Monday, February 19, 2024

The Remedy to Chilly Weather: Drink More Hot Tea

In a world where everyone seems to be in a hurry to do something or get somewhere, there's an age-old tradition that offers solace, comfort, and a myriad of health benefits: enjoying a hot cup of tea. This beverage has something to offer everyone from lifelong enthusiasts to newcomers to the world of tea.
  • Stress Reduction - There's a reason why a cup of tea is often referred to as "a hug in a mug." The soothing warmth and gentle aroma of hot tea can work wonders for your mental well-being. Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress. The ritual of preparing and savoring a cup of hot tea can provide a calming break in a hectic day.
  • Improved Digestion -  Many herbal teas, such as peppermint or ginger, are well-known for their digestive benefits. Hot tea can help alleviate digestive discomfort, reduce bloating, and ease indigestion. It's an excellent choice after a heavy meal or when you're feeling a bit under the weather.
  • Antioxidant Boost - Hot tea is packed with antioxidants called catechins. These powerful compounds help combat the harmful effects of free radicals in your body, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall health. Regular consumption of hot tea may contribute to better long-term well-being.
  • Enhanced Hydration - Staying adequately hydrated is essential for maintaining good health, and hot tea can be an enjoyable way to achieve this goal. While water is the ultimate hydrator, tea is a close second. The warm, comforting nature of hot tea can encourage you to consume more fluids, especially during the colder months. However, to reap maximum hydration benefits from tea, make sure that it's herbal or decaf.
  • Improved Focus and Mental Clarity - The caffeine in tea, though generally lower than in coffee, provides a gentle pick-me-up that can enhance focus and concentration without the jitters or crashes associated with coffee. Hot tea can be a great choice for those looking to stay alert and productive during the day.
  • Variety and Flavor - One of the great pleasures of hot tea is its wide array of flavors and blends. Whether you prefer the robust taste of black tea, the earthy notes of green tea, or the delicate sweetness of herbal infusions, there's a hot tea for every palate. Exploring different types of tea can be an enjoyable journey in itself.
One may purchase loose or bagged tea in any grocery store or bodega, but I have found that the best stuff comes from specialty tea purveyors. 

actually, my all-time fave was Chicory Dickory Dock, now discontinued
I discovered David's Tea on a trip to New York. Pre-COVID, this Canadian tea company had two locations in Manhattan, and I particularly enjoyed visiting the one on Bleecker Street in the West Village. The employees at this narrow storefront were always happy to let me smell any of the dozens of brews available and I rewarded their patience with making multiple purchases. And by multiple, I mean one or two ounces of six to eight teas at a time. While they have a great selection of non-caffeinated teas--which is what drew me to them in the first place--my favorite is their high-caffeine Coffee Pu'erh, which I drink sparingly. Though I am no longer able to browse David's in person, I place regular orders through their website. At this point, I have quite an embarrassing stash of their products on hand.

August Uncommon Tea is another favorite tea purveyor with a beautiful selection of tea varieties with intriguing names like Dolomite, Biarritz, and Cult of Demeter. I don't quite remember how I stumbled upon this company; perhaps it was via one of Facebook's fiendishly on-the-nose target ads. In any case, I ordered several samples and fell in love. August does smoked teas particularly well, and Outlaw, a smoky cherry black tea, is a favorite in this house.

The Whistling Kettle is a company we found recently. I responded to a PR email and was rewarded with a sampler of eight of their fall-oriented teas including Autumn Haze, Apple Cider Donut, Gingerbread Cookie, and Pumpkin Cheesecake. Besides seasonal offerings, WK has the entire rainbow of tea offerings from black, green, and white to red (rooibos) and even purple. They also have tisanes, yerba mate, hemp leaf, and chaga mushroom teas. The Whistling Kettle has many intriguing flavors that I hope to explore and will be adding this company to my regular tea-ordering rotation.

Do you have a favorite tea company that I should know about? Leave a comment!

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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