Which tea should you be drinking when?
Have tea time at the right time with my top tips on my favourite drink to wind down or get going with.
In the a.m.: English Breakfast
With about 50% less caffeine than your cup of coffee, a mug of rich, full-bodied English Breakfast can put some pep in your step first thing in the morning. A sensible choice if you find coffee too strong on your stomach or nervous system, but you like a little caffeine to get you going.
Produced with the aged leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant, a cup of English Breakfast (or any variety of black tea) as a healthy morning tonic loaded with polyphenols, antioxidant-rich plant compounds which can help fight cell-damaging free radicals like pesticides and pollution.
Polyphenols are what can contribute to a food’s astringency, which explains why your English Brekkie becomes bitter when brewed for too long…which means the bite isn’t necessarily bad!
In the Arvo: Green Tea
Make yourself a cup of green tea next time you get a case of 3.30itis.The perfect arvo slump pick-me-up, green tea can help you feel more focused thanks to its L-theanine content, which also has calming properties – handy if you’re on a deadline.
Made with the fresh leaves of the Camellia sinesis plant, green tea, like black tea, is loaded with antioxidant-rich polyphenols, particularly health-promoting ‘catechins’…drink up!
And because it has caffeine but in a gentler dose than coffee, green tea is a natural way to bump up your energy levels mid-arvo, without the coffee jitters. It also comes without the funny ingredients get in highly processed cola or energy drinks, like sugar or artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours.
I’m a fan of Oxfam’s fair Green Tea – all natural and additive free (some varieties contain preservatives and flavours from an unnamed source), the leaves are organically processed and packed.
In the p.m.: Herbal Tea
Love a cuppa before bed but not so much the lack of shut-eye that follows? Try swapping your black or green tea for a caffeine free herbal in the evenings.
And while it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (pardon the pun), there are so many varieties of herbal tea these days that you’ll probably find one you like:
- For a Sweet Tooth: Try a herbal chai with spices like sweet cinnamon and smooth vanilla, which can help kick a sweet craving. Licorice tea also tastes super sweet (you’ll feel like you’re drinking a cup of licorice) but is actually sugar free.
- For a Sensitive Stomach: Try refreshing peppermint tea, which can help sooth a sore stomach thanks to its antispasmodic properties. Ginger tea is also nice and warming for the gut and can alleviate nausea.
- For a Restless Mind: An oldie but a goodie, calming chamomile remains the perfect nightcap. If you don’t like chamomile’s floral flavour, try it in a blend with vanilla for a smoother, sweeter tasting tea.