If you've never been a tea lover, learning to prepare and appreciate tea can seem slightly daunting. However, once you've learned to love tea, you'll wonder why it took you so long!
If you've never really experimented with tea, you may only be familiar with the plain tea served at any restaurant you've ever frequented. However, many brands of tea offer a variety of options — from rich, fragrant teas that are delicious served hot with cream and sugar to refreshing, fruity teas that can quench even the biggest thirst on a hot day. Challenge yourself to give tea a try for one week — and go wild trying all the different types and flavors. After the seven days are up, we're sure you'll be a tea drinker for life.
You may be more inclined to give tea a try if you know all the amazing health benefits that drinking tea on a regular basis can provide. Countless studies have shown the positive health effects of drinking black and green teas, including helping to maintain a healthy weight, keeping stress levels and blood pressure down and helping to maintain healthy eyesight. Teas can also help you feel better when you're sick. If you're having a tough time getting to sleep at night, try a soothing cup of warm chamomile. Ginger or peppermint tea can also help ease a bout of nausea or an upset stomach.
Tea preparation is actually quite simple. If you prefer a piping-hot beverage, steep a tea bag in a mug of hot water for a few minutes. The longer you let the tea bag steep in the water, the stronger the flavor profile of the tea will be.
For iced tea, fill a 2-quart glass sun tea container with water and add four to six tea bags (with the strings hanging over the side for easy and mess-free removal). Place the container outside in direct sunlight for between three and five hours, and let nature do the work! Refrigerate to chill before serving.
You can also prepare a large batch of tea by boiling 1 quart of water and then steeping the tea bags (four to six, as mentioned above) for about five minutes. Then remove the tea bags, transfer the tea into a pitcher and add 1 quart of cold water. Refrigerate until chilled.
You can create flavor fusions all your own by adding herbs and fruits to plain black or green teas. I like to soak fresh mint leaves and orange slices in green tea overnight. In the morning, I have a revitalizing beverage with a kick of minty freshness.
Many tea brands now offer tea bags specifically made for iced tea as well as instant mixes to get you your iced tea fix ASAP.
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