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Tea History & Culture

Tea Wellness: Mindful Tea Making 101

March 29, 2022

It’s no secret that meditation is a huge factor in overall health and wellness. When it’s difficult to meditate, you can build moments of mindfulness into the day through simple activities like brewing and enjoying a cup of tea. Before we jump in, let’s discuss mindfulness.

What is being mindful? Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. It’s another form of meditation. That might sound trivial, except that we so often veer from the matter at hand. Our mind takes flight, we lose touch with our body, and pretty soon we’re engrossed in thoughts about something that just happened or fretting about the future. And that can makes us anxious. Mindfulness is rooted in Zen Buddhist meditation practices, used for centuries throughout East Asia. Buddhism, which offers up many ways to bring focus to our everyday lives, has a long historical association with tea. Buddhist monks living in mountain monasteries have long used tea growing nearby to help maintain a gentle alertness whilst meditating. Even today, tea is served in monasteries and beyond to encourage a state of focus, clarity and emotional balance.

When we think of tea, what comes to mind? For us, calm and relaxing are the first words to come up. The association of tea with relaxation and meditation is no accident. Closely intertwined with Buddhism, especially Zen buddhism, tea is often seen as an aid for meditation, stemming hunger, clearing the mind and curbing intense reactions. Buddhism deems that tea helps with cultivating the body and mind. Therefore, drinking tea has become a common practice of monks. As recorded in the Song Dynasty, monks “get up, wash their face and hands, and drink tea in the morning. Then, they sit during meditation and then take a nap. When they get up, they wash face and hands, and drink tea. They have a meal. Then, they wash face and hands, and drink tea.” In brief, everything is connected to tea. 

The main tea that is drank during these ceremonies is Matcha. Matcha can calm your stressed mind and provide your central nervous system relaxation. It creates sustainability to mental alertness. The property of this type of Green Tea to keep your mind relaxed and calm is the first reason Buddhists monks choose to consume Green Tea over any other tea type.

When you think of meditation, you might think of someone sitting on the floor with their legs crossed and eyes closed. The truth is, meditation can be anything that you do where you are fully present. Have you ever been driving on the freeway listening to your favorite song and realize that you missed your exit by a few stops? That was a form of meditation! Not everyone can jump right in and sit and have their mind go completely still. It takes practice and can improve your overall life in many ways.

These days we are constantly on our phones and computers and the notifications don’t stop popping up. Our minds are constantly hopping from one thing to the next. When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress. The mental and emotional benefits of meditation can include:

  • Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  • Building skills to manage your stress
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Focusing on the present
  • Reducing negative emotions
  • Increasing imagination and creativity
  • Increasing patience and tolerance

Now, how do tea and meditation go together? One of the easiest ways to start being mindful is to pay attention. That mind sound silly but stick with me here! When you are making your tea in the morning (or anytime) pay attention to everything you do. Have you ever stood and truly listened? As the bubbles start to form there’s an orchestra of shifting sounds. It’s a good time to put down your phone and take a moment. When you are getting your tea out of the tin, listen to the strainer scoop up the tea leaves and hit the side of the can. As the water meets the tea leaves, colors slowly swirl and deepen. Depending on the tea, you might be able to see the leaves unfurl as they start to infuse. This is a good moment to observe and quieten those thoughts that are often whirling around in our heads – you might find it’s quite noisy in there! As you bring the cup to your lips, maybe you can feel the warmth of steam on your face, and notice the different aromas that meet your nostrils. Sip slowly and savor each sip.

This is a great way to tap in to finding your inner peace and help in thinking more clearly from day-to-day, all thanks to our favorite thing, tea.

Tea Health Benefits

The Top 5 Natural Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea

December 14, 2021

Rooibos tea is a favorite among new tea drinkers and seasoned enthusiasts alike. This tea has a rich history and was originally found in South Africa by a group of Natives who were out foraging over 300 years ago. Since then, this tea has propelled itself to popularity across the globe due to its delicious taste and natural health benefits. In this article, we explore the top 5 health benefits that you can enjoy with every cup of Rooibos tea. 

