Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Care for some tea?

At Becky's request, I am putting up a blog post about teas. Are you tired of being jittery from drinking millions of cups of coffee while outlining? Are you sick of the crash a few hours after drinking coffee? Are you annoyed by your headache from NOT drinking a cup of coffee? Are you ADDICTED to coffee? Well guess what? There is a healthier drink out there just waiting for you!

Care for a cup of tea?
These are my "Be Well" Red Teas by The Republic of Tea. They are amazing. There are many more out there and you can search through them on their website. They have some for PMS, for sore throats, for constipation, for clean skin, and the list goes on and on! And they all have super cute names, jars and explanations of how they work. I will discuss the ones pictured here from left to right. All of these teas are of the "Red" variety and are decaffeinated. They are all available at the Fresh Market for about $10 (for a can of 36 tea bags).
Get Lost: For Weight Control. Do you CRAVE sugar or dessert after a meal? Are you so hungry before your meal that you indulge and eat an exorbitant amount? This tea is for you! With a cinnamon flavor, the tea makes you feel like you are having dessert without adding to your waistline. This tea is delicious, I can't say enough about it.
Get Charged: For energy. Alright caffeine addicts...I'm talking to you. This caffeine free tea enhances your energy naturally, without caffeine, so that means...no crash. It has a delicious revitalizing flavor and gets you going without the jitters.
Get Some ZZZs: This tea is amazing for nighttime. I tried this last night to go to sleep. It was super relaxing and tasted great. It made me VERY sleepy, including all of my muscles so only drink it if you are actually going to bed within a few hours.
Get Clean: For detox. This almond-tasting tea is great after a meal where I ate a little too much or just feel bloated in general. Tastes great and helps you detox...(however, this is not for constipation, if you would like that one it is called "Get Going")
Pumpkin Spice: Ok this one is not from the "Be Well" collection but it is made by the Republic of Tea so I included it in this photograph. I just had a cup and it was very good. It's a tad sweet so remember that when adding sweetener/sugar. It's a nice way to have Fall in a can! This tea is made exclusively for the Fresh Market so you would have to buy it there.

Some additional tea recommendations I have:
Black teas: I would recommend Tazo Awake (pictured below Middle). This DOES have caffeine in it, so be aware, and I wouldn't drink it too close to bedtime if you want a good night's sleep! English Breakfast or British Breakfast and Earl Grey are excellent in the morning. Adding milk will make the transition between coffee and tea easier. I would add milk to Black, White and Red teas, but probably not Green.
Green teas: If you are a soda drinker, you could try substituting your daily soda with Lipton Green Tea with lemon. It is much better for you than soda and it tastes better than you would expect. Green tea is filled with antioxidants and is very good for you. I have a yummy mixed tea: Green and White (pictured below Left). Mixtures are good, but you obviously won't get all of the benefits of a full cup of Green tea if only half of the tea is Green. There are also plenty of varieties such as pomegranate and peach, to name a few. Republic of Tea makes many excellent options.
Chai teas: This flavorful tea is absolutely delicious for dessert. Its spices are breathtaking and the aroma itself will make you want to taste it! Add milk and sweetener/sugar to make it extra savory! Great with pumpkin or banana bread as well! (pictured below Right).
Chamomile Herbal Tea: The absolute BEST when you are sick or have a sore throat. Add honey to it in place of sugar, as sugar is coarse and dry and sometimes doesn't fully dissolve leading more more scratching of your throat) (or Agave Nectar which I will explain below).

One lump or two?
I'm not talking about the lumps on your rear end... I'll get to that in a minute ;-) I'm talking about sugar and sugar substitutes. Sugar in its natural form is perfectly fine, in the right amount...Don't dump it into your teas. If you are looking for an alternative, there are plenty.
Many people enjoy Splenda (including myself) which is a chemically tweaked sugar with no calories. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar so keep that in mind! Aspartame and Saccharin are on my sh*t list. I don't like them and I never have. I'm sure Splenda probably isn't much better but they have both been linked to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers. Splenda may be next, so again, moderation is key. Saccharin (Sweet N'Low) is 300 times sweeter than sugar and Aspartame (Equal) is 200 times as sweet. Some other alternatives include Stevia and Agave Nectar (pictured below). Stevia is all-natural and calorie free. As always, moderation is key, and this definitely applies to Stevia. Agave liquid/nectar is an excellent alternative. It is extracted from the agave plant (hello tequila?!) and does not spike our blood glucose levels as quickly as table sugar. It has the same consistency as honey (less sticky I guess). Agave Nectar can be found in the Baking aisle of Harris Teeter (as can Stevia).

Your Health! Now I'm talking about "those" lumps:
Coffee, while good in many ways, can have many negative impacts including: sleep changes, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, and it stains your teeth (and causes bad breath!) In addition, caffeine has been linked to increasing cellulite by affecting circulation... causing those lumps on your butt!* So instead of using that coffee as a stimulant to wake you up, why don't you drink a cup of decaffeinated tea instead and use the coffee grounds to get rid of cellulite?! Sounds like a great idea to me. Take about 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of shower gel and rub it vigorously on your thighs/butt. Caffeine has been shown to get rid of cellulite and J.Lo. uses this trick...along with another anonymous law student who gave me this recipe ;-)...so it must be true...just don't leave the jar by the shower or your dog could take it under your bed and spill all the grounds!

*citation for caffeine linked to cellulite: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_8_64/ai_89379600/

There are literally thousands of teas to choose from...I invite you to try some and comment on the blog!



  1. Also, I know this is a cooking blog, but the book pictured is PostSecret, an art project where people send in their deepest secrets on postcards to Frank Warren at the address on the cover. Every Sunday he posts 20 new secrets on www.postsecret.com. He also compiles them into books which make great additions on a coffee table. This is the first of the Postsecret books. If you have not checked out this project, I highly recommend it, especially while sipping your lovely tea on a Sunday morning :)

  2. i love tea and this post! i use to be a strictly tea drinker. at some point this last year i made the switch to coffee (just one cup a day) but i think it's time to go back to tea!!