There has often been the debate about whether black tea is healthy or not. At times we’ve all tried to reduce caffeine for one reason or another, but here’s the question? Is black tea better than coffee?
Answer: Experts say it’s hard to compare apples to apples, as both tea and coffee have health benefits.
Since I’m a tea lover, I’m going to dig into the health benefits of tea, of which there are many!
Black tea health benefits:
High in Anti-oxidants. Black tea contains polyphenols. These are antioxidants that help block DNA damage associated with tobacco or other toxic chemicals, which are different from those obtained from fruits and vegetables.
Relieves Stress: We know that having a cup of tea can be extremely relaxing, but it actually helps bring our stress hormones back to a normal level, BBC News.
Healthy Heart: “Tea is a good source of compounds known as catechins and epicatechins, which are thought to be responsible for tea’s beneficial health effects,” says Dr. Howard Sesso, noted in Health.Harvard.Edu. These compounds belong to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. Research suggests that flavonoids help lower inflammation and may reduce plaque buildup inside the arteries.
Benefits Digestive System: Black tea reduces inflammation in the digestive system too and combats bad bacteria in the gut.
Regulates blood sugar levels: Black tea actually contains a substance that mimics type 2 diabetes medications, Precose and Glyset, WebMD.
Reduces Headaches: According to The Daily Mail, caffeine found in tea and coffee can be as effective as a pain reliever, especially in tension headaches.Tea drinkers have a significantly lower risk of stroke and heart disease, and tea is known to boost brain health. Just another reason to drink tea! #tealover #teatime Click To Tweet
Health.com states “The rich antioxidants in tea fight inflammation, and have been shown to help prevent blood vessels from hardening. Tea drinkers have a significantly lower risk of stroke and heart disease, and tea is known to boost brain health.”
Now that we know black tea is not only tasty but good for us too, let’s talk about how to make the perfect cuppa. Also, Marilyn was a tea drinker so you know it makes you look sophisticated too!Marilyn Monroe drank tea. You should too. Enough said. #teatime Click To Tweet
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How to Make the Perfect Cup of Black Tea:
What you’ll need.
1. A Kettle.
This is a must. Please do not put water in the microwave! Also, a ‘boiling water’ dispenser actually doesn’t work either. It doesn’t get to boiling point, which you need to bring out the full flavours of black tea. You could have the highest quality tea and if your water is not boiling your tea will taste awful. Trust me, I’ve tried!
2. Good Quality Black Tea.
My preference is English Breakfast. You can go with tea bags or loose leaf tea.
English Breakfast: A Full bodied tea blend, robust and rich in taste. Pairs well with milk and sugar (if you like things sweet). The tea blend may consist of Assam, Ceylon and Kenyan teas predominating, and Keemun sometimes included in more expensive blends.
A good Orange Pekoe is also a great choice.
3. China Mug or Teacup
It might be just me, but drinking quality tea out of a china cup tastes better than a thick mug. It’s no different than drinking wine out of a nice wine glass. It definitely impacts the overall flavour and experience.
4. Tea Strainer (if using loose leaf)
Having a good loose leaf tea strainer is imperative to get the best flavour from your tea. Make sure the tea is not only steeping, but also is able to move around in the strainer as this releases the most flavour.
These are the tea strainers I recommend (sorry ball strainers)!
5. Tea Pot
A must if you’re having company, or if you simply just want to treat yourself. I’ve been enjoying my fancy new Pip Studio teapot on many mornings when I’m working from my home office. Why not!Want to bring out the full flavour of your tea? Learn how to make the PERFECT cup of black tea. #Teatime #tealover Click To Tweet
- Place 1 tea bag in a cup or 1 tsp of loose leaf in a tea strainer. Tip: If using a china cup, make sure to put warm water in to warm the cup and then discard. This will ensure the cup doesn’t crack.
- Boil water. Ensure it’s fully boiled.
- Pour into cup or strainer and steep for 3-4 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
- Remove tea bag or loose leaf from the cup.
- If you want authentic British tea you need milk! So, pour the milk in now. I use about 1 tbsp or more, as I like a lot of milk. Test the amount of milk you put in to see what you like.
- Add 1 tsp of sugar for those with a sweet tooth.
- I used to have sugar in my tea when I was younger, but now I far prefer no sugar, which is obviously healthier.
- Warm teapot with warm water first. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Pour out the water, then place 2-3 tea bags depending on the size of the pot and how much tea you’re making. a general rule of thumb is 1 tea bag per person and an extra one for the pot. Use 2-3 tsp if using loose leaf.
- Steep for 3-4 minutes before serving.
- NOTE: The tea will stay in the pot and will keep getting stronger.
- Add preferred about of milk and/or sugar.
Tip: To keep your teapot warm try a tea cozy. Here are some of my favourites:
That’s it! This is really the secret to a good quality cup of black tea.
Tell me… How do you like to make your tea? Also, if you don’t make it this way, give it a try and let me know what you think.
The Health Benefits of Black Tea & How to Make the Perfect Cup. #tealover #teatime Click To Tweet