Tea: Which One Should I Drink?

 One of the questions I get most often is “What tea should I be drinking all the time?” There is never a quick answer to that because you really shouldn’t be drinking the same tea all the time. (At least now I can shorten my long answer by directing everyone here.)

There are very different reasons to drink each type of tea along with very different tastes of each tea. The reason you want to drink tea will lead you to an ‘old stand by’ but remember to change it up. Your body adapts to everything you introduce to it. That is why you need to change medication after being on the same one for a long period of time. It is also why we develop allergies to foods we have enjoyed in the past. Wheat is a good example of this: Most people have a wheat allergy due to the fact they have consumed it for years at an over abundance.

Chinese literature often states that food and medicine share a common source. This is certainly true with tea. The strong antioxidants found in tea are anticancerous. (This would explain why Asians have the lowest rate of heart disease and cancer in the world, despite the high percentage of heavy smokers among the population.)

Tea drinking is safe and provides many health benefits but be aware and don’t overdo the caffeine.

Components in tea bind to iron, so people who take iron supplements shouldn’t take tea with their iron. Put at least an hour between the two. Tea flavonoids generate free radicals in the presence of copper, so it seems prudent not to take tea with a copper supplements either.

The most expensive tea is made from the prized young buds on the plant. These buds have the most flavonoids, catechins, and the most caffeine. They also have the least fluoride. Fluoride accumulates in the oldest leaves on the plant. The least expensive teas are made from the older leaves. So the least expensive tea will more than likely benefit people who suffer from osteoporosis.

There are other varieties but the most common teas are black, green, oolong, white, red and herbal.

Make It Right:

About half of the constituents of tea leaves are soluble. Some are slow to dissolve while others are much quicker. That is why brewing time is crucial and varies considerably. Do not judge when tea is ready by its color; instead brew by taste.

Water is also an important factor. The cheapest and most convenient choice of water is tap water, which can be hard or soft. Hard water is inferior to soft water because it contains more chemicals. The chemicals affect the make-up of the tea and also impairs the taste. Try using sand or charcoal filters, which are better than the chemical ones. You can also leave the water to stand overnight to let the chemicals fall to the bottom and use only the top half of the water. Avoid using distilled water to make tea. Tea leaves are preferred to tea bags. You are not going to get a very good quality of tea from a bag. Get yourself a tea ball and use whole leaves. Remove the tea leaves before pouring tea. Another benefit of using leaves is that you can use them 3-4 times before you need to discard them. After you brew a cup of tea, hang the tea ball filled with the wet tea leaves on your kitchen faucet and reuse for your next few cups.

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