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Wellness

6 Types of Tea and their Tea-rific Benefits

Tea has been around for thousands of years, originating in ancient China. Since its discovery, it has been used for healing, energizing, and stress-relieving. Whether you are fighting off a cold, studying late for an exam, or trying to fall asleep, there’s a tea that can help.

Black Tea:

Are you having trouble staying awake for that 9:30 am class? Craving caffeine but don’t want  the coffee? Try a cup of black tea. Black tea is one of the most caffeinated teas and is most often consumed at breakfast because of its energizing boost. According to the black tea section at DavidsTea, an 8 oz cup can range anywhere between 10-100 mg of caffeine (around the same amount as a cup of coffee). Black teas are full-bodied and rich in flavour, and they’ll be sure to give you that extra kick you need to start your day. Some of my favourites include lapsang souchong, Earl Gray, and pumpkin chai. 

White Tea:

Unlike black tea, which undergoes a process of oxidation, white tea is the least processed of all teas. According to the Handbook of Food and Beverage Fermentation Technology, white tea leaves are simply plucked from their stem and laid out to dry. White tea is hydrating, light, and refreshing, containing only about 20-55 mg of caffeine per cup. White teas can be fruity and floral, and taste great iced. Some of my favourite white tea flavours are peach, lemon, and jasmine. 

Herbal Tea:

If you’re feeling under the weather, or you can’t fall asleep because your brain just can’t stop replaying that time you told your server to also enjoy their meal, then it might be time you invest in some herbal teas. Herbal teas are caffeine-free and work to nurture the mind and body. If you’re feeling sick with a sore throat and stomach ache, not only will an herbal tea keep you hydrated, but a soothing blend of peppermint, ginger, or eucalyptus might just be what you need to hop on the road to recovery. If you’re feeling stressed or can’t seem to fall asleep, a relaxing blend of lemongrass, valerian, chamomile, or lavender could have you dreaming of a summer garden in no time. You can check out some more herbal blends and their benefits here.

Pu-erh Tea:

Pu-erh (pronounced poo-are or poo-err) is an aged and fermented tea. Because of the tea’s natural earthy taste, it blends deliciously with chocolate and coffee flavours. Speaking of coffee, pu-erh has enough caffeine (14-125 mg) to potentially replace your morning double-double. Two of my favourite pu-erh teas for when my sweet tooth is craving something decadent (but I don’t want the sugar intake) are hot chocolate chai and s’mores chai.

Green Tea:

Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and definitely my favourite variety of tea. According to DavidsTea, green tea is processed either through steaming or pan-firing. Green tea is known for its health benefits both for detoxing the body and increasing mindfulness. It is so versatile that it can be used to energize or calm, especially since its caffeine levels can range between 15-45 mg. Some of my all-time favourite green teas are Japanese Genmaicha, Japanese Sencha, and Silk Dragon Jasmine. 

Matcha:

 If you like green tea but are craving a level up, you’re going to love matcha! While other teas are made from the steeping of tea leaves, matcha is made from finely grinding up green tea leaves into a powder form where all of it is consumed, leaving behind no waste. With matcha, you are getting all the nutrients from the leaves, according to a Time article “Should You Drink Matcha Tea?” You can put matcha in your baked goods, smoothies, and hot or cold lattes. Or, if you’re just looking for a quick energy boost, drink it on its own. You can try it in its traditional flavour of ceremonial matcha, or you can go for some sweeter options such as maple matcha, vanilla chai matcha, mango matcha, or perhaps a seasonal gingerbread or candy cane matcha. 

No matter how you are feeling or what the weather is like, there’s a tea for it!

Nicole is an Arts and Humanities Western alumna who graduated with a BA (Hons) in English, Women's Studies, and Italian. She is currently a Western MA student in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. When she is not writing essays or fulfilling her duties on student government, she is reading, writing poetry, and funding her addictions to skincare, tea, candles, and all things food.
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