I love coffee and couldn’t imagine facing the day without that first cup. I also wouldn’t want to give up my daily afternoon latte, but with the exception of those two daily cups, I really am a tea drinker at heart. There’s just something soothing and therapeutic about a good cup of tea.
Health benefits of tea
There is plenty of research that shows that tea has amazing health benefits. From green tea to hibiscus, from white tea to chamomile, tea is chock full of antioxidants, phytochemicals and flavonoids. Depending on which type of tea you drink, tea can help lower blood pressure, stop the growth of cancer cells, and improve digestion.
Tea is good for the soul
But drinking a cup of tea doesn’t just make your body feel better, it’s also good for your soul. According to the legendary eighth-century tea master Lu Yu, author of The Classic of Tea: “Tea tempers the spirit and harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness.”
Tea offers comfort. There’s a reason why there’s an entire series of books titled “A Cup of Comfort”. Sitting down with a good friend and a good cup of tea creates an instant feeling of connection. The worries of the world don’t seem so daunting when they’re addressed over tea.
Tea can also serve as a signal to slow down a bit, especially if you turn preparing a cup of tea into a ritual. In Ritual Tea: How the 9 Secrets of Tea Can Transform You Life, author Mario Zeleny, a lifelong tea lover and personal coach, extracts the magic of tea from its history, uses, and benefits, but also from its power to change the world. Tea rituals can be a form of mindfulness meditation.
A surprise gift of tea
I recently received an email with the subject line “May I pour you a cup of tea?” I was intrigued. The email came from Andy Hayes, the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe, a website that helps people create moments that matter. Andy started the site to share the lessons he learned from his mother, who lost her 6 year battle with breast cancer. “Those 6 years were the best years of her life,” wrote Andy. “Her fitness improved, she spent a lot of time with friends and traveling, and her positivity was off the charts. My hope is to help others live a good life without the need for a major life event.”
In an effort to further connect with his community, Andy also launched his own line of organic, fair trade loose leaf teas. He sent me three samples, and they’re some of the most delicious teas I’ve ever had. I asked for herbal blends since I don’t drink caffeinated tea or coffee. The “Sunshine in a Cup,” Self Care” and “Cuddletime Sleepy” blends are all equally heavenly.
Tea for cats?
Even though most cats probably won’t like tea (Allegra and Ruby sure don’t) and would much prefer the cream the kitty in the photo above is enjoying (and no, milk is not good for cats – most cats can’t digest it well), some cats do seem to enjoy peppermint tea. Peppermint is a close relative to catnip, which may explain the attraction. I haven’t tried it, but you could brew tea for kitty from dried catnip. Just make sure you let it cool off enough before offering it to her.
Do you love tea? What’s your favorite?
For more about Plum Deluxe teas, and on how to make moments matter, please visit http://www.plumdeluxe.com/.