resolution can start with tea
As we start the New Year and we make those resolutions to improve our diets and ingest less calories, think about making tea a major component of your beverage intake. Instead of a soft drink, have a tea instead.
For those looking at tea as a healthy alternative, I thought I would do a little review of the types of tea available at your favourite tea stores.
Black tea is the most familiar type of tea for North Americans. It what is usually found in tea bags in households across the country. The big difference between those ubiquitous tea bags and the tea found at fine tea stores is the quality of the leaves. Loose leaf teas, in general terms, are made from higher quality leaves and that translates into better, more flavourful tea.
The most popular tea type, blacks are more oxidized than other types of teas. Oxidation is the process that turns green tea leaves black. In turn, the longer oxidation time usually produces a stronger flavour and richer aroma.
Here the short and simplified explanation of what happens when black teas are produced. After tea leaves are picked, they begin to wilt. The leaves are often shaken, or bruised, to aid the oxidation process. Oxidation changes the chemical composition of the tea and helps create the tea aroma and flavour. Usually, blacks contain more caffeine.
In contrast, green teas are not oxidized. Instead the leaves are steamed or after being picked and are then dried. This process retains the green colour of the leaves and also the original chemical composition of the leaves. Health advocates argue that green teas are very beneficial for a wide range of ailments, in part because they are high in anti oxidants. Claims abound that green teas can help with everything from certain types of cancer to helping prevent strokes.
Oolongs fall somewhere in the middle between blacks and greens. They are not processed as quickly after harvesting as greens and receive less oxidation than blacks. Oolongs are a personal favourite because of their delicate taste. They are also valued for their health benefits.
White tea is less well kno converse shoes wn in North America but is prized in many parts of the world as a superior quality tea. White teas are picked before their buds fully open. They are not oxidized instead the leaves are steamed and then dried. Pale in colour and subtle in flavo converse shoes ur, white teas a converse shoes re prized for their taste and their health benefits, and are among the most expensive teas on the market.
Another of my personal favourites is pu erh tea. Pu erhs ar converse shoes e a special type of tea that gets better with age this is the exact opposite of almost all other teas which deteriorate the longer they are stored. Because of the slow, intricate way in which they are processed, these teas can be aged for up to 50 years and still retain their wonderful flavour.
While not technically a rooibos is growing in popularity in recent years in North America. Rooibos actually come from a bush found only in South Africa. It is reddish in colour and contains no caffeine. It also has a natural sweetness and is often blended to produce a variety of hot and iced Rooibos is also valued by those wanting teas with health benefits.
Herbal teas are also technically not teas. They made from the variety of organic substances such as flowers, leaves, fruits, roots, etc., but do not contain the leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant. There are literally hundreds of these beverages out there, with each claiming to be beneficial to some aspect of your health. My advice is to do your own thorough research when using these products for their health benefits.