You decide to do the afternoon date. You’re really not that sure about this guy, or gal, so you want to meet at a neutral place. You decide that no alcohol should be involved and that this not to be an expensive place. A costly dinner may leave you feeling beholden to him/her and you want to be prepared to split the check if necessary. He/she suggests a trendy tea house in your neighborhood. You will meet there.
You arrive at the place. He/she asks you what you would like. You look up at the menu and are horrified. There are at least 50 different brands of tea and you haven’t heard of half of them. What do you do? If you order the plain tea, will you appear too boring, not enough of a risk taker, or should you order something you never heard of? Will he/she think you want to dive into bed with him/her If you order something too exotic? What will your tea say about you? What if you order something you hate and have to “accidentally” spill it when he/she goes to the restroom? Well, have no fear. Here is a small guide to the different types of tea and their benefits.
Making up about 75 % of all tea consumption, black tea is made from the leaves of the”camellia sinensis” plant, which are rolled and fermented. It has a slightly bitter flavor and contains the most caffeine, about 40 mgs a cup. (May not want to have too much on the first date.) It is packed with antioxidants called theaflavins and thearubigans which can lower cholesterol. Research shows that drinking three of more cups of black tea will reduce the risk of a stroke by 21%.
Because the leaves used in green tea are heat treated and dried right after they are picked, the fermentation process is halted. This gives it a more delicate flavor than black tea. Green tea contains about 25 mgs of caffeine per cup. Perhaps most commonly associated with health benefits, green tea contains catechins known to ward off everything from cancer to heart disease. A daily cup can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10%.
Fermented for a shorter time than black tea, oolong tea has a richer taste. It has about 30 mgs of caffeine per cup and may aid in weight loss and contains an enzyme that dissolves dietary fat. One study showed that women who drank oolong tea burned slightly more calories over a 2 hr period than those who drank water. (Got your new workout routine?)
White tea has a mild flavor and less caffeine than other varieties, about 15 mgs. It does wonders for the cardiovascular system, fights cancer and may help people with diabetes, improving glucose tolerance and reducing bad cholesterol. FYI: Loose tea may contain more antioxidants than tea in bags.
Yum! Flavored tea generally has the health flavors of the others, but if flavored with superfruits, like blueberries (Blueberry tea? Anyone had this?) may have even more antioxidants. But, a word to the wise, skip the bottled varieties. They notoriously contain extra sugar and are watered down, reducing the health benefits.
So, now that you know the skinny, what will you choose? Which type of tea are you? Let us know!