Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I'm Mad about Tea!

I don't know if my last post is any indication, but I'm feeling pretty crazy about tea right now. In fact, my stash that was supposed to last four months has only lasted one and a half because I've been drinking so much tea.

Part of the reason I've been going through so much tea is that I was sick for about two weeks, and I've also been trying to cut down on my coffee and Coca-Cola intake. It's worked pretty well so far!

The biggest problem I've run into is the caffeine content in some of the teas. If I'm eliminating coffee because the caffeine makes me anxious, drinking caffeine in another form (tea!) doesn't help my anxiety issues. This problem was easily fixed! It's all about knowing your teas!

Green tea has a good deal of caffeine unless you get one that specifically says "decaffeinated" on it. Some people have no idea that green tea has any caffeine at all! Caffeine aside, though, green tea is really healthy for you. It can help you lose weight, and it's great when you're sick. Also, it's my favorite to drink as an iced tea. Green tea and lemonade has a very crisp taste. I highly recommend it. You should steep the tea for 1-2 minutes. Some people say you can go as long as 3 minutes. Honestly, I usually forget to set a timer, so I leave it in for about four minutes. My sister would be so ashamed. She's a tea purist. Rules are Rules!

Black tea can have just as much (if not more) caffeine as coffee. Unfortunately, it's my favorite kind of tea because it's so versatile. I love some Earl Grey with a splash of milk and a sugar cube or two (as pictured above). When I do drink black tea, it's usually in the morning or when I really need an early afternoon boost. Black teas should steep about 3-5 minutes after the water comes off the boil.

White tea is a very sensitive tea. My sister always tells me that steeping it too long will ruin it forever. There's the possibility that she thinks the type of people who over-steep white tea burn books and steal candy from babies. White tea has a very low caffeine content, and you usually see it mixed with fruit. You should steep white tea for one minute. Especially if it has flavoring. Most people say 1-2 minutes, but that could end up pushing it, and your tea might taste bitter.

Herbal teas, surprisingly enough, don't always have tea leaves in them! You should check the ingredients on your herbal teas. If it says "caffeine free" on an herbal tea, it probably doesn't have any tea leaves. My sister says herbal teas shouldn't have any tea leaves at all, but I'm pretty sure I've seen some herbal teas with a little bit of tea leaves listed in the ingredients. Herbal teas steep the longest, but you can also end up with a bitter taste if you leave the tea bag in for too long. If you steep your herbal tea for 5-6 minutes, it should do the trick.

If you have any tea recommendations or would like me to write about certain teas, please let me know!

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