Published On: December 8, 2022793 words4 min read

Let’s talk about tea, instead of wine or whiskey or beer! Let’s talk about a drink so ancient it was first made in China in about 2700 BCE! Teas have so many good values so I want to blog about tea today. I will introduce this amazing beverage and then I will give you 10 good reasons why drinking tea this Christmas is a good idea!

Tea is a beverage made by steeping the processed leaves, buds, or twigs of the tea bush in water. Tea or TEA also refers to the meal tea, often taken in the late afternoon or early evening and comprising a pot of tea, plenty of tiny sandwiches, meats, and breads, cheeses and sweets. It can also refer to an herbal tea, or tisane, made from infusing or decocting herbs, spices, and other plant parts in hot water. These teas are caffeine-free, but traditional English tea is real Ceylon tea and contains caffeine and tannins.

Did you know that tea was first known in China in about 2700 BCE?

Origins of Tea

“For millennia it was a medicinal beverage obtained by boiling fresh leaves in water, but around the 3rd century CE it became a daily drink, and tea cultivation and processing began. The first published account of methods of planting, processing, and drinking came in 350 CE.”

Teas are classified according to their origin: China, Ceylon, Japanese, Indonesian, and African tea. Sometimes they are named after the district from whence they come: Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgris from India, Uva and Dimbula from Sri Lanka, Keemun from Chi-men in China’s Anhwei Province, and Enshu from Japan.

Most people know that tea contains caffeine which adds character to the tea and one cup of tea contains up to 90mg of caffeine. Tannins are the chemicals in tea, or polyphenols, that give tea its acidity, and bitterness. Some teas have added volatile oils for flavor and some sugars and amino acids add to the quality of teas.

Tea can be energizing and tea can be calming, it can be cooling and it can be warming. It is also brimming with myriad health benefits.

10 Reasons to Drink Tea this Christmas

  1. Tea is nice – I drink all and any tea from my favourite green tea to classic rooibos and mint, ginger, lemon or exotic flower teas. Teas are classified according to how they are made so you get three types of teas: fermented (black), unfermented (green), and semifermented (oolong or pouchong).
  2. Tea is warming – it is psychologically warming and energising, lifting the spirits as it tends to physical and mental issues. Think of all the cups of tea being drunk in a workplace, by teachers, by nurses and by people in hard labour jobs?
  3. Tea is cooling – tea in the heat is actually cooling so try it – I rarely drink Ceylon tea but a drop of milk in strong Ceylon tea is cooling and awakening at the same time.
  4. Tea is easy – grab a tea bag, pour on hot water and it is done – no cool box, glass bottles, opener or glasses to lug around.
  5. Tea is healthy – there are hundreds of health benefits to drinking black teas, oolong teas, green teas, herbs, rooibos, Indian teas and more.
  6. Tea is cheap – R20 for 40 teabags, not R90 for 750ml! or R400 for whiskey!
  7. Tea is stimulating – caffeine and tannin are not bad for you, not like alcohol is. It is fascinating to learn that caffeine is found in “the seeds, fruits, nuts, or leaves of a number of plants native to Africa, East Asia and South America and helps to protect them against herbivores and from competition by preventing the germination of nearby seeds, as well as encouraging consumption by select animals such as honey bees. The best-known source of caffeine is the coffee bean – people may drink beverages containing caffeine to relieve or prevent drowsiness and to improve cognitive performance.”
  8. Tea is calming – especially chamomile and other herb teas. Even a sweet Ceylon tea does the trick, especially after a trauma like an accident. Researchers have found that “drinking tea lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And evidence of long-term health benefits is emerging, too: drinking at least 100 milliliters (about half a cup) of green tea a day seems to lower the risk of developing depression and dementia.”
  9. Tea is sociable – friends drink tea and natter; tea is great for relieving stress and anxiety too, being calming and stimulating at the same time,
  10. Tea is not a drug. Do you know anyone addicted to tea? I do know people who drink about 6 cups a day but they certainly just love the taste and all of the above!

The moral of the story? Don’t drink alcohol, drink tea!

 

 

 

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