Around the World in a Cup: Tea Demystified

Around the World in a Cup: Tea Demystified

According to legend, a Chinese emperor accidentally discovered tea some 4,700 years ago when a tea leaf landed in his pot of boiling water. Since then, tea has become the second most consumed beverage in the world to water. As we all know, the benefits of drinking tea are endless. From helping you relax to preventing cancer and disease, the super-drink has earned its place in the daily lives of millions. Here are some varieties of teas from around the world you don’t want to miss out on trying.

Darjeeling Black Tea
The world’s finest black tea travels to us from the Indian town of Darjeeling, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, where black tea is a staple beverage. Drinking black tea reduces the risk of heart disease and can help prevent tooth decay. Its caffeine content has an anti-obesity effect, while its antioxidants prevent and repair damage to cells in our bodies. Darjeeling Black Tea has a light, fruity and floral taste you can enjoy without cream and sugar. Traveling someplace new? Black tea is a great drink to have in hand when you’re trying new foods, since the anti-inflammatory compounds in it aids in digestion.

Sencha Tea
Of all the varieties of green tea in the world, the Japanese prefer Sencha tea, a non-fermented tea that has a deep, grassy flavor. After being harvested, Sencha tea leaves are simply steamed, so they retain most of their natural, healthy properties. The compounds in sencha can eliminate extra cholesterol in your body and help it detox. Need a boost? Sencha tea contains a dose of caffeine, so grab yourself a cup if you ever need a quick pick-me-up!

Mint Tea
When it comes to drinks, Morocco has a love story with mint tea that spans centuries. Mint—be it spearmint or peppermint—contains menthol, a compound that can cure bad breath and treat nausea. Having a cup during a cold or cough can do wonders since the calming effects of menthol can relieve nasal congestion and relax the throat. Feeling restless on a long flight? Kick back and sip on some mint tea. It’ll keep your stress-levels down and help you catch some z’s.

White Tea
White tea was developed in China, centuries ago, as tea culture flourished through the region. White tea leaves are harvested from the plant before the leaves are open. After being handpicked, the delicate buds are immediately steamed or dried on low heat so they don’t lose their freshness. Compared to its Green and Black counterparts, White tea has a more delicate taste. If you’re looking for the least processed tea, look no further.

Herbal Rooibos Tea
Also known as Red Tea, this sweet and nutty drink was discovered in the late 16th century by a Swedish botanist in the cape of South Africa. Take a break from caffeine and enjoy a cup of the calming, mineral-rich herbal tea that’s also naturally loaded with anti-cancer chemicals. In addition to containing important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron, Rooibos tea can help you fall asleep.

As the weather gets hotter and hotter, Elaine Gavoli of Bigelow Tea suggests making fresh brewed iced tea by the glass. “Start by bringing 4 to 5 fl. oz. of fresh, cold water to a boil. Pour boiling water over 1 tea bag. Steep 3 to 5 minutes, sweeten to taste and pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon or berries and enjoy!”

If you’re feeling adventurous, switch it up with different blends, or better yet, create your own! If you’re in need of some inspiration, try out Novus Lemon Ginger, available at EVEN Hotels, by Bigelow. The soothing blend contains cinnamon, lemon verbena and ginger lemongrass, boasting a zesty flavor with a mild, spicy kick. Yum!


Author: Caitlin Chai