I've always known that tea can have incredible health benefits, but a few years ago I found myself unable to find any that I enjoyed. When I was younger, my mom would make me cups of Red Rose and I got so much enjoyment out of watching the colour of the tea influsing the once clear water, straining my eyes to see how high the tendrils of steam were rising and putting my face over the cup to feel the warmth open my pores, yet as I got older, I replaced my tea with coffee. I just couldn't find any teas that were flavourful enough for me - but with the discovery of loose leaf, that all changed. Below are some of my favourites, the health benefits that each tea brings, and what they pair best with. If you don't consider yourself a tea drinker, perhaps one of these options can sway you to give it a try. All teas can be found at David's Tea or davidstea.com
Did you notice the pieces of popcorn in this tea? Movie night, a green tea, tastes just like a night out at the theatre. It has a base flavour of buttered popcorn and is sweetened by bits of maple and apple. Although it sounds really strange (and perhaps a little unappetizing - generally soggy pieces of popcorn are the worst), it's so incredible. Green tea is often hailed by many to be the healthiest drink on the planet, due to its high content of antioxidants and compounds that have been found to improve health and brain function and lower your risk of cancer. Movie Night is my go to tea when I'm looking for a calming, low caffeine tea and it pairs perfectly with a reflective journaling session or, of course, your favourite movie.
Pineapple Oolong, an oolong tea, has pieces of pineapple and apricot that create a tea that is a perfect way to enjoy summer's tastes in a winter mug. It's reminiscent of the fruit snacks that I used to trade my cookies for when I was a kid in the schoolyard, but a little less sweet and slightly more exotic. This tea also ices very well into a refreshing cold drink that could be brought to the gym. Oolong teas are known to lower the risk of heart attacks, help prevent tooth decay, and have anti-aging benefits. This tea is perfect for those cold days when all you want is a bit of summer, or for helping you control a candy craving.
Honeydew Maté, a blend of green rooibos and yerba maté, has bits of melon in the tea that are complimented by white hibiscus blossoms. A light, juicy tea, Honeydew Maté has a ripeness to it that can only be beat by an actual melon. Yerba maté is known for its natural energy boost that will not cause you to crash (unlike coffee), while green rooibos is high in antioxidants and helps improve blood circulation. Honeydew Maté would be the perfect companion to a late night study session or a sleepy morning before work when you just can't seem to wake up.
Pumpkin Chai, a black tea, is probably the warmest, coziest tea I have ever had. It has pumpkin pieces, pumpkin pie spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, as well as little pumpkin candies and caramel pieces. This tea is incredible on its own, but even better in latte form topped with a bit of brown sugar. This is probably my favourite tea - its comfort in a cup. Black tea also provides plenty of health benefits, including the reduction of cortisol (stress hormones) in the body, a healthier digestive tract and a better immune system. Pumpkin Chai would be a perfect partner to a stormy night, warming you up while you catch up on a novel.
White Chocolate Frost
Drinking White Chocolate Frost, an herbal tea, is tasting all the best parts of winter. A refreshing warm drink, this tea has a peppermint leaf base with pieces of white chocolate and little peppercorns for a touch of spice. It's like a chocolate covered candy cane that one can drink all day long. Although herbal tea is technically not really a tea, peppermint tea can aide in sinus relief and is a natural remedy for stomach problems. White Chocolate Frost is a perfect drink to make after you've spent the day skating on the pond, and because it is caffeine free it will lull you to sleep rather than waking you up.
The only type tea I've duplicated on this list is oolong, and that's because I know for a fact how much an energy-providing drink can be needed throughout the day. Carrot Cake tastes like dessert in a mug - it contains pieces of carrot, coconut and apple - and I swear they must've snuck frosting into the tea somehow. The spices are a perfect compliment to the fruity bits. This tea is perfect for those nights when you're too full for dessert but still want something sweet, or for comfort after a long day.
Just a sample of my collection.. I've spent way too much on tea over the years. Oops.
The only thing that can make tea better is a favourite mug and lovely strainer.
If none of these sound appetizing enough for you, a few more of my favourites include Chocolate Chili Chai, Cookie Dough, Coffee Cake, Forever Nuts, Read My Lips and Honey Bee. I hope you've been inspired to try a few new teas - let me know in the comments what your favourite tea or warm drink is!