Welcome to our newest series. In “Friday Favorites,” our team will share a handful of favorite items. These can range from clothes to beauty products to recipes to books and anything in between.
I love tea. Specifically, hot tea.
I can’t tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi; Starbucks and Dunkin’ both taste the same to me; and I wouldn’t be able to even identify a Whataburger much less make a comparative analysis between that and an In-N-Out burger.
But I know tea. And I have even put a cup of tea down, stuck my nose in the air, and pronounced: “Ugh, I can’t do this,” while proclaiming a brand of tea cheap, and undrinkable.
I’m not here to bag on tea brands—ha, pun intended—but I would like to share my favorite teas to drink throughout the day:
The amount of caffeine in a cup of tea depends on several factors: type of tea, amount of tea used, and brewing time chief among them. A rough comparison is that a cup of black tea contains half the caffeine of a cup of black coffee. So even though I don’t have a caffeine habit, I do enjoy a cup of strong black tea in the morning. My favorites are the breakfast blends.
English, Irish, and Scottish are the most well-known breakfast teas, but there are others to be found such as Welsh and Canadian. Really anyone that has been part of the British empire probably has a breakfast tea to call their own. If you like to dress your tea up with milk and sugar, or perhaps lemon, I find strong black tea to be the best receptor of add-ins.
One common misconception about tea is that the varieties come from different plants. All teas – black, green, white, or red – come from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. But much like wine with its varietals, the differences come from where it’s grown, the type of soil it’s grown in, how long it’s left on the plant, how it’s treated after harvest, and what’s added to it to make a tea blend.
My go-to mid-morning tea is green. I find green tea light, soothing, and compatible with a mid-morning snack. There are too many green teas to list, and inclinations are very personal. Three of my favorites are Jasmine, Genmaicha, and Dragon-well. My best advice for green tea is try them until you find the one that suits you!
Although there are a plethora of teas marketed to support healthy digestion, my preferred after meal tea is peppermint. Not only is peppermint known for soothing intestines and reducing stomach bloat, I find that it also satisfies my craving for something sweet after a meal. If you are feeling minty, but not ‘peppermint-y’, try spearmint, Moroccan mint, mint medley, or Candy Cane Lane®.
It seems that regardless of what I have for lunch, at around 4 pm I want to eat everything in sight. To mitigate these late afternoon cravings, I drink chai tea. Like most teas, chai (also known as masala) can take a lot of forms, but the hallmark of chai is that it’s bold, spicy, and aromatic.
Spices such as black pepper, ginger, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon not only make a culinary statement. They also bestow several health benefits such as activating digestive enzymes, reducing blood sugar levels, and even aiding weight loss. This sampler pack is a great way to try different kinds of chai tea and find your favorite blend!
In case you didn’t catch on from my post-lunch sweet cravings or my afternoon propensity to munch, I like something sweet after meals. While peppermint tea is just as satisfying in the evening as it is in the afternoon, there are a lot of delectable dessert teas available that are truly satisfying.
The Eat This, Not That! folks have put together a handy list of 18 dessert teas. You can locate such delights as Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Monkey. The Republic of Tea, Simpson & Vail, and Tazo all have fantastic dessert lines. A rule of thumb for deciding what to try: if you like the dessert, chances are good you will like the dessert tea by the same name!
I know what you are thinking – does this woman drink tea all day long? Yes. Yes, she does. And nothing says nighty-night like a nice cup of tea.
Many people are familiar with herbs that are known to promote sleep: chamomile, valerian, lavender. There are no shortage of herbal teas that combine sleep promoting ingredients that will send you peacefully off to dreamland. Celestial Seasonings has a line of Sleepytime® teas that I enjoy; you can also buy the sleep promoting herbs yourself and make your own blends. The possibilities are endless.