Without an exception, we are all beings of habit. It is not often that I find a person who is not habituated to a hot beverage – be it ‘tea’ or ‘coffee’. It is common that we find across people who say that they are cranky because they haven’t had their regular tea/coffee in the morning. So, it’s clear that it’s this consistency of what we have that forms our habit and influences a series of anticipated results – be it the energy needed for you to take the day head-on or the all-day comfort mood enabler, or that magic pill to the dread that we must undergo at times.
When I joined Teamonk, what strike me the most is the opportunity to make a meaningful impact to the billions of people out there in the world!
Why? – We are into a product that’s already close to many people’s hearts by virtue of their habits. But are we having exactly what they crave into? Unfortunately, no!
India as a market is predominantly dominated by the milk-sugar tea. It’s relatively new that people have started seeing tea as a medium to deliver health. Overtime, people realized that Green Tea is a class by itself and has started moving towards this healthier tea for obvious reasons. However, at hindsight, it is almost as if people are seeing this as a medication in the form of tea. I can vividly recollect faces of people who drink bitter Green Tea almost with a facial expression identical to that of drinking ‘karela juice’.
What this proves is the need to make consumers aware of what a tea really means, and how is it that it is supposed to be. After all, not teas are ‘chai’ where we should boil with milk and consume with a sweetener.
Allow me to introduce 5 types of teas in this article. Here’s a quick snapshot, and let’s dive in a bit soon after you glance through the below visual.
- White Tea: These are the least processed teas which undergoes only the withering process. The natural enzymes in the tea carry out a small amount of oxidation to the tea leaves.
- Green Tea: The processing is done in such a way that there is no oxidation happening to the tea leaves.
- Oolong Tea: These are partially/semi oxidized teas and high in amino acid and L-theanine content.
- Black Tea: The most oxidized tea but adds a unique and strong flavor and taste to the tea. Therefore, black tea becomes the base for most full-bodied teas like the milk-sugar teas.
- Herbal Tea: These are not really teas since they have no tea leaves. These fall under infusions / tisanes category, and since there are no tea leaves, Herbal Teas are the only Zero-Caffeine teas.
It might be worthwhile to note that antioxidants (a term that we commonly hear across) is inversely proportional to the oxidation levels of the tea leaves. Higher is the antioxidants when lower is the oxidation. The antioxidant properties of the teas based on the oxidation levels are clinically proven by spectroscopy methods and semi-empirical mathematical models, where the antioxidant capacity reduces from Green Tea to White Tea to Oolong Tea to Black Tea. Unfortunately, Herbal Teas couldn’t be considered in this race.
Which Tea Should I Have?
If you were wondering, when I would answer this question – let me assure you - No, the title of the article wasn’t supposed to be a link bait.
Like I said, what we drink consistently becomes a habit, and it is that habit that drives results in enormous proportions – good or bad.
Here are some few broad functional benefits which people have asked me, and what my general recommendation of tea would be to them:
1. What tea to consume for Weight Loss?
We all have heard that Green Teas are great for weight loss. Here’s a little-known secret. Oolong Teas are far more effective in fat burning than Green Teas, and hence more effective in weight loss. Why is this so? Much like Green Teas, Oolong Tea has antioxidants too (although not as much as Green Tea), but what makes it a winning combination is the slightly higher content of Caffeine, which indirectly boosts your metabolism leading to faster fat burn. There has been a research report from University of Tsukuba, Japan that two cups of Oolong Tea a day can help you burn fat around your belly even when you sleep. With antioxidant properties, and lipid lowering properties of Oolong Tea, this should be in your must have ‘tea habit’ if weight loss is a goal for you. Always remember, an effort from your end to reduce over-eating and 20 minutes of exercise everyday could make the results appear faster.
2. What tea to consume for General Well Being?
Without a doubt, Green Tea wins the race here. With the best-in-class antioxidant capacity, bioactive compounds like catechins & polyphenols, Green Teas are known to provide multiple health benefits including improved brain function, far burning, lower risks of cancers and other chronic diseases that arises from oxidative damages, better skin health, lower chances of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and less bad breath.
3. Who should drink White Tea?
Anyone who likes to drink Green Tea could also try White Tea. There is much in common between Green Tea & White Tea except for the way these teas are processed, the visual colour appearance after brewing and slightly in taste. Both Green Teas & White Teas are low in Caffeine and have higher concentrations of antioxidants. White Teas brew into a light golden colour liquor, whereas Green Tea after brewing has a pale yellowish green colour. While Green Tea has a taste profile of nutty, grassy, vegetal notes, White Teas are more mellow and slightly fruity in taste.
4. When should I drink Black Tea?
Black Teas has the highest amount of Caffeine amongst all these teas above. This gives an energy boost that sometimes we all require. Black Teas are hence ideal as a perfect tea for the morning to get that rush into schedule feeling, and during the hours of the day when we feel low on energy or lethargic. It is better to avoid Black Teas towards the late evening since the Caffeine content is not an ideal companion for sleep.
5. Who should drink Herbal Teas?
Like I mentioned earlier, Herbal Teas do not have any tea leaves in it. These are pure ingredients that you steep in hot water to get an infusion drink. Hence, the qualities of Herbal Teas change from ingredient to ingredient. For instance, Chamomile Herbal Teas are known for improving your sleep, whereas Hibiscus Herbal Teas are known to reduce mild blood pressure. Caffeine intolerant people could consider Herbal Teas since these are Zero Caffeine beverages.
Two Bonus Questions
If you have patiently read till here, it would be unfair if I do not give a bonus. So, here’s two bonus questions answered:
6. When should I drink Milk & Sugar Tea?
Honestly speaking, NEVER! However, if you can’t avoid, MODERATION should be the key.
It might not be a generally known fact that most human adults cannot digest cow milk. Firstly, humans are generally lactose intolerant which means that the human body do not produce enough lactase enzyme which is required to digest lactose in cow milk. Secondly, refined sugar and cow milk are two amongst the five white poisons (the others being Maida, refined salt & refined white rice).
7. Why should I drink a bitter Green Tea?
Honestly, you shouldn’t. Simply because, there is no need to. Green Teas are not supposed to be bitter. Bitterness in Green Tea could be attributed to two reasons: (1) Over Steeping (2) Artificial Flavours. If you like to drink a ‘Zero’ bitterness Green Tea, use Green Teas that do not use artificial flavouring, but has curated ingredients like the ones offered by Teamonk. Secondly, do not boil Green Tea like how we do milk-sugar teas. The best way to brew a Green Tea is to add 1 teaspoon of Green Tea leaves to 200ml cup of hot water (85-90 deg C) after the flame has been switched off. Allow it to steep for exactly two minutes and strain the tea leaves.
If you have been wanting to switch to a healthy tea habit, Teamonk can pamper you with choices. With over 60+ varieties of teas from the above 5 different categories, you are sure to find a handful of selection that you can alternate between.