Dear fellow tea enthusiasts,
Tea is a ritual, a social etiquette, a healer, a conversation starter, an ice breaker, a pick me up, a put me down (to bed) and just super comforting.
There is a tea for every occasion and I’m going to tell you some of my all time favourite flavours and why. But before you decide whether to trust my tea recommendation, I’ll just tell you a little bit about why I have become so passionate about the positive effects of tea and the uses it has. It’s full of antioxidants and has an amazing variety of health benefits; even though you feel like you’re just drinking flavoured hot water, you’re actually doing your body a world of good. Tea is also good for mental well being as it promotes a sense of calm, forces you to take a time out from your busy life and slow down for a little while, and it’s satisfying.
Why I love tea
Honestly, it all started a couple of years ago when I went on a diet and needed something to fill in the gaps in the day when my food intake was restricted. Being a lover of food and having a naturally big appetite, I always found keeping at a healthy weight really hard as food would constantly be on my mind, so I needed to find something that I loved just as much as eating. Enter, tea.
Green tea and why it’s totally amazing (chances are if you’re reading this you already know that!)
Typically, I started drinking green tea because it’s quite well known for its weight loss properties and I became a little obsessed with it, sometimes drinking up to 4 or 5 cups of tea a day. Health warning: I’ve since learnt that you definitely can drink too much green tea. It’s a powerful herb that detoxes, stimulates your metabolism and contains quite a lot of caffeine, therefore symptoms of overdose are similar to a coffee overdose: insomnia, muscle twitching, diarrhea and headaches etc. So be careful to only have 1 or 2 cups a day!
I love lots of flavours of green tea but some of my all time favourites are:
- Orange and Lotus Flower
all by Twinnings. Another great range are the ‘Super Green Tea’ by Tetley which have added vitamins including vitamin C to strengthen your immune system and vitamin B6 which plays an important role in building the different proteins in your body – plus these tea’s tend to always be on sale, bonus!
My other favourite Herbal tea’s
So after my obsession of green tea wore off and I realised that it was actually quite unhealthy to be drinking so much of it, I started to branch out and try different flavours.
- One of the next flavours I tried was lemon and ginger which I enjoy, but have to be in the mood for. Ginger is the homeopathic anti-sickness remedy and so settles the stomach and relieves indigestion, while lemon contains vitamin c which strengthens the immune system, nails and hair!
- I tried Liquorice tea which is actually a very strong flavour that I’m not too keen on however it’s one of the most beneficial teas you can buy! It helps the liver neutralise toxins, protects the stomach lining and aids in digestion however it is a laxative which is why it’s recommended to only have 1 cup a day.
- I enjoy most fruit teas and don’t have a particular favourite flavour, however if I feel a cold coming on I’ll drink a lot of Elderberry and Echinacea tea by Pukka. Echinacea is great at fighting colds and flu’s because it’s been proven to aid your immune system in fighting infections. For those of you with a bit of scientific knowledge, it does this by stimulating phagocytosis which is where white blood cells engulf and digest harmful organisms.
- Another favourite of mine is the ‘Warming Camomile and Spiced Apple‘ by Twinings. A friend introduced me to it and I’ve only ever seen it in the supermarkets around Christmas so this winter I’m determined to stock up so it lasts me all year because it’s my go-to bed time tea, much better than pudding! I’m not a huge fan of camomile by itself although I do like it with a spoonful of honey.
- Another great bedtime tea is the Ayurvedic (Indian system of medicine) blend of fennel, chamomile and valerian root by the Organic brand, Yogi Tea. Each label on the tea bags has a different yogi style message which promotes wellbeing and the power of positivity, something we all need reminding of every so often!
Click ‘insidethismind‘ to see another great blog post on tea!
(Vegan) Milky tea’s
I find that if I need comforting, be it on cold winter nights or if I’m just feeling a little low, I always crave a milky tea. I follow a vegan diet and have found that the best milk substitutes to drink with tea are the oat milks or rice milks. I love coconut and almond milk although I don’t think it’s thick enough to give tea that milky texture so I usually avoid them. My favourite milky tea (along with English breakfast) is Earl Grey. It has a more perfumed flavour and if I’m feeling tired I’ll drink it with a teaspoon of agave syrup to give me a little kick of energy. I also love Twinings Lady Grey, Zesty Orange and Brights however I wouldn’t drink it with milk, just agave syrup!
Little tip: If you’re drinking a tea latte, thicken up vegan milks with a bit of arrowroot!
Christmas Present Idea
One quick last mention of my favourite supermarket teas is teapigs. Last Christmas my friend got a box of mix and match teas that her mum had picked out for her, and I just think that is one of the most perfect stocking fillers. You only get a couple of each flavour so you can decide if you like it or not and you get to try lots of different flavours – perfect!
Homemade Mint Tea is GREAT to help with digestion
I personally am not a huge fan of peppermint tea, but I absolutely love to drink homemade mint tea after a meal. A couple of mint leaves in hot water and you’ve got a beautifully refreshing, sweet tasting healthy digestif. Mint is extremely good for digestion and will take away the heavy bloated feeling that comes after a big meal. Plus you can buy a bag of mint leaves for pennies so it works out cheaper than tea bags!
Funny Little Story
Funny little story, so I stopped off in Xiangzhou airport in China on my way home from Australia and had a few hours to kill so I decided to get tea somewhere and write in my journal. The airport wifi was there but not working for some reason so I wandered around the shops for a while having a look at various prices of things and trying to work out the exchange rate. After an hour or so I thought I’d roughly worked it out so I sat down at a café and ordered a Ginseng and Green tea. It was authentic and pure and delicious and came as hot water and leaves served in a typical tall English latte glass, costing me around £3 judging by the exchange rate I’d worked out, however I got home and checked my bank and it turned out that the tea had cost me £20! The most expensive tea I’ve ever bought!!
Before a night out if I have the time I’ll make cocktails using tea. My favourite recipe uses Green Tea with Cranberry by Twinings. I’ll start by brewing a large pot of tea with a few mint leaves and some agave syrup until it’s quite strong, then leave it out to cool down. Once cool, I’ll transfer to a jug and remove the teabags then add ice, soda water, a few slices of lemon or lime and some vodka and ta-da, you’ve got a refreshing, sweet, pick-me-up cocktail. Gin and Southern Comfort also work well.
So in conclusion, I love how tea tastes, I love my pretty teapot and colourful mugs, I love that I can drink it feeling like it’s a treat but knowing it’s super healthy for me, and I love the variety that you can get. No exaggeration, I think I have about 20 different teas in my cupboard. I would encourage anyone to begin a tea obsession because it does only good, no harm, and gives endless amounts of pleasure. Also, I would urge you to make other people as many cups of tea as you can: to me, there’s nothing sweeter or more thoughtful than when someone offers you a cup of tea.