Many people prefer to give the start of the day a boost with a big, steamy cup of hot black joe. Some will never give it up, but others have decided that there are other ways they can get a jolt before going to work. In fact, people around the world have been drinking something that may actually be better for you than coffee, and they've been doing it for thousands of years.
Tea is a sacred plant in some traditional cultures, and it's easy to see why. In addition to the coffee-like caffeine burst it gives, tea is also often rich in anti-oxidants (one word) and other healthy nutrients. It also contains a bit less caffeine than an equal amount of coffee, so it will satisfy the craving without feeding the addiction so strongly. There are four basic types of tea, although in the United States, it isn't difficult to find every variety of flavored, tasty blends.
Black tea is composed of leaves that have been oxidized, or slightly burned, and dried. It contains the most caffeine, often approaching the same amount as a cup of coffee. Most people in the West are probably familiar with black tea since it was popularized by the British - who first discovered it in India when they colonized that country centuries ago. Popular black teas include Earl Grey and English Breakfast.
Green tea is made of leaves that are practically uncured, and it retains most of its original color. Green tea is quite popular in Japan, as well as other parts of East Asia. In fact, some scientists believe that part of the reason for the Japanese people's long life span is the high volume of green tea that they drink. This type of tea can either be plain with a grassy taste or scented with a flowery jasmine flavor.
Oolong tea is essentially a mix of black and green tea. It hasn't been oxidized so much as black tea, but it no longer retains its green color or plant-like taste that green tea would. Oolong tea is traditionally a Chinese beverage that has a slightly-nutty, slightly-grassy taste.
White tea is not nearly as popular as the other three varieties, though those who drink it love its subtle flavors. White tea is brewed from nearly-raw tea leaves, and as it steeps (or soaks in hot water) , its color barely changes. However, it leaves behind a quiet, tangy flavor that tea connoisseurs love.
Before you spend too much time thinking about which variety you want to try first, look online for coupons and discounts so you can buy them all. Search the internet for a Mighty Leaf Tea Promotion code.
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