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.
I took a coffee break last week. I went a full week without drinking coffee. The main reason was to see if I would sleep any better without my cold brew. It did not make a difference. What I did that week was drink more tea. I drank green tea, Earl Grey tea, a flavored herbal tea, and a flavored black tea. For a really good collection this winter try this Winter Solstice Loose Leaf Sampler. The box has a handy guide for how long to steep each type of tea.
I also treated myself to this tea infuser for loose tea. Rather than buy a special tea cup that comes with an in-fuser, you can turn all your own mugs and cups into tea infusers.
I am back to making my cold brew but it’s still nice to have a cup of tea in the afternoon or evening.
If you are used to drinking coffee, what happens if you stop?
You will have some side effects. Some of the side effects will make others around you suffer as well as you because it can cause you to have depression and irritability. You may have headaches and lethargy as well.
Cutting back can cut down on panic attacks, be better on your teeth, help with heartburn. Cutting back does have benefits but you may miss out on the boost you get from it.
We LOVE green tea. An even more yummy and fun way to have it is to eat it. Now I’m sure there are a lot of recipes out there using green tea but we’ve discovered a really good Green Tea Ice Cream from Häagen-Dazs
Now we are very careful of what ice creams we eat because a lot of ice cream has unnecessary junk in it. The ingredients of this ice cream are cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks, and green tea. That’s it. The flavor isn’t overpowering. We like it with a little whipped cream on top.
Want to try to make your own? Here is an authentic green tea ice cream recipe. You will need an ice cream churn for this. This recipe does not contain eggs. It uses matcha green tea powder and not the kind of green tea you buy for making your green tea.
A few weeks ago, we brought a video from Epicurious of a coffee expert tasting and talking about coffee. This week the Victor crew found another video from Epicurious with a tea expert talking about the different teas as he tastes it.
He opens up tea bags and talks about the types of tea he sees, smells, and feels. He makes the tea and then slurps it in a particular way to aerate it and taste it better. He talks about the packaging – bag vs sachet, for instance.
He tries several different teas that come in different ways. He was even caught wrong in one of the tastings.