Now that you have some warm, yummy dinners to wind down the cold, fall nights, what about an equally comforting jump start to the day? Here are some teas that will not only warm you up, but are great for some common ailments. You can find these in most grocery or health food stores – grocery stores usually carry boxes of tea bags, while health food places also carry loose tea leaves. If you get it this way, just add the leaves to a tea ball or tea satchel. Boil water on the stove or in an electric kettle. Once the water has come to a boil, pour boiling water into the mug over the loose tea, tea ball or strainer. Cover the mug (you can find fun mugs that come with their own tops or you can just put a small plate or saucer on top) and let steep 3 to 5 minutes based on taste preference. If you prefer really strong tea try 8 to 10 minutes. For green tea try only 2 to 3 minutes because it can turn strong and bitter pretty fast.
This is probably the stuff you’re used to. It is higher in caffeine than a lot of other teas and is a great alternative to your morning cup of joe. It has also been shown to reduce cardiovascular problems and is full of antioxidants, including the kind that can actually help fight against hearing loss! You can drink it black or try it with milk (or milk alternative) and a sweetener like honey or agave.
This is actually made from the same leaves as black tea, but the oxidation process is shorter. This stuff can help with everything from weight loss and complexion to keeping your heart and cholesterol in check. It does have some caffeine but is much lower than black tea. This has been a staple in Asia for centuries and is one of those “super foods” always touted for it’s high level of antioxidants. It tastes great with lemon or a touch of honey.
That’s right… white! It comes from the same bush as black and green, but the leaves are picked much earlier than the others. The leaves are even less processed than green tea and are steamed rather than air-dried. Because the leaves are so close to their natural state, this stuff has even more antioxidants than the others. Okay, so it’s not exactly white but it is very pale in color, even after steeping for a while. It tastes great just as it is, no extras necessary!
Oolong teas fall somewhere between the others as far as processing goes – partial fermentation gives them a distinct reddish color and a “flowery” flavor. Even though it does have caffeine, it’s a great relaxation drink. It has all of the health benefits of the others, especially for helping with weight loss and fighting obesity.
While most other teas originated in China, this one comes from Africa and is from a completely different plant. Some people consider this stuff an acquired taste – it’s a bit nutty and has a full flavor, unlike most herbal tea (which is generally pretty mild.) This tea is naturally caffeine free, so you can enjoy as much as you like without sacrificing your sleep!
What do you guys think – can you give up your coffee for one of these?
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