Tea..rrific! Tea is delicious, flavorful and full of antioxidants. Thousands of years ago, emperors sipped on this steamy beverage, and today it has become fashionable to savor it hot or cold. Camellia Sinensis is the fancy name for the plant that leaves come from for making tea. The four different types of tea, white, green, oolong and black are all made from this plant. The difference comes with the way the leaves are processed. The longer the fermentation process the darker the color of the leaves.
• White Tea- picked at a very young age the leaves are steamed and dried.
• Green Tea- these leaves are withered then steamed and dried.
• Oolong Tea- these leaves are allowed time to ferment for a short period and then are dried.
• Black Tea- these leaves are fully fermented and then are dried.
When preparing the tea, White Tea should be steeped at 185 degrees for 4-15 minutes, Green Tea should be steeped at 160 degrees for 1-2 minutes, Oolong Tea should be steeped at 203 degrees for 1-9 minutes and Black Tea should be steeped at 203 degrees for 3-5 minutes.
Tea has amazing health benefits along with its great taste! Tea has been found to contain components called phytochemicals which are antioxidants that help fight off cancer and heart disease. These antioxidant powers in tea have been found to be more powerful than those in fruits and vegetables. They can lower your total and bad cholesterol, inhibit cavities, boost metabolism, aid in weight loss, improve skin, boost your immune system, protect bones, prevent skin cancer, and even flight off bad breath. Drinking tea can be more flavorful and healthful than just drinking water, and can also contribute to your daily fluid intake. There are no calories in tea. If you switch your daily pop for a cup of tea you are cutting back on about 150 calories a day, thats about a pound a month you can lose just by drinking tea! On a hot day add ice to cool it down, a lemon or some stevia natural sweetener to add some sweetness. If you are like me and do not like caffeine, there are decaffeinated options. Make your tea yourself from the tea bag, and stay away from bottles in the store, these can have added sugars and go through processing. Try to buy organic tea bags. Make the switch to any type of tea and give yourself the benefits of Tea…rrific tea!