While the first ever International Tea Day has passed us by (21 May), there is a whole lot to say about tea. While coffee, especially espresso beverages, are becoming more and more popular around the world lots of people still drink hot tea.
While many people were sheltering at home during the pandemic, they enjoyed a “quarantea” everyday at the same time with whomever they were sheltering with. Many found this ritual to be calming and reassuring during times in which we’ve all been stressed out and unsure of what was coming next.
Many are evening finding ways to keep the tradition of a daily tea as part of their routine as we all begin to transition out of sheltering at home.
People, for centuries, have drank tea to reinvigorate, to soothe, to relax and just because it tastes good. Even with the rising popularity of fancy espresso and coffee drinks tea remains a mainstay around the world. In the UK the ubiquity of tea remains with the British drinking about 100 million cups of the stuff every day, according to their Tea Advisory panel.
Experts have begun to study what affects tea might have on mood and cognition. One thing they are trying to find out is whether it is the compounds in tea itself that are relaxing or invigorating or the context in which tea is consumed that brings on these effects.
Green and black teas come from the same source, the plant camellia sinensis. Green tea is processed differently resulting in higher concentrations of compounds scientists believe have a positive effect on mental health.