What is Rooibos Tea? 

Rooibos Tea, although discovered over 300 years ago by a rural South African tribe, became mainstream when European explorer Carl Thunburg observed the Native tribes going into the South African mountain ranges to gather the tea leaves. This quickly became an accessible solution so that other parts of the world could enjoy it without the high shipping costs. Rooibos tea is considered to be a red leaf tea and is commonly found in various types of delicious infusions. 

Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea 

Rooibos tea is well-known for its health benefits and its sweet, nutty taste. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the top five health benefits that you can enjoy from Rooibos Tea. 

Caffeine-free for every preference 

Tea lovers may need caffeine-free blends for a variety of reasons – including pregnancy, heart conditions, and neurologically based health concerns, to name a few. Rooibos tea is a naturally caffeine-free favorite that doesn’t compromise on taste or composition. The tea is naturally sweet and can be an easy replacement for your other caffeinated morning brew. 

Rooibos tea is different from other black or green teas, which contain naturally-occurring caffeine that can disrupt or exacerbate underlying anxiety disorders or sleep disorders. For this reason, many medical professionals may recommend rooibos as a natural way that you can help to manage your stress levels and keep your body level. 

Antioxidant-rich, delectable blends 

Rooibos tea can help to rejuvenate your cells through the use of antioxidants, which can destroy harmful free radicals that can be released as cells age. The tea also contains quercetin, another well-known antioxidant. This special compound can help your body be more resilient in the face of stress or inflammation and can help soothe your systems into optimal performance. 

Additional benefits of antioxidants that are consumed regularly include lower risks for illnesses, as well as related heart disease and cancers in the body. You may also encounter antioxidants in your daily fruit consumption, or in delicious rooibos infused tea blends. 

Anti-spasmodic properties for GI distress 

If you’re prone to gastrointestinal issues, you may want to consider incorporating a cup of rooibos into your dietary routine. Rooibos has a variety of anti-spasmodic properties thanks to flavenoids and compounds that naturally soothe your gut. 

You can incorporate this natural remedy into your routine either before or after meals, or after any bout of stomach discomfort. The composition of the leaves is easy to digest and can also ease other related digestive ailments, like heartburn and reflux. 

Bone-friendly nutritional properties 

If you’re concerned about protecting your bone health from diseases of aging, such as osteoporosis, look no further than the rooibos section in your tea aisle. This delectable blend has naturally occurring compounds that are able to help your body to build stronger bones and maintain that health over time. 

Infused with elements such as manganese, luteolin, calcium, and fluoride, rooibos is an easy way to help preserve your health in a completely natural way. These elements don’t just help to build the bones, but they also encourage natural bone preservation practices in the body as it self-sustains. 

Immune system support 

Rooibos tea has long been loved for its ability to decrease inflammation and support your body’s overall health – completely naturally…but the benefits don’t stop there. Roobios blends have been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties, making this the perfect drink to enjoy daily to help preventatively protect your health. 

Some of these powerful compounds include elements such as zinc, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and magnesium. If you’re looking for an extra layer of protection this holiday season, consider incorporating a cup into your diet for an immune system boost. 

Rooibos Tea Naturally Supports Your Body 

Preventative medicine is one of the most impactful and natural ways that you can support your body. Rooibos tea is an accessible and delicious way to do that completely naturally in each freshly-brewed cup. Whether you’re looking for anti-spasmodic or anti-cancer benefits, or want to give your immune system a boost, rooibos tea is delicious, nutritious, and can be commonly found at your local grocery store. 

Tea Guides Types of Tea

The Health Benefits of Green Tea

August 20, 2021

Among health aficionados, green tea is becoming more and more popular as it boasts health benefits and other soothing properties and effects. Green tea is far more than just a drink. It is actually considered a superfood because of the amounts of antioxidants and healthy properties it contains. These antioxidants and other healthy properties can have a positive effect on your body and overall health.

