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How Much Do You Know About Teas?

By April 3, 2009 - 10:46pm
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Are you confused about the rows of teas at your food store? Are all teas created equal? Here is what I was able to find, if after reading this info you are still not convinced that certain teas are better for you, tell me why?

White Teas:
White tea is the purest and least processed of all teas. It has very little caffeine and brews a light color and flavor. White teas also contain the highest antioxidant properties (helps to detoxify and fight cancer), help lower your cholesterol level, and are the best for skin and complexion.

Green Teas:
Green tea is the most popular type of tea, mainly because it is the beverage of choice in Asia. Often Green tea is mixed with fruits or scented with flowers to create flavored or scented Green teas. This tea has only 5-10% the caffeine in coffee. Green tea is also high in antioxidants (helps to detoxify and fight cancer), helps lower blood pressure, fight gingivitis and cavities, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Green teas should be steeped at a much lower temperature than boiling.

Oolong Teas:
Oolong tea is full-bodied with a flavorful fragrance and sweet aroma. It is semi-fermented, which gives it approximately 15% of the caffeine in one cup of coffee. Most people commonly recognize Oolong tea as the tea served in Chinese restaurants. Oolong teas promote weight loss by boosting your metabolism rate and aid in digestion by breaking down oils and fats.

Black Teas:
Black tea is the tea most people know since you likely grew up dipping tea bags of black tea in your cup (or from an iced pitcher in the South). Black tea is fully fermented, so it has approximately 20% of the caffeine in a cup of coffee. Black tea helps prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the blood stream, which helps to prevent heart disease. It is also good to prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and it helps regulate blood sugar level and blood pressure.

Herbal Teas:
Herbal tea does not contain any leaves from the Camellia family, so it is sometimes referred to as a tisane. Herbal teas can be broken into three categories: Rooibos teas, Mate teas, and Herbal infusions. We will cover Rooibos and Mate below. Herbal infusions consist of pure herbs, flowers, and fruits. The health benefits of herbal tea varies from tea to tea, but they are all caffeine-free and typically rich in vitamin C. Herbal teas are delicious hot or iced.

Rooibos Teas:
Rooibos (or Red) tea is made from a South African red bush. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein and has higher antioxidants than Green tea. Naturally caffeine free, Rooibos teas are excellent in aiding with digestion, help relieve allergies, and promote healthy skin, teeth and bones. One of my favorites. this type is different in flavor and delicious hot or iced.

Mate Teas:
Mate tea is considered the coffee lover's favorite tea. Mate teas give the same energy as coffee without the jitters. They also curb the appetite and contain 21 vitamins and minerals. Yerba Mater from Argentina is among my favorites!

Add a Comment4 Comments

Dear DianeP, thanks for your posting. I really hope you give up the diet soda habit and drink tea instead. You may experience caffeine withdrawls for a short while but at the end your body will be better off. The withdrawls will not be necessarily from caffeinated sodas but from the artificial sweeteners which play tricks in our brains.

One thing I may add to my posting is that whether you drink black, white or green tea your body will appreciate the high level of polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins and catechins. Green tea also offers weight control properties and acts as a fat burner when consumed throughout the day. In addition, green tea increases anti-oxidant activity within 30-120 minutes from consumption helping also with prevention of many cancers such as lung, breast and endometrial.

April 8, 2009 - 9:01pm

Virginia, what a great post!!! I have to say a big thank-you for writing it!

I love tea, but have often stood in front of the tea display at the store examining multiple boxes only to go back to the one I know best (black tea, darjeeling) simply because it's what I know I'll like. I don't tend to like herbal teas as much but now I understand a little more about white tea and green tea and will be trying them in the near future. Though since I do have a small caffeine habit (mostly due to diet soda, which I know isn't good), I'm not sure the white and green teas have enough caffeine in them for me. However, I really want to try. Thank you again!

April 8, 2009 - 8:08am

Thanks Miscortes, the NCCAM is a great resource for information on natural products, vitamins, herbs and other supplements. I also like these other sites which focus only on TEAs:


Books about tea among my favorites are:

The Spirit of Tea by Frank Hadley Murphy
The Book of Tea, by Kakuzo Okakura
The Tea Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide, by Jane Pattigrew

Regardless of which tea someone chooses to consume on a regular basis, teas contain valuable nutrients such as flavanoids, catechins and tannins. Consumption of teas is also linked to improving symptoms of stress as several clinical studies showed. The one that comes to mind is the study published on Psychopharmacology, Jan 2007: The Effects of Tea on Phsychophysiological Stress Responsivity and Post Stress Recovery

Great stuff! Thank you for your posting.

April 4, 2009 - 11:16am
EmpowHER Guest

There are several different teas that you can purchase at the store. Green tea, black tea, etc. It really depends on what you are looking for in your tea since each herb has their own potential health advantages.

The National Institute of Health provides links to different herbs and their advantages and disadvantages. You can find that site here http://nccam.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance.htm#.

What are you looking for in your tea? Energy? Health advantages?

April 4, 2009 - 8:45am
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