Updated: Feb 10
This year, more than ever people are encouraged to focus on their mental and physical health. We are looking to increase our immune system by making better food and beverage choices. As of a report by the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc, next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage across the world and many articles are being written on the amazing health benefits of drinking more tea.
Think about that for a moment, tea has stood the test of time as an amazing elixir over thousands of years. I do not know about you but that signifies to me that tea adds an additional healthy component to water with the tea leaf and various herbs. I feel confident knowing that drinking more tea can have a positive impact on my health. In particularly loose-leaf tea.
Loose leaf or whole leaf tea has been gaining popularity with consumers in the United State over the past 10 years and even more so today. This is found to be the case across all demographics. The dramatic increase in green tea has been exponential as people are learning that it can help calm them down, boost their immune system as well as help with weight and skin issues! I have a great blog The Magic of Matcha for a green tea mask that really does a lot for my skin when used once a week and it works with any green tea.
Fun fact: tea is the only beverage served hot or cold at any time, place, or for any occasion.
Which one is right for you? As many know, there are really 4 types of tea. They all come from the same type of plant which is the Camellia sinensis plant.
It is how they are processed that makes them contain different properties such as their look, taste, aroma, and caffeine content. Then you have your herbal teas which usually only contain various herbs and do not contain caffeine. If you are curious about caffeine, check out my blog The Great Caffeine Debate to learn more about caffeine and tea.
According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A, tea is consumed both hot and cold with 75% to 80% served iced here in the United States. In 2019, Americans consumed over 84 billion servings of tea that equates to 3.8 billion gallons!
Black tea accounts for over 80% of all tea consumed in the United States. Which makes it the most popular tea type. Black tea undergoes a natural chemical reaction resulting in taste and color changes which attribute to the teas distinguishing characteristics. It is the most fully processed and oxidized of the tea types.
Oolong tea is midway between black and green teas in strength and color. Oolong can vary widely in flavor. It can be sweet and fruity or woody and thick with roasted aromas, all depending on the culture and style of production.
Green and white teas have not been withered and oxidized after the leaf has been harvested thus resulting in a purer tea flavor and look. Green tea's taste is often grassy, vegetal, nutty, or herbaceous but it should never be bitter if steeped properly. Green tea accounts for around 15% of tea consumed in the United States and that percentage is increasing.
All the different types of teas contain flavonoids, naturally occurring compounds that are believed to have antioxidant properties. Tea flavonoids often provide bioactive compounds that help to neutralize free radicals. I have a blog that explains this more at Polyphenols! ECGC! Catechins! Oh My!
Whether it's hot or cold, black, green, white, or herbal, you have the information and I encourage you to try each different tea type and find your favorite. It is a lot like wine tasting and there is so much to discover. Seriously, the abundance of positive facets to drinking tea continues to be explored and proven to be something everyone should be drinking.
Tea needs to be celebrated for its healthful properties and the wonderful things it can do for our body and mind!
Be well and Drink More Tea!