Green tea can be associated with many benefits, but today we are going to focus on these 7 benefits that should convince you to start drinking green tea.

1- Promotes Brain Function

Green tea can be linked to promoting healthy cognitive function which can provide clarity and improve your focus. It combines both caffeine and l-theanine which makes for a potent combo to boost your energy levels and brain power. By boosting your brainpower, green tea can boost the function of your memory which has been linked to aiding in diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. A strong trend of improvement in memory has been linked with green tea consumption in these memory-affected diseases. The antioxidants in green tea can also help alleviate stress which can leave you with more clarity and the opportunity to use your brain in better ways. Green tea pairs with our working memory to boost the connectivity between our frontal and parietal cortex which can lead to improved brain performance.

2- Aid in Weight Loss

We all know there is no magic pill to help you lose weight. However, green tea can aid in weight loss as it increases fat burning, boosts your metabolism, and suppresses your appetite. The flavonoids and caffeine found in green tea can help elevate your metabolic rate which results in more calories being burned even if you are not working out. When you burn more calories, you are burning more fat which can lead to weight loss. We aren’t saying that green tea is the end all be all to weight loss, but we are saying it can help! Green tea can also help suppress your appetite which means you are less likely to add extra calories to your day. Caffeine is a well-known appetite suppressant that is found in green tea. According to a study discussed by WebMD, the International Journal of Obesity found that extract from green tea may increase calorie and fat burning that can lead to lose weight.

3- Promote Cardiovascular Health

Green tea can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. According to an article posted on WebMD, “one large study in Japan followed 40,000 adult participants over 11 years, and found that daily green tea consumption was linked to lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.” (Read more of the article here.) The anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants found in green tea have been linked to lowering your cholesterol. Lowering your cholesterol means lowering your risk of heart disease and/or stroke. If consumed consciously and consistently, green tea can improve your cardiovascular health and leave you with fewer red flags such as high cholesterol.

4- Benefits Oral Health

Another benefit of green tea is that it can boost your dental health. Regularly consuming green tea can protect against bad breath, gum disease, and even cavities as it reduces oral bacteria. The bacteria-killing properties found in green tea can assist in lowering the acidity of your saliva which can protect your teeth from decaying.

5- Helps to Fight Certain Cancers

The consumption of green tea and cancer prevention have been linked as the predominant polyphenols found in green tea have been proven to activate enzymes that can detoxify your cells and prevent tumor development. Preventing tumor development can reduce the risk of cancer. Green tea can also benefit those battling cancer as it provides healthy nutrients to support their immune system and body. As found by the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols found in tea can help protect in things such as tumor development and damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

6- May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Green Tea consumption can reduce insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. This allows your cells to better metabolize sugar. Sugar is a known enemy when it comes to Type 2 Diabetes. High sugar consumption leads to high levels of blood glucose. With Type 2 Diabetes, high blood glucose affects your body because your body does not react correctly to insulin therefore the blood glucose is not stored for energy in your cells. Green Tea can help your metabolic system serve your body properly and avoid some of these issues associated with Type 2 Diabetes. In a medically reviewed article by Everyday Health, it was suggested that green tea is a great beverage to add to a diabetic’s diet.

7- Protects Vision

Green tea can protect our eyes from UV damage, eye disease, and more with its powerful antioxidant properties. The tissues in our eyes are very vulnerable which means even the slightest bit of damage can impact our vision. The antioxidants and flavonoids found in green tea can promote healthy eyes and protect our eyes from being damaged. Gallocatechin, zeaxanthin, and lutein are 3 flavonoids found in green tea that promote healthy eyes. Gallocatechin is absorbed in the retina and can protect our retina from harmful blue light.

The bottom line is that Green Tea has a variety of different health benefits you may not know of. Learn about the health benefits that can impact your life, and start drinking green tea today. Browse our vast collection of loose-leaf teas on our website to kickstart your tea obsession today.

