While tea is gaining popularity year around, it seems that in the dead of winter, everyone pays a little more attention to the second most popular beverage in the world.
At Storehouse Tea we often get the question ‘what are the best teas for winter?’ Our answer is always the best tea for you is the one you want to drink.
It’s important to recognize that not all teas sold in stores are the same. Many of today’s tea bag brands are claiming that they provide health benefits and promote clean living. While they are labeled “wellness” teas, they are actually laden with pesticides, toxins, artificial ingredients, added flavors, and GMOs.
Tea is not washed before it is put it into those white bleached bags. That means if the tea was sprayed with pesticides, those pesticides go directly into your cup. Some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics, so don’t let that “100% Natural” label fool you. Natural “silky sachet” tea bags actually contain plastic.
For that reason, we believe that certified organic loose leaf tea is the way to go. We purchase our fresh tea leaves from all over the world. We know where they were grown, when they were picked, and if the workers were paid fairly. Fresh is the best; all Storehouse teas are dated two years from the blending date, because that is when the most health benefits can be derived. You may notice that tea bags in grocery stores may not be dated.
Teas can have a positive effect on your physical and mental and even spiritual well-being. Teas that comfort you, elevate your mood, boost your immune system, and energize you as the daylight is in short supply are sure stave off the effects of cold temperatures and the winter doldrums. For comfort, nothing beats the warming effects of a hot black tea with spices like cinnamon, clove, or cardamom and fruits like oranges, limes, currants, and apples.
Many people enjoy tea but prefer to avoid caffeine. We blend an Orange Spice or Zesty Ginger Lime Roiboos that contain relaxing, immune elevating, and hydrating properties. Botanical Blends often have healing or soothing properties, like Elderberry Blend (great for sore throats), Nettle (high in iron, regulates sugar, good for allergies, kidney diseases and immune boosting), and Chamomile Blend (helps you sleep good for headaches, PMS, and anxiety). Still others, like Guayusa and Mate blends actually have the most anti-oxidants of all our tea offerings and come in Lemon Tropic and an Amazon Mint blend.
White tea offers the most anti-oxidants, and blends wonderfully with fruit flavors. Green tea is extremely popular and offers some health benefits, but so does oolong, which is linked to the reduction of plaque in the arteries, reduction of cholesterol, and lowering of blood sugar. It also has a reputation of a safe dieter’s tea. Organic Gaba Oolong is especially good for the winter months to elevate mood and lessen “cabin fever.” This Oolong is made to bring out the GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the leaf, which has been shown to block certain signals on our brains to relieve anxiety, improve mood, and even reduce symptoms of PMS and ADHD.
As you can see, “winter teas” are as a varied as they are healthy and delicious. Knowing what’s in our tea and what we put in our body matters. So the next time you need a mid-winter lift remember “there is no problem on Earth that can’t be (solved) by a hot bath and a cup of tea,” so says novelist Jasper Fforde.
— Paula Hershman, Storehouse Tea