According to The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook: A Guide to the World’s Best Teas by Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss, there are approximately 20,000 different sorts of tea worldwide. The sheer variety of tea is mindblowing, from traditional teas such as Earl Grey, which is drunk without milk, to teas made from blends of herbs and spices from all over the world. If you love to drink tea and try new things, there is a huge tea adventure for you to go on, and you can do this in the comfort of your home.
Ethically sourced world teas
If you buy tea bags in bulk in the grocery store, it is easy to forget that that tea started its life growing on a farm. Joining a tea of the month club can give you the opportunity not only to try new varieties of tea, but also to learn about how the tea is grown and produced. Ethically sourced tea comes from small farms that use sustainable farming techniques to grow their tea. You can sample single origin teas from all over the world and compare the tastes and flavours. From Nepal and India to Thailand and Malaysia, you may be surprised how different tea can taste. Give yourself a little “tea time” everyday to sit down, take a moment and enjoy the stillness and calm of enjoying a good cup of tea.
Healing herbal teas
Herbal teas, sometimes called tisanes, are an infusion of herbs and spices in hot water. Herbal teas can have significant health benefits. Peppermint tea is often drunk to help aid digestion, to settle the stomach and aid with other gastric issues. Research has found that regularly drinking chamomile tea improves sleep quality and even helps to improve the symptoms of depression. Ginger tea is deliciously spicy, and has been shown to help boost the immune system and fight inflammation. It is used as a home remedy for nausea in many different cultures and is often drunk during pregnancy to relieve morning sickness. You can make herbal teas a regular part of your daily routine, and drink them not just for the taste, but the health benefits they have.
Fruit teas are perfect for rehydration and can be drunk hot or cold. Next time you think about having a glass of squash that contains artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, have a glass of fruit tea instead. Fruit teas don’t have any artificial colours of flavouring, they’re just made from dried fruits infused in water, often with the addition of herbs or spices. Popular combinations are hibiscus, blackcurrants, cranberries and blueberries. In the winter months, apple and cinnamon is a delicious combination, and completely free of caffeine.
Tea is something to be savoured and enjoyed, and an important part of everyday life. It’s time to step away from those boring teabags and discover a whole new world of tea.