The British drink about 165 million cups of tea, everyday. That’s about 2 kilos of tea consumed per person in the UK each year. That’s a crazy amount of tea!
China, where this whole tea party began, only consumes about half a kilo per person per year. India is a .33 kilos a year.
What’s fascinating is that in the UK 98% of the tea will be taken with milk. This is where things get really interesting. Because if they drink so much tea, shouldn’t the British be the healthiest people in the world? After all, we all know the insane benefits of tea on health and longevity.
My tea journey started years ago. I would drink this thick milky Parsi tea. It was made by boiling milk with a large amount of tea and mint leaves. To this I would add heaps of sugar. It was a dessert in a mug. Yum! I would have about 3 of these everyday.
Tea was originally discovered in 2737 BCE. When a leaf of tea fell into the Chinese emperor’s cup of hot water. For years it was used in this fashion as medicine. It took 3000 years for tea to become the everyday beverage it is today.
Originally milk was used as a coating to prevent the fine porcelain tea cups from getting stained. It was not meant to be such an integral part of tea.
Tea, especially green tea, has a dizzyingly large number of benefits, if you search for tea benefits you would think tea is magical. It reduces chances of cancer, helps with diabetes, increases brain function and most important of all, aids the weight loss benefits.
Most of these benefits come from a compound called EGCG. EGCG is the main polyphenol in tea. Polyphenols are naturally occurring antioxidants. They reduce the oxidative stress on the body that takes place by just being alive.
So if you can reduce this oxidative damage, you can slow down aging and disease. You can boost your cell regeneration rate. You can increase your brain function.
Green tea also greatly boosts your metabolism thus helping with the weight loss benefits.
Now what’s interesting is that all the benefits of tea go flying out the window as soon as you add milk. The milk binds to the polyphenols and thus doesn’t allow the tea to do it’s magic.
The sugar we add to the tea destroys any weight loss benefits all together. It also gives you that boost of energy followed by a crash and feeling cranky.
In fact there is a direct connection between cultures that drink tea without milk, having longer lives, think China and Japan. As compared to milk tea drinkers, think Britain and India.
It’s time we took our tea drinking old school. Getting rid of the milk and sugar, to truly appreciate the delicate flavours and fragrance of pure green tea. Let’s treat tea the way the ancient Chinese did, as a magical medicine.
So your simple habit to start drinking green tea is to replace one serving of your daily tea intake, with a cup of green tea. If you don’t like the taste because it is too bitter, cool the water down before adding the tea.
Play around with the steeping time. Play around with different flavours of tea.
If you are practicing intermittent fasting, add pure green tea to the fasting period for increasing the potency.
Make drinking green tea a daily practice, there are so many different kinds of teas to choose from. Each with their own characteristics. Each giving you a little cup of magic.