Tea Benefits

Hot and cold tea has been a popular beverage in many countries for many centuries. Said to be good for what ails you, tea brewed from black or green tea leaves is said to have antioxidant properties as well as some natural substances that may decrease the chances of some types of cancer. Populations of women who traditionally drink large amounts of green tea tend to have less incidences of breast cancer.

Green and black tea comes from the same plant, a bush that is a member of the camellia family. Green tea is dried for a shorter time than black tea and is not allowed to go through the short fermenting process that black tea does. Green and black tea have the same amount of caffeine.

Serve hot green or black tea on cold days to chase away the chills and to help boost the immune system. Hot tea can be made with green or black tea, or you can use some of your favorite herbs or spices to brew a special cup of tea. Slice fresh or crystallized ginger into a cup and cover with boiling water. Allow to steep for three minutes and you've got a throat-soothing cup of ginger tea. You can try this with fresh or dried mint, dried edible rose or chrysanthemum petals and even fresh lemon or orange zest.

Chilling tea does not affect its health aspects and certainly makes it refreshing during the warm weather months. But don't leave cold tea for the hot months. Cold tea is a good alternative to sugary beverages, even in the wintertime. Leaf or herb teas are easy to brew and chill and do not contain the extra flavorings or sweeteners that instant teas may have.

To brew the perfect pitcher of tea for chilling, bring the amount of water you need to a rolling boil. While the water is boiling, measure the amount of tea you're going to use into a squeaky clean glass or china container. Plastic and metal tend to pick up extra flavors. Pour a small amount of boiling water over your tea and let it steep for a minute. Add the remainder of the boiling water and allow to steep to the desired strength. Don't leave the tea in for too long, as it will give an acid taste.

Put your tea in the refrigerator and allow to cool for several hours. Brewed tea will keep its flavor for at least two days in the refrigerator, so you don't have to brew it every day. Iced tea is a great way to get those eight glasses of water every day, as long as it's decaffeinated. It can be a fast thirst quencher or you can pile a tall glass full of orange, fresh pineapple, grapefruit or fresh ripe peach slices and some fresh berries for a beverage and a dessert all rolled into one. Try serving an iced tea instead of the usual holiday punch. Along with chopped fresh mint, add a splash of iced tea to fruit salads for a "secret" ingredient.

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If the only iced tea you drink is from a bottle you bought at the grocery store, or worse, a can, you'll be sorry you never learned how to brew iced tea before now. Home brewed iced tea is refreshing, invigorating and best of all, there are so many variations of this classic summertime beverage you can tantalize your taste buds while you're taking in the natural health benefits of the antioxidants that occur naturally in tea.

An inexpensive and simple alternative to store-bought herbal tea bags is to make your own homemade herbal teas, using herbs grown in your own backyard.

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There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than a glass of chilled sweet tea. Sweet tea has been a staple in the United States, especially in the southern states, since the 1800s. The iced tea we drink today, deliciously sweetened black tea, is very different from the first cold teas shared by tea lovers.

It is easy to make your own herbal drinks using infusions of herbs, spices and edible flowers from the farmers market, supermarket or your own backyard. Here are some combinations and flavorings to get you started.

Most of us only think of tea as a thirst quencher and a rich source of anti-oxidants. Did you know that for centuries tea has been used for beauty aids and medicines? With all the healthful agents in green tea, it's not surprising that it is found in the ingredients of shampoos, facial toners, sunscreens, anti-cellulite preparations and more.

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