Black Tea: Vibrant History, Vibrant Health!
Caffeine gets a bad rap. But does your love of a black tea buzz have consequences?
Researchers at Harvard say no! As it turns out, tea improves your overall well-being in all forms. So, if your preference is for a darker brew, go ahead and indulge.
Black tea has been a wildly popular beverage around the world historically. Even in a coffee-obsessed world, you'll be surprised to know that tea still ranks number one among popular drinks (other than water.)
Some countries add spices and sweeteners, others just a splash of milk. No matter how you enjoy your brew, you benefit from polyphenols and antioxidants. Black tea contains active compounds that support healthy skin, teeth, bones, and organs.
Love Your Skin
Keeping our skin healthy can be challenging. The skin is the largest organ in the body. Environmental pollutants, detergents, and harsh products disrupt your skin's natural pH. The result? Aging.
Luckily, black tea protects you.
- Magnesium seals moisture into your skin cells.
- Potassium helps to protect natural elasticity.
- Zinc builds new cells and heals wounds.
- Manganese increases collagen production.
Drinking black tea improves acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. You can manage your skin from the inside out with the powerful minerals in a cup of tea.
Give Teeth To Your Smile
Common misconception: tea is bad for your teeth.
In actuality, researchers have shown quite the opposite! Drinking tea can eliminate microbes that cause bad breath and tooth decay. The theaflavins in your cup of tea are antibacterial.
Tea also contains natural fluoride, which strengthens enamels and prevents erosion.
If You "Heart" Tea, Your Heart Will Thank You!
Tea is a delicious way to strengthen this vital organ. Patients with coronary heart disease showed positive results in tissue repair by regularly drinking tea. Flavonoids in black tea help boost endothelial cells and may lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
It's Hip To Sip
Tea drinkers are less likely to develop osteoporosis and hip fractures. A large-scale study of women's bone density suggests tea drinkers have stronger bones.
In the US, over 300,000 women over 65 are hospitalized yearly for hip fractures. These injuries are devastating, reducing mobility and independence. Next time you're sipping Earl Gray, know that you're protecting your skeleton!
Afternoon Low, Meet High Tea
It's 2 PM, and your brain feels fuzzy. Your eyes are starting to droop.
In the 1840s, The Duchess of Bedford had the same feeling. So, she began the tradition of a meal between lunch and dinner: Afternoon Tea.
Tea time is less formal than it was 200 years ago. You don't have to bust out fancy China pots and crustless sandwiches. However, a nice mug of black tea in the afternoon can lift your spirits and make your work day a little more enjoyable.
The Spice Is Nice
Chai is one of the most popular varieties of tea. Different varieties of chai are available in every coffee shop and grocery store. But this blend has a history.
Chai, in India, means "tea." It's redundant when you say "chai tea." The spice blend is called "masala." Depending on the region, the spice blend will be different.
Traditionally, black tea, herbs, and spices are heated in a pot on the stove with milk. The brew is simmered to perfection and then strained into your cup. This brew can contain cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, the mixture we've come to love here in America. But, it can also contain delicious herbs like lemongrass and mint.
Not Shaken Or Stirred
The traditional German tea, called Ostfriesentee, involves rich history and cream. Assam or Ceylon tea is brewed strong and poured over a kluntje.
The natural rock of sugar is left to sit at the bottom of the cup, unstirred. A dollop of heavy cream is added to the top and is also left to settle in its place. This creates a layered cup - cream on top, tea in the middle, and sweetness right at the end.
Samovar Friends Are Coming Over!
Have you heard of a samovar? In Russian and Persian tea culture, this ornate metal water heater is the center of it all. In the past, the host would heat the samovar with wood chips or coal, adding smokiness to the brewed tea's flavor.
Today, most samovars are electric. Persian tea calls for three crushed cardamom pods. It can also involve rosewater, lavender, and bergamot. Both traditionally call for black tea. If you are looking for that smoky flavor, try Lapsang Souchong!
Back in Black
Black tea is widely consumed in many countries around the world. There are so many cultural customs to explore, which make for endless flavor possibilities and serving methods.
Not only is black tea popular, but it is also healthy for the body. No matter how you choose to sip, the polyphenols and antioxidants will improve the health of skin, teeth, bones, and organs.
For early morning or mid-afternoon, sipping on tea is a treat. Tea is a beverage as versatile as its history. Enjoy!