liver tissue; it cures nagging headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, and premature aging. The tea is free from caffeine content and is also low in tannins.
    • Chamomile tea also prevents the side effects of diabetes. It stops the growth of cancer cells, along with alleviating intestinal and stomach disorders, anxiety, insomnia, and mouth ulcers.

    Amruta, always the one calling a truce and the voice of logic among us, said in her authoritative tone, “how about we all settle for a glass of water since we have had two cups of tea already! Finally, any tea that you drink will have its side-effects, how many ever benefits it has. I agree that tea has been declared as India’s national drink, and it is the most common beverage in India, second only to water. So, let’s stick to the most popular and the healthiest drink for today!

    Types Of Teas And Their Health Benefits

    Types of TeaSpecial characteristicsHealth Benefits
    Black teaHighest caffeine content
    Prepared from Camelia plant
    Anti-inflammatory effects protect lungs from cigarette smoking and pollution
    Reduces the risk of stroke, heart diseases
    Green teaHigh EGCG (anti-oxidant) content
    Prepared from Camelia plant
    Prevents cancer
    Reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
    Reduces the risk of stroke
    Prevents tooth decay due to fluoride content
    White TeaUncurled and Unfermented
    Low caffeine
    Prepared from Camelia plant
    Thins blood
    Anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties Reduces skin irritation
    Reduces cholesterol, blood pressure Improves immunity
    Oolong teaMarketed as weight loss supplement
    Prepared from Camelia plant
    Reduces cholesterol levels
    Improves bone strength
    Improves immunity
    Regulates blood sugar levels
    Fermented tea
    Prepared from Camelia plantRich in probiotics, anti-oxidants
    Kills bacteria
    Yellow teaSimilar to green tea Prepared from Camelia plantPrevents cancer
    Reduces cholesterol levels
    Improves liver function
    Herbal teas

    1. Mate tea

    Richest in anti-oxidants
    Prepared from a wild shrub in Argentina
    Mood elevator
    Reduces bad breath
    Stimulates the brain
    Improves metabolism
    Reduces allergies
    Improves upset stomach
    2. Rooibos teaOr Red Tea, Prepared from Redbush in South AfricaRegenerates liver tissue
    Fights cancer
    Reduces skin irritation
    Relieves asthma, insomnia, and eczema
    3. Chamomile teaFrom chamomile plantHinders growth of cancer cells
    Prevents side effects of diabetes

    Read Also: 7 Soothing Warm Teas For The Winter Season

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