"Tea is the magic key to the vault where my brain is kept." -- Frances Hoarding
For most us the world makes more sense when we sip our morning tea. It wakes up our senses, reinvigorating and refreshing our mood. There are people for whom their everyday cup of steaming tea is almost akin to a ritual. A cup of perfectly brewed chai - as it is called in India - can be inspiring and energizing. Most often, deep conversations on state, politics, world affairs and much more take place during tea breaks at tea stalls. A strong cup of tea or a cutting chai has been best friend to professionals pulling off a late-nighter or to college students who just can't keep up early in the morning to prepare for exams. From boardroom brainstorming to a homemaker's mid-day break, tea is something that connects the entire world in a single thread of its spellbinding aroma and a taste that is beyond addiction.
The Most Loved - Black Tea
Though there are a wide range of teas available in the market across the globe, many of us turn to the classic black tea to soothe our soul. Some of the most famous varieties hail from the Indian regions like Assam, Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Kerala, but Turkish, Ceylon and Chinese teas are also quite popular.
In order to understand the processing of black tea, it is imperative to know that all different varieties of teas - green, white, oolong, and black tea - come from the same plant (Camellia Sinesis) or its cultivars. It is the level of processing and oxidization that categorizes teas differently. Black tea is a variant that is the most oxidized and processed. Tea leaves are first dried, then the leaves are hand-rolled and crushed, followed by sun-drying and further processing, which ultimately gives black tea its distinct strong flavour and dark hue.
(Purple Tea - Is This the Tea of the Future?)
Can't Get Enough?
Tea lovers only need excuses to savour their loving cuppa. For others who like to sip it once in a while, it is vital to know that drinking black tea can also promise health benefits. Black tea is enriched with caffeine, which has its own ups and downs. While excessive caffeine is linked with triggering a host of health concerns, when taken in moderate quantities, it can also aid in maintaining good health.
According to health experts, green tea is extremely beneficial for human health, apart from which, black tea, if taken not more than once a day, can also benefit your health in the following ways:
1. Black tea is enriched with antioxidants like theaflavins, thearubigins and catechins that can help prevent certain types of cancers
2. It keeps you up and energized, thanks to theophylline and caffeine, of course!
3. It has polyphenols which help protect our cells and DNA against damage
4. Some of the most recent researches have also pointed that antioxidants present in black tea are good for heart health; can lower risks of heart attacks and atherosclerosis (clogging in arteries).
5. Regular consumption of black tea is also tied with benefiting people suffering from diabetes and cholesterol.
6. Phytochemicals found in tea are linked with maintaining healthy bones and warding off risks of bone related ailments such as osteoporosis.
7. Amino acid L-theanine helps in relaxing and revving up your concentration level.
8. It contains alkylamine - an antigen -, which helps in strengthening the immunity.
9. Fluoride, found in black tea, helps in protecting teeth and bones.
10. It also has anti-inflammatory properties
One should also keep in mind that teas are carriers of caffeine, which, when not taken in moderation can cause health issues like sleeplessness, headaches, nausea, irregular heartbeats, etc. Consult your doctor about your recommended intake of tea in case you are pregnant or on certain medications.
So, what are you waiting for? We're up for another cup already! Here are a couple of recipes that will help you make a perfect cuppa -
Chai ka Masala