Exploring the World of Tea – Cup of Tea anyone?
It’s no mistery that our ChiarasTuscany team loves tea and everything tea-related. Maybe it’s our British double heart, maybe it is our French team connection , whatever the reason we truly are passionate about it!
We have already mentioned that Tea is not part of the Italian culture. For centuries, it has been a popular drink for numerous populations. In Britain and Asia it really is a daily ritual. Tea benefits are so many that we thought it would be interesting to spend some time exploring them with you.
Tea contains polyphenols, flavonoids and tannins together with minerals, oligo-elements, vitamins and fatty acids. Thanks to recent studies focusing on intestinal microbiota, it appears that Tea is one of the elements helping to keeping it healthy while also acting on the liver, promoting elimination of fat deposits (ideal after the holidays).
Research has also shown that drinking green tea, three times per week, for 6 months is associated with a remarkable decrease in colorectal cancer risk.
All the colours of Tea
Do you know that the many varieties available depend on the degree of oxidation of the leaves?
We have Green Tea (not oxidized) and Black Tea (complete oxidation) but also White Tea (very weak oxidation) and Oolong (semi-oxidation), not counting Matcha Tea (also green tea), considered to be the green gold of Asia. It contains 100 times more polyphenols than black tea and happily complements pastries and baking. Have you ever tried my favourite? A good frothy Matcha Latte? A true energy boost!
The best healthy choice surely is Green Tea. It contains twice as many antioxidants compared to black tea, less alkaloids and it is your best youth-ally. Moreover, Green Tea helps you keep in shape while activating your basic metabolism, therefore helping to burn calories. Its catechins reduce the blood sugar levels; an interesting fact for those who want to keep an eye on diabetes.
White tea is a variety less known but rich in antioxidants; it contains little caffeine, and helps to prevent cavities. Its fine and subtle taste gives it a unique gentle flavor. As its leaves are weakly oxidized, White tea’s nutritional properties remain intact. It is more expensive and difficult to find than other varieties of tea, but it has more beneficial powers. If you want to spoil a true tea lover, choose a good white tea, he will surely appreciate.
Our Herbalist’s advice
Without going into the charming details of how to make the best tea the British way, (you can read it here ), our advice is to let tea leaves infuse for at least 2 minutes at 80 °C, in order to get the maximum benefit, both for your health and your taste buds.
Avoid packaged industrial teas, usually sold in sachets. In most cases, it’s leaf processing waste and what you get is pieces of tea trapped in sachets sealed with glue! Surely you can do better than drink glue residues in your cuppa! The idea that tea bags are more practical is nonsense. Choose to buy your tea as loose leaves and brew it in a good old teapot! (By the way, rinse it every time and never use dish soap to wash it)
To avoid iron and calcium from being poorly assimilated, choose to drink your tea between meals (the afternoon tea ritual is just perfect!)
Finally, avoid adding sugar or any sweetener to your cup of tea. It’s a matter of getting used to drinking it neat. You will appreciate the true flavour and aroma while, for milk, we’ll leave it up to you.
In any case, remember: milk never goes with Earl Grey, Tea-purists say.
So, make us a cuppa, will you, love?