Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Benefits of Tea and Why Starbucks is geting into the Act

Starbucks announced recently that it was acquiring the pricey tea store chain Teavana for $620 million, Teavana seems to be found in just about every mall in the country. You know the store: they offer you free tastings of various exotic teas just outside the door and inside the store sell tea in bulk They seem to be doing quite well.  Obviously, Starbucks is onto something or it wouldn't be making this purchase.

 Now, I don't know about you, but I love tea. Most of the world agrees, as other than water, it is the most popular drink in the world. I drink it hot in the morning with my breakfast and iced at lunch. In the evening, I may have another cup. Black or green, loose or in bags, it's tea for me. Lots of people praise  coffee, but give me a good cup of tea every time. It has a certain warmth that no cup of coffee can offer. And cold, nothing can be more refreshing. I guess Starbucks is catching on. Is there anything more pleasant than the sound of the name of the play (and movie), The Tea House of the August Moon? And how about "Tea and Sympathy" or "Two for Tea."  Finally, we all have  heard of people "reading the tea leaves. No one sings the praises of coffee quite that way or tries to read the coffee grounds!.

How do you brew the perfect cup of tea?  There are a number of theories about that.
Some purists insist on using a tea ball filled with loose tea in a pot.  They then pour boiling water over the leaves and leave it to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Others are content to pour almost boiling water over tea bags and let it steep.  Still others throw caution to the winds and pour some water into a cup, drop in a tea bag and put it in the microwave for a minute or so. Anyway you make it is fine with me.

And ice tea?  What better way than to throw a few tea bags into a pitcher, pour cold water over it and put it out in the sun for a few hours?  With a few lemon slices or sprigs of mint tossed in for good measure, it is heaven on a hot afternoon.

Most of the tea we drink comes from three countries, China, India and Sri Lanka. There are numerous varieties available. One of my favorites is Earl Grey a black tea with a distinct orange flavor to it.

What are the benefits of tea?  Plenty!  Whether black or green or even white, tea contains flavenoids which are known to reduce the risk of cancer. According toWebMD, there are quite a few other health benefits that may surprise you.  It may reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes,  In addition, it may even help lower cholesterol.  Another side benefit is that it may also contribute to mental alertness. That may also be due to the presence of caffeine in the tea. A Starbucks Grande Tazo Awake contains about 135 mg. of caffeine, about the same as some coffees. Black tea, which is steeped for 3 minutes, contains 30-80 mg of caffeine. Snapple lemon tea contains about 60 mg.The caffeine in tea may also help in avoiding gallstones and maybe even dementia according to the Nutrition Action Health Letter. You might want to take your tea without milk as it is believed that tea loses some of its antioxidant qualities when milk is added.

So, feel free to drink up----and cheers!.

1 comment :

  1. Hooray! I love tea. It's really the best. Relaxing to drink and you can't beat the health benefits.