A-Z Blogging Challenge. The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year I'm doing an A-Z of Great Britain, covering as much as I can about British music, literature, TV and film, food, wildlife and culture.
For the letter 'T' I have chosen Tea! There are over 3000 types of tea in the world and all of them come from the same plant-camellia sinensis.
Britain is renowned for it's love of tea, and I can't really argue with that since I love the stuff. My favourite cuppa is a Builder's Brew-a strong tea with a little milk and two sugars. It has virtually no health benefits when taken like this, but I adore the taste. I normally drink 2-4 cups a day, depending on the weather. I automatically put the kettle on in the morning and whenever I get home-it's a reassuring daily ritual.
Of course if you drink a purer form of tea like green tea, black tea or herbal tea (and forgo milk and sugar), you also reap some fantastic health benefits. These kinds of tea are full of antioxidants thought to prevent all sorts of health problems. Below is my little guide to some of my favourite teas and their uses.
For Morning Energy
This tea has the highest caffeine content so is great for a boost in the morning. Studies have shown that black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke and may also reduce the risk of stroke. Earl Greyis a black tea infused with bergamot, which gives it a distinct flavour. This classic tea is the favourite of Jean Luc Picard. Try Tea Pigs Earl Grey Strong.
The invigorating flavour of ginger is great for waking up your taste buds. Twinings Awake is a great blend of warming rooibos, sweet cinnamon, spicy ginger and energy boosting ginseng.
To Boost Your Immune SystemEchinacea Tea
Echinacea is a good herbal cold remedy. Try Twinings Blackcurrant, Echinacea and Vitamin C to boost your defences when you're feeling under the weather.
For Stress ReliefCamomile Tea
Camomile helps you to relax and unwind so it's a great tea to drink at bedtime. Twinings Sleep includes camomile, lavender and vanilla.
For Weight Loss and Digestive HealthMint Tea
Mint helps to reduce bloating and aids digestion. I'm a fan of Twinings Digest, which contains peppermint, fennel and dandelion root.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants which may help to prevent certain cancers and clogging of the arteries. It is also claimed to help burn fat, reduce the risk of neurological disorders and stroke and improve cholesterol levels. Twinings do some lovely fruit flavoured green teas, or if you're after something targeted at fat-burning, try Skinny Tea.
Oolong tea may help to lower cholesterol. Try Teapigs Tung Ting Oolong Tea.
What's your favourite kind of tea?