Tea Health Benefits

Why You Should Start Drinking Tea Now

May 22, 2017

The ceremony of tea evokes a grey-haired British grandmother with Victorian fine silver teapots; porcelain cups hand-painted with violets; Emily Post place settings on rustic William and Mary style antique chestnut dining tables; doilies on every available surface; dusty heirlooms and curio cabinets – you get the picture. And, certainly, the British have owned the domain of tea—originally discovered by China—since the 1600s and the advent of the East India Company.

And yet tea is not just for elderly grandmothers or the British. The beverage appeals to all generations and cultures. What’s more, the beverage provides certain health benefits as we age. These can only be fully taken advantage of by creating your tea drinking habit sooner rather than later. Here’s our guide to getting the most from your tea. The fountain of youth may very well be flowing with tea.

Detoxification

In the article, “Anti-Aging Research Brief” published by the Academy of Anti-Aging, tea is brimming with antioxidant polyphenols called catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins. Antioxidants ultimately help prevent cancerous cells from forming, repair damage to cells and to protect blood vessel walls from free radicals. The article cites a study from King’s College in London that compared a group of black tea drinkers with a group of coffee drinkers. Scientists studied the health of both groups after one year, and found “that the tea drinkers’ risk of a heart attack approached half of the non-tea drinkers.” The scientists speculated “that tea’s beneficial cardio effects are due to the beverage’s large amounts of flavonoids.”

So what teas contain the highest levels of antioxidants? Many brands you can purchase at large chain grocery stores contain high levels of antioxidants, including Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, with 217 milligrams (mg) of antioxidants, Lipton Green Tea (201 mg), Bigelow Darjeeling Blend (164 mg). Surprisingly, a few brands of popular teas have absolutely no antioxidant content, including Lipton Lemon Iced Tea and Snapple Peach Iced Tea.

Prevent Cancer

Studies have shown that caffeine and consuming two cups of coffee can “harden a person’s arteries for several hours afterwards. This puts extra pressure on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.” Further, “it is evident today that many of our cancers are related to a dominance of estrogen. In a world flooded with estrogen and estrogen-like compounds, it is important for our bodies to have as low of an estrogen load as possible.” So drinking more than two cups of coffee can increase estrogen and lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Reducing caffeine is integral to cancer prevention, and replacing coffee with tea can easily half caffeine consumption and decrease the risk of cancer.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Teas, especially the variety of green tea known as matcha, can help regulate blood sugar. Matcha is actually powdered green tea leaves prepared with boiled water and a bamboo whisk, and is known to stabilize metabolism for those with hypo- or hyperglycemic maladies. Taking an active role in regulating blood sugar at a younger age can help prevent complications down the road.

Weight Loss

An ingredient in matcha tea, EGCG, boosts metabolism. While matcha has a high level of caffeine and may contribute to higher estrogen levels, which will help you burn fat and lose weight.

Tea Health Benefits

8 Ways Tea is Better Than Coffee

March 31, 2016

Okay tea lovers, spread the word. I know it’s true, you know it’s true. But it’s time to show the world why tea should always be everyone’s beverage of choice. While coffee might have a cult following in many parts of the country (if not world), tea ultimately comes out on top in countless ways. From its proven health benefits to its hypnotizing aroma, it’s time to prove to those coffee hounds why tea beats coffee once and for all.

It’s hydrating.

Think about it: tea is just pure water with added flavor from all-natural herbs and plants. Sipping on some tea (hot or cold) will replenish your body’s fluids, leading to additional benefits like smoother skin and weight loss. And whereas you should limit your consumption of coffee to one or two cups a day, experts say you can drink up to FIVE cups of tea a day before you should think of cutting yourself off.

It won’t make you crash.

