Drinking tea is one of the most comforting thing to do. The aroma, the warmth emanating from a cup, and the benefits lurking within are just too invigorating and uplifting that one couldn’t help but look for more. This long-held tradition in the Far East has become so mainstream in the modern Western world today that one cannot help if such might lose its meaning. But while such aspects may be debatable, there are simply ancient practices that harness the very essence of tea. With this in mind, learning the best way to drink tea for health benefits must be carefully dissected.
Teas are renowned for their healing properties that it has continually been labeled “wonder drink” in the Western hemisphere. But as there are different types of tea— white, black, green/matcha, oolong, or pu-erh so do the preparations. To get you started, here are the perfect ways of drinking tea that can help lead you to a healthier life and maximize enjoyment of each cup.
Many Like It Hot
Hot tea is always the preferred way of drinking this healthy concoction. However, appropriate temperature, brewing and steeping time can affect greatly the potent compounds therein. As different tea types also possess different characteristics and compounds, this also means variations in preparation. To enjoy the ultimate health-boosting benefits of your cup of tea, the following aspects should be taken into mind:
- Green/Matcha Tea: Previously boiled water is best for green tea preparations. Boil mineral water then, allow to sit for around 10 minutes before pouring into a teapot. Allow to steep for 1 to 2 minutes and drink hot. To harness full benefits of green tea, consuming a cup at least 2 hours before or after meal time will make a lot of difference.
- Black Tea: The stronger, the better is a perfect mantra when brewing black tea. Loved for its strong caffeinated appeal, pouring boiled water right into the teapot or into a tea bag ensconced inside a cup will harness the potent compounds in it. Steep time is deemed longer at 3 to 4 minutes. Some like to add milk or honey on top.
- White Tea. Like black tea, pouring boiled water over the leaves inside a teapot is the perfect way to prepare white tea. This tea, however, calls for a longer steeping time at around 5 minutes. Delicate in flavor and taste, it is best to drink white tea plain.
- Oolong Tea. Preparing Oolong tea involves pouring 190-200 deg F boiled water into a cup filled with two teaspoons or more loose Oolong leaves. Steeping time can run from 2 to 6 minutes depending on the consistency you want. For best results, drink oolong tea twice a day during meal time.
- Pu-ehr Tea. As unique as its name, pu-ehr tea is actually brewed in hot water twice. Some drink it plain while others prefer adding milk or substitute stirred into it. Allow it to cool at around 106-deg F then drink piping hot.
But while the most popular way of drinking tea is via hot water, some like it cold, too. This is even more so during summer or when served during morning siesta and lunch time. Many tea drinkers, however, believe that green tea is the only tea that can be served cold. Wrong! All types of tea can be served in either hot or cold state. Black tea can be brewed hot then, dunked with ice or placed in the fridge to chill. So does white, oolong and pu-ehr tea.
The best way to drink iced tea is fresh brewed and chilled in the fridge, via Self Healing newsletter. For max. health benefits, avoid ice. pic.twitter.com/Xx9H9NZdQO
— Christine Palumbo RD (@PalumboRD) August 23, 2017
The idea is to prepare them as freshly as you can. Flavonoids in tea can degrade with time. So ditch the idea of storing a pitcher of tea for a week. Instead go for a fresh batch of tea leaves or tea grounds left to steep in the fridge overnight. Expect the resulting brew to be luscious and smoother than hot brews. Fortunately, experts also reveal that fridge-brewed teas also possesses high level of antioxidants and flavanoids as the hot brewed version.
It’s All About Consumption
Overall, there is no clear answer as to which better way to prepare tea. While brewing it hot is a long-held practice and deemed the best way to drink tea for health benefits, one cannot categorically put down the choice of drinking it cold. The key, however, to harnessing its full benefits to the body and mind is to consume according to your needs. If you may, drinking two to three cups a day will ultimately deliver the results you need. Happy brewing!