“Black or white?”is a question increasingly being asked when you walk into a restaurant and ask for tea.
Black is what it sounds like black tea while white is if you would like a dash or two or three of milk.
Tea holds a special place in Kenyan households and hearts,it is the drink of choice that we give to welcome visitors into our homes and is a sign of the high esteem with which we hold them .
Tea is the preferred beverage o choice in most Kenyan households and many people will swear that their mothers way of preparing tea is the best.There have been broken hearts where tea was involved and it was brewed not quite up to perfection.
Some people do take their tea up a notch by adding spices like tea masala,cardamons,cinnamon or fresh ginger or rosemary.Al little while back I had a recipe for Chai Tea .
Tea drinking is embraced across many cultures in Africa,Europe,Asia the middle East and in the Americas.
Countries like China,Japan,Russia,England,India,Turkey,Egypt and Morocco have tea drinking traditions spanning hundreds of years.You have not really enjoyed tea until you have attended a Chinese or Japanese tea ceremony where in both of of these cultures tea holds a special seat of honor .
The tradition of tea drinking as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle goes back hundred of years .According to early Buddhist texts,tea was described as a potent medicine for promoting good health,aiding digestion and relieving the symptoms that accompanied the common cold.
There are many varieties of tea available apart form the black tea,there is green ,white ,herbal and more recently we have been hearing of purple tea and its benefits.
For a country of tea drinkers like Kenya as well as for anyone who enjoys their tea,are there any benefits to a daily cup of your favorite hot beverage?
Apart from the effects tea has of refreshing and restoring us (I am sure you know a few people who cannot function without their favorite hot beverage),science is just now discovering the health benefits that accompany tea drinking.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,the biggest evidence in support of tea drinking has been attributed to the antioxidants it contains that have been found to improve heart health.
These anti oxidants found in both green and black tea which are different from what we get from fruits have been attributed to have disease fighting capabilities.
The work of antioxidants is to look for free radicals roaming around your body and to get rid of them.These free radicals are the cause of many degenerative diseases and also occur as a result of aging.
Antioxidants work by detoxifying the body of these free agents so that they do not cause disease through the damage of body cells.
Countries like Japan and China that have a tea drinking culture reportedly have less incidences of heart disease and some cancers according to John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.
Caffeine is the stimulant found in tea as well as coffee is a mental booster ,elevates our moods and gets us started in the morning .Like all good things to be able to enjoy the benefits of tea it should be taken in moderation.
Drinking more than 3 tea cups(not mugs) of tea is advisable and it should not be given to young children and adolescents as it hinders the absorption of iron which young and growing bodies need lots of in order to grow.
Just out of curiosity I would love to know just how many cups anyone reading this takes of tea and how best they like it,brewed or instant though I must say instant tea has nothing on brewed tea(I might be biased).
As always we love reading your comments and suggestions,looking forward to seeing you in the comments later.