Posts Tagged ‘Earl Grey’

Finally, someone designated a month just for my taste. January is National Hot Tea Month. The Duchess of Bedford in 1840 initiated the afternoon tea to ward off “that sinking feeling.” I can attest to that. Nothing quiets my soul like settling down in the late afternoon with Earl Grey to whisk away worries of the day.

My love for hot tea spans more decades than I will admit, but the joy of such a respite goes back centuries. Drinking tea, credited to a Chinese Emperor, began nearly 5,000 years ago.

Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world other than water. Not all teas are the same nor do they offer equal health benefits. Black, green, oolong, and more recently white tea, come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Black tea, the most popular tea for Americans, claims 87% of the market. Its fermented leaves produce a rich full color and flavor. Oolong, rarely seen in America, is mildly fermented. The astringent flavored green tea and the sweet, silky, delicate-favored white tea aren’t fermented.

Herbal teas differ from what we call true tea. Herbal teas come from the leaves, fruits, or flowers of other plants. They contain no caffeine nor do they possess the same healthful qualities of the tea plant.

One tea bag of black tea has slightly less caffeine (about 40 milligrams) than a 12-ounce cola and about half as much as coffee. Caffeine in green tea is about half that of black tea, and white tea contains even less than green tea. One decaffeinated tea bag has about 2 milligrams of caffeine.

If you drink tea every day, it may keep you healthier in several ways. While earlier research touted healthfulness of green tea, black tea also promotes physical well-being, and white tea may contribute greater advantages because of its plentiful supply of antioxidants. Benefits attributed to tea include:

  • Decreased serum cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • Reduced risks of heart disease and stroke
  • Lowered risks of cancer including certain skin, colon, ovarian, and oral cancers
  • Improved immune function
  • Increased bone mineral density (BMD) which may lead to protecting women from osteoporosis
  • Decreased incidence of dental cavities
  • Reduced risk of kidney stones.

While you flatter your palate and celebrate the virtues of hot tea, bask in the thought of improved health. As the Apostle John wrote, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you” (3 John 1:2). Start today with a  cup of steaming hot tea. Enjoy!


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