Finally, the time of year for big sweaters, comforting foods, and warming fires is here. What better way to start a chilly day, unwind for a mid-day break, or relax on a cool fall evening than with a cup of tea? We explore why tea is so comforting and what types of teas are best this fall.
Science Behind the Soothe
The calming effects of tea have been widely known since 2737 BC, where, in ancient China tea was discovered and consumed for its medicinal qualities. At the time tea was reserved for royalty and the rich. After some time, other tea plants were discovered and it became a regular beverage to relax and re-charge the population. Japanese priests who were studying in China were impressed by the powerful tea leafs and brought them back to Japan where tea was most often drank by meditating Zen Buddhists. It eventually became a ritual Japanese Tea Ceremony.
Drinking tea is a slow, calm activity so it naturally makes us relax. It is not too often that you find people running around frantic with tea in to-go mugs. Tea is meant to be a small pleasure, enjoyed leisurely. For this reason, tea is known to help anxiety, and calm everyday nerves easily.
In a study conducted by University College London, when people were put under pressure and drank tea, it lowered stress hormone levels nearly twice as much, compared with those given a tea-like drink. Nearly an hour after the tea drinkers consumed tea, their levels of cortisol had fallen by 47%. The study also found a positive effect on blood platelets (which can contribute to heart attacks).
Tea Types from Noon ‘til Night
Wake Up: In general, black tea has 40-70 milligrams of caffeine. (Regular brewed coffee has 95-200 milligrams.) Try these top teas to jump-start the day.
Calm Down: Herbal teas are great because they do not have caffeine, yet carry all of the properties as their stronger comrades. Enjoy any of these when you need a break, or to wind down. (add link with best herbal teas)
Just Because: Green tea is known as the antioxidant powerhouse, and can even help with weight loss. Newer to the scene is white tea. Like green tea, white tea is made from unfermented tea leafs, however White tea leaves are picked right before the blossom next to them opens. These each have low caffeine amounts (from 15-45 milligrams) so if you are sensitive to it, look for decaf. (add link with best green & white teas)
Fall Flavor: The spices of the fall season are here! It just so happens that many of these spices are found in tea flavors (chai anyone?). Seep into the comfort of the season with any of these warming flavors. (add link with best fall teas)
Beyond the cup: Not a big tea drinker? Try any of these recipes using tea.
With our tea mugs high, we salute the arrival of fall!