When you just need to relax, skip the coffee — and drink tea.
“You don’t really hear people say, ‘I’m going to go relax with a cup of coffee,” says dietitian Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. “It’s often the ritual of drinking tea: It soothes stress. It helps you relax.”
Tea’s list of benefits is long too. Gans notes its antioxidant profile and says tea has been linked to lowering blood pressure, cholesterol (compared to coffee) and one’s risk of cardiovascular disease as well as fighting cancer and Alzheimer’s. “And there was a recent study that, overall, shows tea-drinkers have a healthier lifestyle than coffee-drinkers,” she says. Make what you want of that. Maybe it’s tea’s link to stress reduction, but the research is there.
I know what many of you are thinking, though: Tea? Really? Ew.
Been there, guys. I vividly remember my uncle handing me a cup of tea when I was probably 10. I took a sip, made a face like he’d just given me a lemon to suck on and handed him the cup right back. And you don’t want to start adding a bunch of junk to your tea, either. As Gans notes, “It’s a healthy beverage option, but start adding a lot of honey and sugar? Now it’s a lot of calories.” Kind of like how a chai tea latte isn’t really tea — it’s a legit dessert.
It’s important to learn to enjoy the flavor of the tea without all the sugary additives if you can. But I do get it if you’re not into the bitter taste of some classics — like Earl Grey, for example. (Yes, some teas really do have flavor.) I loathed teas for years and years until I started trying out a new one every now and again instead of coffee. I like a hot beverage on a fading fall day, but I could never tolerate the caffeine content in an afternoon cup of joe.
So, enter tea… but only those with actual taste. Here are seven healthy teas — for people who usually hate tea.
A version of this article was originally published in September 2014.
Tiesta Tea Fruity Pebbles
This green tea has sweet blackberry leaves, pineapple bits, papaya bits, rose petals, raspberry bits and strawberry fruit granules, making it one of the most flavorful teas you've ever had. Plus, it claims it'll help suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism.
Tiesta Tea Fruity Pebbles, $9.99 at Amazon
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea
Harney & Sons hot cinnamon spice tea is a delicious black tea, and tops our list of all-time favorites. The mixture of orange peel, cloves and three different kinds of cinnamon gives it a natural sweetness. I can literally drink bottomless cups of this, especially on colder days.
Hot Cinnamon Spice tea, $6.50 at Harney & Sons
Tazo Organic Spicy Ginger Tea
Great for digestion with the ginger and soothing chamomile, you also get a kick of flavor from the citrus in Tazo organic spicy ginger tea. And because it's herbal, it's caffeine-free, which means you can drink it anytime, anywhere.
Tazo Organic Spicy Ginger tea, $30.18 at Amazon
The Republic of Tea Caramel Apple Red Tea
If you're more into teas that taste like dessert in a cup, opt for Republic of Tea caramel apple red tea, which has a super-autumnal, caramel-apple flavor. With African rooibos tea as the perfect base, you're really getting a triple-punch of sweet flavor.
The Republic of Tea Caramel Apple Red Tea, $10.50 at Amazon
Davidson’s Caramel Peach with Coconut
Peach tea is really just ho-hum, slightly flavored water in my opinion — until you add caramel and coconut flavors to your cup, along with chicory, chamomile and rooibos. Think of Davidson's caramel peach with coconut tea as an easy, smooth beginner's herbal tea.
Caramel Peach with Coconut, $5.50 (for a box of 25) at Davidson's
Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea
Harney & Sons' dragon pearl jasmine tea is the closest thing to a classic — because it's the most soothing, relaxing thing I've ever consumed. It tastes decadent, but not in a dessert-y way. It smells beautiful and floral, but never too strong. It is jasmine tea, and it's unlike anything else. Once you've done the other four flavors on the list, graduate to this. It will become a fast favorite.
Dragon Pearl Jasmine tea, $16 (for a 4-ounce tin) at Harvey & Sons
Heath & Heather Organic Green Tea with Coconut
This green tea, with its beautiful hint of coconut, smells just as good as it tastes.
Heath & Heather Organic Green Tea with Coconut, $14.67 at Amazon
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