Although tea typically has less caffeine than coffee (which can be seen as a benefit in and of itself), it can actually help you sustain your energy longer because it won’t lead to any peaks or crashes. While both drinks will give you the boost you need to get your day started, coffee has a much larger effect as a depressant, meaning the high will last shorter and drop quicker. So if you want to sustain your energy throughout the day, tea is definitely the way to go.

It has tons of antioxidants.

All teas contain an abundance of natural antioxidants (way more than coffee), leaving you feeling and looking your best at all times. These antioxidants have been proven do things like boost the immune system, slow down the aging process, make your bones stronger and even prevent cancer.

It can reduce stress.

While the physical cause behind this remains unknown, it’s a well-known fact that tea has been known to have calming effects on the body. Studies have even shown decreased heart rates in participants simply from smelling the aromas from lavender and jasmine variations. This can explain why it is so often used cross-culturally as a bonding tool, also reflecting why some cultures have tea so deeply ingrained as part of their customs. Tea has also been found to work as an anti-depressant, meaning brewing a cup the next time you’re feeling a little low might just help boost your mood.

It’s less likely to stain your clothes (and teeth).

At least, in comparison to coffee. Tea is a naturally lighter shade than the dark brew of coffee, so there’s a reduced risk of staining your button down on the way to the office. And as long as you’re not drinking gallons of tea a day (but let’s face it, I wouldn’t blame you), your teeth are safe from the unwarranted side effects of discoloration that occur after a cup of joe. Tea even contains fluoride, which actually protects your teeth.

The flavor options are endless.

Because tea can be made out of so many different materials, there’s a substantive range in flavors that just doesn’t exist in a simple coffee bean. You have the option to go more subtle, with floral undertones or opt for a bolder brew that’s full of herbs and spices: the variations are honestly endless. And if you’re missing that creamy quality, it’s easy to turn your favorite teas in tea lattes as well.

It’s easier to make and less expensive.

Coffee requires all the grinding, filtering, brewing, etc. Who has that kind of time? With tea, all you need is some hot water and you’re good to go. And because coffee requires this extra labor, it usually costs way more. Look at the menu at any restaurant or cafe and the coffee can be almost double the cost of a simple, yet delicious cup of tea.

It’s better for the environment.

As if we don’t already have enough personal reasons to choose tea over coffee, there’s also environmental benefits to it too. Producing coffee puts more of a strain on our Earth’s resources than tea. For large-scale coffee-roasting operation, harmful compounds are emitted into the atmosphere, whereas tea processing requires little more than the manual labor to pick the leaves. Tea also weighs much less than coffee, so it requires less fuel for transport and export around the world. So technically, tea also has a lower carbon footprint than coffee.

Let us know what other ways tea ultimately wins in the battle between leaves and beans.

Tea Guides

How Much Caffeine Are You Drinking in Your Tea?

March 28, 2016

Although we can estimate how much caffeine will be in your cup of tea, determining this amount never comes down to an exact science. Many factors play into how much of a kick you can get from your daily brew. Caffeine occurs naturally in tea, but the content varies based on growing variances, manufacturing, steeping times and brewing conditions. So whether you’re looking to give yourself a boost for that late night study session or sip on a soothing blend before bed, check out our definitive ranking of tea based on caffeine level to know just how much you’re drinking:

Herbal Tea (0mg)

If you want to relax with a toasty cup before bed, then herbal tea is definitely the way to go. Herbal teas are a great way to enjoy the benefits from tea’s antioxidants while avoiding the jittery feelings that often accompany caffeine intake. Herbal varieties are typically all-natural, made from various plant materials including the leaves, stems, roots and flowers from plants other than the Camellia Sinensis. Another benefit? Herbal teas don’t pose the risk of having addictive qualities, as is typically common with caffeinated beverages. However, if you’re still craving a little caffeine throughout the day, try substituting one cup a day with an herbal blend.

