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If you thought the Arnold Palmer — tea and lemonade — was exciting, get ready for a true tea revolution. Just like coffee, new, and in some cases old, kinds of tea are emerging on the market.
Tea has amazing health benefits, so it makes sense that the population is eager to drink it up. All kinds of tea, from green to black and even red, have been used for decades for healing properties and beauty benefits. Tea can improve the appearance of hair and skin; some teas are rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, too.
And "tea" doesn't always mean tea,(Camellia sinensis). Made from herbs, fruits, or seeds, herbal teas are not only tasty but also healthful. Varieties of herbal teas, including ginger, ginseng, rosehip, and mint, and have been known to aid in weight loss and stress reduction. Chamomile tea is not only calming, but also helps to prevent complications from diabetes. Thought echinacea was something only sold in tablet form? As it turns out, echinacea is an herb that is often brewed into a tea used to fight the common cold. Red tea, or rooibos, is a South African herb that is fermented and brewed into a tea for its cancer-fighting properties and sweet flavor. Above are just a few examples of some unique teas to try, but in reality, the opportunities are endless.
Ready to start brewing? Here are some tea types you may never have known existed, but that are definitely worth exploring.
Bael fruit may not be a common herbal tea, but it is certainly worth a try. Known for its ability to increase mental alertness, bael fruit tea can be purchased dry to create a hot brew or chilled for a cold one. Purists may want to purchase the entire fruit and boil it down for a more concentrated tea.
It is said that there plenty of people drink jiaogulan tea in the Guizhou region. A brew made from the herb Gynostemma pentaphyllum, this tea is known for its healing properties and health benefits. American scientists have found it to be one of the top 10 most effective anti-aging herbs in the world, so a cup of this each day will do you good.
Powdered mulberry is often used for medicine, but it can also be turned into an amazingly delicious and healthful tea. Mulberry tea is a popular drink in Thailand, but it was first introduced to the U.S. in Colonial times. It has been used to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and as a cure for joint pain and the common cold.
A fermented Chinese tea with an earthy flavor, Pu-erh can literally shrink the size of your fat cells. The stuff is made from the leaves and stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, the same species that produces green, oolong, and black teas. The only difference is that Pu-erh is post-fermented so it is aged under high humidity.
The South African rooibos herb is used to make this delicious tea that is filled with iron, calcium copper, and magnesium. The seeds are planted in February and are tended for over a year before harvest. The flavor of rooibos is slightly sweet and the tea is caffeine-free, so it’s a great beverage to sip on at the end of your day.
White tea is probably the best-known of the bunch, but it does live in the shadows of green and black tea. White tea leaves are picked when they are very young, so the flavor is milder. Also, the tea contains less caffeine, so it’s ideal for someone who’s sensitive to the stimulant. When buying, opt for loose leaf tea, as it contains more antioxidants.
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Yerba Mate is a traditional beverage from South America. It has as much caffeine as coffee does, but it does not produce anxiety or jitters, which makes it an ideal replacement for your morning pick-me-up. Yerba mate is also loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals that would otherwise damage the cells of the skin and potentially promote the growth of cancerous cells. The tea used to be hard to come by, but you can now find bagged versions of this tea in many major grocery stores.