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Some Tea please…

Yoga done, meditation done, one litre of water drunk, followed by that leisurely morning cup of tea, sitting in the balcony (or you perhaps, once sat leisurely in your garden), surrounded by greenery and listened to the sounds of the chirping birds…those were moments of bliss before the storm! I often think about those moments, the calm, the serenity, that was perhaps bought on by the perfect cup of tea or maybe the lack of rush in the morning! Don’t know which one but anyhow, it seems to be all gone now! I reckon that it is due to the ‘laziness’ monster taking over coupled with a lack of warm weather in this part of the world, which has made this ritual a thing of the past! However, as humans we adjust our behaviour based on circumstances and today, even though that traditional ‘morning tea’ might be a distant memory, sipping multiple cups of tea is a huge part of my life; from green, black, white, herbal and oolong...all have their uses, taste and are a part of the perfect holistic lifestyle. So, sit yourself down, get yourself a cuppa and find out, why sipping on multiple cups of tea is so good for you…ready for the gyan? Here we go:

We are all spoilt for choice by the endless varieties of teas available in the markets. However, the main categories are still black, green, white and oolong; and of course the ‘herbal teas‘ that are well stocked across the supermarket aisles; to my mind they aren’t really teas but a concoction of herbs and spices generally, that you can quite happily knock together yourself. I especially love to ‘brew’ a cuppa of cinnamon tea rather than buying those extortionately-priced teabags.  Pour two cups of tap water into a pan. Add half a stick of cinnamon to it and when the quantity of water reduces to half, it’s ready for you to sip! Full of goodness, packed with taste and all created by your clever hands! Health experts are known to recommend this cinnamon tea for keeping the naughty cholesterol in check. So, get sipping!

Down with a cold? Can I request you to please not pop a paracetamol, instead make a wonderful cup of black tea with some crushed ginger (to get the juices flowing), perhaps with a dash of honey. Alternatively, just boil some ginger in a pan of water, reduce and once off the heat, add some lemon juice and honey…sip away and feel better fairly instantaneously with this ginger, lemon and honey tea!

Had a cup of turmeric tea ever? It has been known to get rid of all the pain and inflammation…that’s how magical it is; we did write about this spice, not that long ago. To make this concoction, all you have to do is boil turmeric in some water, add honey when at room temperature and drink away. Feel healthy, as if by magic! Herbal teas are good for us, now for a few words about the ones that grow in the tea plantations:

Black tea – is known to prevent viruses in the mouth and gums and is believed to be good for the heart too and if you ever have a loose tummy, take a heaped tablespoon of these tea leaves, chew a bit (believe me, it’s not gross, at all!) and follow it with a glass of water at room temperature! An upset stomach will be a thing of the past. This is known to work but I do not know the science behind this one, though!

Green tea – People are gulping down cups of green tea to lose weight. Well, a balanced diet alongside may actually help too. It’s also known to be kind to your liver and has been known to help strengthen your bones too. What’s not to like? Yes, the taste does need getting used to but how about adding a dash of lemon? Does make it taste a whole lot nicer and the goodness of Vitamin C gets included too.

Oolong tea  – This Chinese tea is well-known to help burn off the calories and is known to help make your immune stronger. In fact, this is a much tastier tea when compared to green, as its sweeter.

Wonderful on their own and even better when mixed with other kinds. Let’s talk about the world of blending these amazing teas…putting goodness and flavours of a variety of teas into one big pot. Meeta Sharma of the TeaBox puts it beautifully; says ‘Blending tea is more art than science because it demands more imagination than intention’ and she is absolutely right!  and if you want to have a go in blending your own teas, then have a peep at the TeaBox website.

Now, for a visual tour:

When you spot some good quality tea leaves...get them via

When you spot some good quality tea leaves…get them via

Tea leaves, tea leaves everywhere...which of these are going to make it to your cup? via

Tea leaves bonanza…which of these have made it to your cup? via

Forget the 'chai teabags' for a minute...create your own healthy concoction...sip away via

Forget the ‘chai teabags’ for a minute…create your own healthy concoction…sip away via

Tea tastes amazing in a clay mug aka 'kulhad'! Do you want one right now? via

Tea tastes amazing in a clay mug aka ‘kulhad’! Do you want one right now? via

The tea process- simplified...via

The tea process- simplified…via

There are a lot more varieties out there…Matcha seems to be the new tea, meant to be densely packed with antioxidants. You seem to get in all forms, including an ice-cream version! I haven’t had the courage to try it yet (‘cos of its strong, bright colour!). Apologies for being silly but until I try this one,  get sipping the traditional teas that we are familiar with.

How about getting some like-minded people together to enjoy some  ‘real’ tea? Get ordering from the TeaBox or San-Cha or from any of your favourite tea stores. Tea leaves, of course have a lot more flavour than the dust found in some tea bags. I am not here to offend tea bags at all! I do use them often as they are so very convenient but sometimes, only the good ‘ole tea leaves will do….not just for the flavour but also for the ‘goodness factor‘.  

I cannot end this post without the mention of the much loved ‘chai-wallahs’ of India. The very talented ‘tea men‘ that can be found across the length and breadth of our country and who make tea accessible to people like you and me, anytime of the day and most often with some delicious cooked snacks. A place that gives them the mention they so deserve, is a little place on the web, the Chai Wallahs of IndiaI just fell in love with the writings and the stories, on that website, especially, the one by Amit Sinha. Have a read and find out how knowledgeable the common ‘tea man’ is about all the goodness of tea and the spices (or root vegetables) that go into making that perfect cup of tea! I totally loved the read.

Reading this sitting in Mumbai? How about dropping into Tea Trails for an amazing experience? Or when in Delhi, go get a book to read in the Oxford bookstore and enjoy some magical tea creations  at Cha bar too. Not too long ago, we spoke about, Chayos in Delhi NCR and we absolutely love it! If you haven’t visited them yet, then do drop by…

So, here I am, requesting you to start your day with that lovely cup of tea, green, black, white or oolong and end it with perhaps a nice camomile or peppermint cuppa…Keep your immune system strong and stay calm and healthy.

Happy Sipping!

Shilpa xx

Cover Image: via