Decaf Tea (2-6mg)

Now you’re probably wondering,”how and why is there any caffeine in decaffeinated tea anyways?” Well, it’s important to note that decaffeinated does not mean the same thing as caffeine-free. Decaffeinated tea typically refers to black or green tea that has had most of its natural caffeine removed through processes that involve either the soaking or filtration of the leaves. But rest assured, the amount is almost negligible – by law, decaf tea must have less than 2.5% of its original caffeine level. So go ahead and brew another cup, it won’t keep you up at night.

White Tea (10-15mg)

White teas are the least processed of all teas, releasing minimal amounts of caffeine from their leaves while giving off a very subtle and silky taste. Though typically lower in caffeine content than its more processed counterparts, there can still be a wide range. However, white teas are usually blended with different herbs which bring down the caffeine level. White tea is a good option at anytime of the day, boasting little to no negative side effects.

Green Tea (20-35mg)

Green tea works as a great midday pick-me-up. Its moderately low caffeine level produces a very steady effect when consumed, causing no peaks or plunges. It is also considered an effective meditative aid, acting as a mild stimulant without causing any insomnia or jitters. The benefits of green tea are also numerous, so if you want to drink two or three servings a day, I’m not stopping you…

Oolong Tea (30-50mg)

Oolong tea is halfway between green and black teas, both in caffeine and oxidation levels. It has the body and complexity of a black tea while still maintaining the brightness of a green tea, making it a favorite among tea connoisseurs. Its caffeine content is both healthy and palatable, so it can provide a nice boost without the risk of crashing later in the day.

Black Tea (40-60mg)

Black tea is the strongest and most caffeinated of all the tea varieties. It acts as the perfect way to awaken your senses and kickstart your day. Chai tea is on the lower end of the caffeine spectrum while more processed blends can release higher levels. If you’re worried about too much caffeine, don’t stress; black tea still pales in comparison to the ridiculous caffeine content in coffee (just another reason why tea will always prevail).

Tea Guides

Loose Tea vs. Bagged Tea: Which is Better?

March 8, 2016

Tea connoisseurs will argue avidly about the superiority of whole leaf (or loose leaf) tea to bagged tea. However, when it comes to choosing between loose tea and bagged tea, there are a few key factors to consider: flavor, convenience, health benefits, and price.

FLAVOR

Loose tea is left whole. This allows the leaves to absorb the water and allow it to move through it. This process creates more bold and dynamic flavor patterns. Each leaf expands to its fullest potential releasing more antioxidants, flavors, and aromas.

Bagged tea, however, is made most commonly from low grade tea dust and fannings. This gives bagged tea a one-dimensional flavor profile, and is the reason over-steeped tea bags often become quite bitter. The finely broken leaves used in bagged tea lose many of the essential oils and aromas during processing, which when steeped release more tannins. The reason for the diminished flavor profile is simple: the dust and fannings are what’s left after the whole tea leaves are processed. However, the strong bitter brew handles milk and sugar well.

CONVENIENCE

The misconception is that it’s “harder” to brew loose tea, but it’s about the same number of steps to brew a teabag and loose leaf tea. However, taking the tea with you can be a little cumbersome. Loose teas are often held in tin containers and you’ll have to bring the steeper with you. Some companies are now making whole leaf tea bags, which allow you to reach almost identical results to steeping loose tea.  [Check out directions for brewing here]

Bagged teas, on the other hand, are individually wrapped and easy to transport. They appeal to the on-the-go lifestyle, which has contributed to its success for hundreds of years.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Generally speaking all teas contain some level of antioxidants. It’s because of these antioxidants the following health benefits occur:

Tea contains flavonoids which act as antioxidants. These antioxidants help neutralize cell damaging free-radicals which in return has a positive impact on some chronic diseases including some types of cancer (skin, oral, lung, ovarian cancer, etc.) and cardiovascular disease.

Research studies show that the theanine found in tea is a distinctive amino acid that preps the immune system to help fight infection, bacteria and viruses. This theanine helps the immune system generate higher levels of interferon. Interferon is a protein our bodies produce and one of its main functions is to build up our immune system.

