A brief history of tea
The cultivation and brewing of tea goes back centuries—by some accounts, way back to the 3rd century AD in China. Tea really hit its stride in the 1700s with England leading the way in the development of the popular beverage—making it available on a truly global basis. We recently met with Stephen Twining, whose ancestor, Thomas Twining, began selling fine tea from an English storefront in The Strand, London, in 1706. Today, Twinings Tea still sells fine teas out of the same store as well as in more than 100 countries around the world. Here, with his help, we take a look at various teas and how they can fit your mood, or pave the way for a slightly different mood.
Good morning, sunshine! = Irish breakfast tea
Looking for a coffee substitute to start your day? Irish breakfast tea will give you just the right punch. It's one of a number of blends of black teas gathered from all over the world that can perk you up and help you to get started each morning. It's excellent for people who don't drink coffee, says Twining. Check out all these amazing benefits of tea.
30 minutes to chill = Oolong tea
You've just turned in that big project (Phew!) and have a short break before your briefing meeting with the team on the next one. When you want to sneak a few minutes of "me time" and enjoy a few minutes of quiet time away from the world, brew yourself a cup of oolong, suggests Twining. "It's smooth and mellow." Here's how to steep the perfect cup of tea every time.
I need a luxurious treat = Earl Grey lavender
The Seventh Earl of Grey has this to say about his forbearer, as printed on boxes of Twinings Earl Grey tea, "Legend has it that my ancestor the second Earl Grey, was presented with this exquisite recipe by an envoy on his return from China. He liked it so much, he asked Richard Twining to recreate it for him. Generations of my family have enjoyed Earl Grey tea and today, I am proud to continue this tradition with the tea celebrated throughout the world known as Twinings Earl Grey." Earl Grey comes in several varieties including jasmine - very little or no sugar is needed - and lavender. Twining loves the Earl Grey Lavender, which he calls "soothing and calming". Lavender has proven benefits when it comes to helping people sleep better and deeper, reports Prevention magazine.
I'm in an afternoon slump = Green tea
When the clock is pushing 4 p.m. and you know that Starbucks run you want to take will leave you tossing and turning later that night, reach for a mug of green tea, instead. Twining calls it a "keep me going" type of tea, that makes for "easy drinking on a busy day." Plus it's an energizer with much less caffeine than coffee. Not to mention green tea has health benefits ranging from cancer prevention to giving your heart a boost.
I need help! = Cold-brewed iced-tea
The kids and their friends have just stampeded through the door after practice, the cat and dog are in the middle of a war under your feet, and suddenly, everyone wants iced tea. The pizzas will arrive in about five minutes! What's a poor dad to do? This is when cold-brewed iced tea can come to the rescue. Just throw a few bags (peach flavored is nice) into a large pitcher of cold water and let stand or five minutes and then pour over ice. Voila, you have perfect iced tea for the masses for a total cost of around one dollar. You're on your own when it comes to the ongoing cat and dog war...
Let's keep the party going = Rooibos
Twining calls rooibos a fun tea, for when you've had a lot of tea already and need something without caffeine but still want a full bodied tea with a really rich flavor. "When I'm in a vibrant, excited mood, it won't calm me down but it won't excite me, it will keep me going," he says. There's good reason for that—some studies suggest that roobios may be even better for you than green tea.
I feel a cold coming on = Lemon ginger
If you're feeling a bit under the weather or think you might be getting sick, the lemon has antiseptic properties and ginger encourages drainage."The fresh zesty lemon dances on to your palette and the warming ginger gently heats your throat," Twining says. Find out more remedies for a head cold.
I'm stuffed! = Pure peppermint
After a giant dinner, you may not think you have room for even a sip of anything, but try a cup of peppermint tea, suggests Twining. It's caffeine-free and peppermint is reputed to aid digestion and is also a great palate cleanser—its big taste will cut through the flavor of even the richest desserts. Here are more ways to beat the bloat.
I want to be inspired = Pomegranate raspberry
Twining says this fruity blend "jumpstarts his senses." It makes a really refreshing iced tea in the summertime, but don't discount it in the winter. Twining recommends it year round for when he wants something different.