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Start A Healthy Tea Habit

The ancient Roman god Janus, namesake of January, had two faces. One face looked to the past, the other to the future. At this time of year, many of us also look back upon the previous year and look forward to the upcoming year. It is a time when we take a personal inventory of our accomplishments and make plans for the future.

During this season of review and planning, why not start upon or improve a healthy tea drinking habit?

Tea can be a healthy alternative to harmful habits.

For example, instead of a cigarette, why not brew some tea? Rather than fumbling for a smoke, the act of brewing tea provides a physical activity that keeps your hands busy. The mild levels of caffeine provide a safer chemical reward than nicotine. Instead of smoking together, drink a cup of tea with colleagues.

If you find yourself overly dependent on coffee, start by substituting a few cups of tea. Teas with rich, bold flavors (like shu puer, heavily roasted Wuyi oolongs, Assams, and Yunnan black teas) may treat your tastebuds while helping your overworked coffee pot get some rest.

For others, sugar may be a source of addiction.(1) Recent studies are showing that sugar can cause bingeing and withdrawal habits similar to other drugs.(2)

In addition to affecting the brain, sugar adds unnecessary calories to our diets.(3) Great teas do very well without sweeteners. High quality teas don't need sweeteners and can be served hot or cold. Learn more about cold-brewing tea.

How to Start a Healthy Tea Habit

1. Prefer Speciality, Loose-leaf teas

Speciality loose leaf teas are better quality teas. Not only does this mean better tasting, but it often means that the smaller farms that produce these teas have healthier plants. These farmers take pride in their product, using chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides more wisely, or not at all.

The results are richer, more complex teas. When you drink teas with such rewarding character, you will be much less likely to become bored of tea or burned out. Additionally, great teas mean less need for milk and sweetener. They are naturally delicious, textured, and balanced. And since loose leaf teas can be re-steeped several, if not many times, they are convenient. Just add more water to your cup or pot at work or at home.

2. Select a variety of teas

The health food promoters try to push one kind of tea over another, but all teas offer benefits. There is no reason to force yourself to drink green tea, for example, if you like black or oolong. In fact, different teas can be better suited to different times of day, different seasons, and different moods. A selection of teas can keep mind and taste-buds refreshed and stimulated.

If you are uncertain of which teas to try, why not explore our Great Taste Award Winners? These teas have been recognized by judges and fans alike as superior teas. Read more at Why Great Taste Winners Taste Great.

Additionally, our TieGuanYins are a great way to explore oolongs. They balance some of the characteristics of green teas with some of the texture of fuller bodied teas. You can learn more in our article: How To Choose A TieGuanYin.

3. Start a habit you can continue

One of the keys to successfully maintaining a new habit is to make sure you can conveniently continue. From preparing hot water to cleanup, it helps if you have the tools at hand for a relaxing, enjoyable experience. You can learn more about Tea At Work and School.

Find others who will support your tea habit. Consider how you can join fellow tea drinkers to share tea experiences and learn about tea. You may even want to start a tea club and share or exchange teas. Even if your friends, family, or colleagues don't drink tea, they will be curious about tea and will likely encourage your decision to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Starting a healthy tea habit offers many benefits, and need not be difficult if you make a few plans to lay a strong foundation.

Resources:

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/

2. http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S22/88/56G31/index.xml? section=topstories

3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/


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