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The power of Tea

It's one of the favourite drinks of millions of people around the world. Discover the benefits of the main varieties, learn which accessories are best for serving it and get to know the fundamental tasting gestures.

No matter whether it's black, green, oolong or white, all tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, a shrub native to China that grows in tropical climates. What differentiates each type of tea, therefore, are its production methods, namely the process of fermenting and/or drying the leaves. There are also different aromas and flavours in each family of teas, which vary depending on a number of factors.

Teas can vary depending on the region of plantation, as is the case with Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam, as well as the type of blend, as with English breakfast or Earl Grey. They are also different depending on the aroma, which can be, for example, vanilla, cinnamon or mint. In total, there are around 1,500 varieties. Linden, citron or chamomile infusions or herbal teas are not made with the leaves of Camellia sinensis, so they are not really tea.

They are, rather, a mixture of leaves, flowers or roots of plants and various spices or fruit flavors. Once the introductions are done, we invite you to travel through the wonderful world of tea. Its antioxidant power is one of the best known. Tea owes its nutritional benefits to its richness in antioxidants, with a much higher content if it is pure (not flavored), of good quality, purchased loosely and has a good infusion. All types of tea are rich in antioxidants, namely flavonoids, also known as tea polyphenols, which protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.

These substances thus contribute to the prevention of certain chronic diseases and also premature aging. Green tea also has a particularly powerful type of antioxidants, catechins. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of this drink (three cups a day) combined with the intake of fruit and vegetables, which are also rich in antioxidants, helps fight against cellular aging.

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The caffeine in tea

Tea contains theine, the caffeine in tea. One cup contains between 40 and 50 milligrams of theine. An equivalent dose of coffee contains 70 to 130 milligrams of caffeine. Despite its bad reputation, consumption of less than 300 milligrams per day has no adverse effects on the majority of the adult population. There are several international studies that guarantee that moderate amounts of caffeine or theine increase the ability to concentrate and alertness.

In this way, four cups of tea a day offer benefits without the contraindications of other drinks that contain caffeine. Even so, due to its stimulating power, some people prefer to detain tea. A homemade way to do this is to place the tea leaves in a pot of boiling water and remove all the water after 30 seconds. Then just add a second portion of boiling water to the theine-free leaves and follow the usual procedures.

The secrets that tea hides

Tooth protection is one of them. Drink tea and you will make fewer visits to the dentist, many experts assure, based on international studies. In addition to being a drink enjoyed without sugar, tea is a natural source of fluoride with between 0.2 and 0.3 milligrams per cup, on average, an amount that protects and strengthens teeth. This drink is also a weapon against the bacteria responsible for plaque deposits on teeth.

However, if your teeth tend to darken easily, give preference to green tea and white tea, which are less prone to leave marks on tooth enamel. If you prefer black tea, one of the most popular in the world, do not leave it to infuse for a long time to avoid the deposit of excess tannins that stain your tooth enamel. This is another expert recommendation to take into account to protect and enhance your smile.

The difference between loose tea and tea in bags

Although many consumers continue to prepare tea with loose leaves, sold in packets or cans, more and more people prefer practical tea bags. In the case of loose tea, the infusion speed of its components is independent of the degree of agitation of the leaves in free suspension. On the other hand, the smaller the pieces of tea leaves, the greater the total surface available for the flow of soluble components.

In relation to tea bags, the favorite of many consumers, there is a transport slower movement of the soluble components from the inside of the leaves to the liquid, this process being accelerated by agitation. The new pyramid sachets, which are very popular, were specially designed to give the ingredients in them more space so the tea leaves can soak freely in the hot water, thus releasing all their aroma and flavor, in an explosion for the senses. A cup of tea contains, on average, around 50 milligrams of caffeine, less than half the content of a cup of coffee.

Around 98% of English people add milk to their tea and only 30% add sugar to it . Within the four types of tea, black, green, white and oolong, there are around 1,500 varieties. Tea has no calories and is diuretic. When you add semi-skimmed milk, for example, you have 13 calories per cup. Tea is the second most consumed drink in the world, after water. In the United Kingdom, one of the largest importers, average consumption is around three cups per day.

The ideal temperature and the right accessories for the best tea

Those who want to enter this world must respect a tasting order, starting with the most familiar flavors and ending with the rarest. Start with flavored black ones (with fruits, spices or flowers) and then try a natural (non-flavored) variety, such as darjeeling or Ceylon. Move on to oolong and then to green ones, first flavored with mint, lemon or vanilla and then plain.

Sencha or houjicha are recommended at this stage. Finally, you will be ready to taste the subtlety of white tea. Keep in mind that, like wine, tea is rich in tannins, naturally present in the shoots of the tea plant. The longer it is infused, the greater the amount released into the water. This healthy substance reduces the absorption of theine by the body, but gives the drink a bitter and unpleasant taste, which should be avoided.

Herbal herbal teas do not contain tannins, so they can be infused for longer without this changing. the taste of the drink. A good tea requires quality products and precise gestures:

   • Water

The taste of tea depends on the quality of the water used. Prefer mineral water or filter it if it comes from the tap.

    • Accessories

Use a suitable utensil to place the tea leaves in the teapot, avoiding touching them. him with his hands. Metal strainers change the flavor of the drink, prefer a teapot with an integrated acrylic filter.

    • Temperature

Pre-heat the teapot or cup with hot water to prevent the tea from cooling down quickly. Boiling water should be added to most teas. In the case of green tea, just use hot water.

    • Teapot

Use preferably a porcelain teapot for each type of tea. To wash it, do not use detergent or sponge, just rinse it with cold water and let it dry naturally.

    • Dose

Put a spoonful of tea per cup and one more for the teapot. In the case of sachets, you should use one per person. You can, however, establish your measure depending on whether you like it weaker or stronger.

    • Storage

Keep the tea in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place , protected from light and odors. Buy green and white tea in small quantities to be consumed as fresh as possible.

    • Infusion

Let the water boil and only then add the tea leaves . Check the infusion time indicated on the packaging.