Celebrate National Hot Tea Month throughout January
contributed by Kelly Hackman*
As the weather gets cooler during the first part of the year, it seems only fitting that we would celebrate a beverage that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Yes, I’m talking about tea… the second most consumed beverage world-wide (behind water). In the United States, however, tea ranks only in the top ten of beverages, and over 80% of tea consumed is iced.
Hot tea, despite not being the number one preferred way to enjoy tea, actually has a lot of benefits for your body. Long thought to be time-consuming to make and often not tasting the greatest (especially if using largely commercial brands), hot tea is a beverage to be savored in the colder months.
For many people, simply holding a nice cup of hot tea and sipping it provides a type of relaxation that is rarely achieved today. With our busy lives, we rarely take time out to just be. Enjoying a nice hot cup of tea gives us that break, releasing stress, and warming us from the inside out.
Benefits of Drinking Tea
In addition to the relaxation aspect, tea has many other benefits, including but not limited to helping control blood pressure, boosting immunity, increasing bone density, lowering cholesterol, decreasing overall body inflammation, and increasing memory.
These benefits are derived from the actual Camellia Sinensis tea plant, and includes black tea, green tea, oolong, white tea, yellow tea, and dark tea (puerh). Herbals, not including the tea plant and often called tisanes, have different benefits.
The reason the Camellia Sinensis plant is so important is because it contains certain chemicals that help the cells in our body to respond positively to it, and to replace damaged cell parts with good to make our cells work property. Those chemicals include L-theanine (an amino acid that triggers relaxation and the “umami” feeling), and catechins (a natural antioxidant that helps prevents cell damage and prevents the formation of free radicals in the body, that ultimately protect our cells from being damaged).
Ways to Celebrate National Hot Tea Month
Knowing all of the positive aspects that tea can provide our bodies, I encourage you to take time each day during this new year to sip a nice warm cuppa, or two, and give your body the boost it needs to be the best that it can be.
Here are some ways you can celebrate National Hot Tea Month:
- Share your favorite cup of tea with a friend. Do you have a favorite blend or brand of tea? Send some to your friend to enjoy.
- Have a Virtual Tea Party. Invite your friends to a virtual tea party and enjoy a chat over a delicious cup of tea. With so many different online platforms to gather, it’s the perfect time to join your friends over a cuppa and catch up on the latest happenings with each of you. If you live near a tea shop that offers Afternoon Tea To Go (The White Heron does), you can order all of your tea-fare and enjoy a distanced Afternoon Tea with your friend.
- Schedule a daily tea break, for the entire month of January. It seems like a daunting task, taking time out of your afternoon, every day, to enjoy a nice cup of tea. Trust us, your mind and body will thank you for it later. It’s true, we all need a break, and even the 10-15 minutes it takes to enjoy a cup of tea can make all the difference in how the rest of your day goes. And you may never know, you may just want to continue your daily tea breaks all year long.
About Kelly Hackman
Kelly Hackman is a WTA Certified Tea Sommelier and Tea Specialist. She is the owner of The White Heron Tea & Gifts and Driftwood Tea Company in historic downtown New Port Richey, Florida. Her award-winning “Florida-inspired” tearoom welcomes guests from throughout United States and encourages them to enjoy some of the world’s finest tea in her beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. You can call 727-203-3504 to make reservations for full tea, or just stop in to relax for a pot of tea or Cream Tea in the Tea Parlor at 6228 Grand Blvd. in New Port Richey.