Libretea.com

The biggest difference between loose teas and bagged teas are the levels of flavonoids that diffuse. Meaning, with a whole leaf tea you get more bang for your buck.

PRICE POINT

When comparing loose tea to bagged tea, the loose tea ends up being cheaper. Even premium loose varieties that retail for about $20 come out to about $0.10 per cup. This doesn’t include the fact that whole leaf tea, because of its more flavorful profile, can be brewed more than once and still make a nice tasting cup.

We’ve given you the pros and cons of each, but at the end of the day, the choice is yours, and its a matter of preference. Whether you’re choosing whole leaf or bagged tea, you’re doing your body good by drinking tea!

Let us know which you prefer, loose or bagged tea, and why in the comments below!

Tea Health Benefits

Health Benefits of Tea

October 28, 2015

From chai to green, black to oolong, tea is a delicious and comforting brew that is chock full of healthy antioxidants and other goodies. Tea is a zero-calorie, hot or cold drink that has potential health benefits for you – incorporating a cup of tea or two in your daily life could only help you. True teas all come from the same plant, and are fermented at different rates to bring out unique flavors. These result in four main types of tea: black, oolong, green, and white tea.

Black tea is made from fermented leaves, which is why it has a dark black or red colors. Many flavors of tea fall under the black tea umbrella, such as darjeeling, earl gray, and chai. Although drinking dark brews, including coffee, is blamed for teeth staining, black tea could actually be great for your smile, perhaps due to the tannins found in the tea. The Tea Trade Health Research Association has funded studies that suggest that black tea can reduce plaque build-up and control bacteria. Additionally, a research study has shown that black tea could lower your risk of diabetes. In this study, people who had been drinking black tea on a long-term basis had a 70% lower chance of having or developing type 2 diabetes. Black tea could also boost your immune system since it contains antigens that can boost immune response, and tannins that are able to fight viruses. Lastly, since black tea has a lower amount of caffeine, it can increase blood flow to the brain without over-stimulating the heart – it won’t leave you jittery with a caffeine crash later. Definitely worth the switch over from your morning coffee!

Oolong is similar to black tea but is only partially oxidized. Like black tea, it can reduce some chronic health diseases like high cholesterol levels and heart disease. It has also been hailed as a weight management aide, supposedly due to a polyphenol compound found in it. Studies are still being done to prove the effectiveness of weight loss, but in one study, mice that were given polyphenols in addition to a fattening diet still lost overall weight and body fat. The same polyphenolic compounds have been attributed to the anti-cancer properties of oolong tea, since they can act as a chemo-preventative weapon against carcinogenic cells.

Green tea is made from leaves that are dried or heat-treated to prevent fermentation and oxidization. This process leaves it with more amounts of antioxidants than black tea, which combat free radicals in your system. These same antioxidants do wonders for your skin, and can reduce wrinkles and signs of aging. Like oolong, green tea can contribute to weight loss. It boosts your metabolism by suppressing your lipid metabolism, which reduces fatty accumulation. In a study done in Japan, mice that were fed green tea powder gained less weight and had less adipose tissue.

White tea leaves are picked when they’re very young – which makes them rare – and have a mild, delicate flavor, as well as the least amount of caffeine. It contains the same kinds of antioxidants as green tea, but in even greater quantity because they are the least processed out of all the teas. It contains fluoride, which keeps teeth strong and healthy, and possesses many of the same benefits as green tea because of their closeness with green tea. White tea is also a natural killer of bacteria and viruses due to its antioxidants that guard the immune system against many illnesses. White tea is also believed to improve bone density and strength.

So whether it’s a bold cup of black tea to kickstart your day or a soothing cup of white tea in the afternoon, incorporate tea into your daily routine for a more healthy and energizing lifestyle. Given the benefits of weight loss, bone health and cancer and diabetes prevention there’s no reason not to drink a cup of tea a day! It might even keep the doctor away!