Monday, July 25, 2011

Tea for Two & Two for Tea

“The spirit of tea is one of peace, comfort and refinement.”  --Arthur Gray

Did you know that tea is the 2nd most commonly consumed beverage in the world? (The first is water.)

Yes, I know at this writing that much of the United States is experiencing record high heat. But still…there is nothing more soothing and relaxing to me than a hot cup of tea. Unless it’s a hot cup of tea, a good book and a comfy couch! And it’s amazing how many teas there are out there…white, green, black, flavored, unflavored, and herbal teas (also known as tisanes – not a “true” tea). My favorite local tea shop carries over 200 teas (if you live in the Austin area, you should go visit - click the link)!!

My personal favorite is green tea. I enjoy it for its light taste, low caffeine (particularly in comparison to coffee) and health benefits. Among the various green teas available, I have two that are my all-time favorites:

Jasmine Pearls Tea – before you even drink this tea, just bringing it up to your nose to inhale the aroma is heavenly! I first came across this tea at a charity event, and I’ve been hooked ever since. (For you iced tea lovers out there, this makes a delicious and light summer drink.)

Walnut Green Tea - I believe there are slight variations on this blend depending on where you purchase it. The store where I purchase my tea locally serves up a delightful mixture of Chinese green tea, brittle bits, pineapple bits, coconut flakes, walnut bits, and almond bits. It’s like liquid candy!

There is something intimate about sharing tea with friends and loved ones. It evokes a sense of calm, brings the loud clanging of the world down a bit, allowing time to slow so that we can savor the moment.

Aside from the ability to calm the mind, tea has other health benefits as well:

Tea contains antioxidants that protect your body from the ravages of aging
and pollution

Tea has about ½ the caffeine that is found in coffee (high amounts of caffeine have been known to cause insomnia, jitters and headaches)

Tea protects your bones and teeth
(bet you didn’t know that tea contains fluoride, did you?)

More and more research is pointing toward tea being a cancer-fighting agent
and has been associated with reduced heart disease

Tea increases your metabolism

Now, for a yummy treat to go along with your tea, jump on over to The Pioneer Woman’s blog for this recipe for mini vanilla bean scones (I love the ones at Starbuck’s, and these look delightful to make!):

Call up a girlfriend (or two) and have some fun girl time over a cup of tea. It will do your heart (and mind, body and soul) a world of good, as you bond your friendship.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
~~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

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