A Nice Cup of Tea

Beryl cookFor some of us sitting down with a cup of tea is the time of day we look forward to the most.

Isn’t tea the one thing that people turn to in time of trauma or crisis? How often have we heard the words “sit yourself down and I’ll make you a nice cup of tea” uttered by a caring friend or relative. Scientific research has proven that levels of the stress hormone cortisol fell by nearly twice as much in tea drinkers than compared with those who were given a ‘tea-like’ substitute when all testers were put under stressful conditions.

Tea is apparently the most important non-alcoholic beverage in the world and it was due to the influence of Catherine of Braganza, the queen of Charles II, that tea has become a part of British culture. Catherine brought tea-drinking to the English royal court having been introduced to it in her native Portugal, and set a trend for the beverage among the aristocracy of England in the seventeenth century.

Whether it be black, green or any other type of tea, they all originate from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, but the leaves are processed differently. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo crushing and fermenting processes, whilst Green tea leaves are withered and steamed. All teas from the Camellia plant are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that detoxify cell-damaging free radicals in the body, having about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables

Green tea is often promoted as being better for us than the traditional black tea which many of us enjoy with a dash of milk. It does contain less caffeine than black tea, but this depends on which brand of tea you use.  Green tea is high in the amino acid L-theanine which has a calming effect and aides with concentration.

If you want to find out more about the healing power of tea look no further than this great little book, 20,000 Secrets of Tea, a useful reference to help you make an informed choice about tea and how you can use different blends to benefit your health.

Don’t forget that the recommended eight glasses of water a day doesn’t have to be water. Make sure you keep hydrated with tea instead. The soothing power of a cup of tea can have several health benefits, the best one for me being able to take some time out to sit down and relax. In fact, the song A Nice Cup of Tea sung by Binnie Hale is a perfect representation of my thoughts about tea:

I like a nice cup of tea in the morning

For to start the day you see

And at half past eleven

Well my idea of heaven

Is a nice cup of tea

I like a nice cup of tea with me dinner

And a nice cup of tea with me tea

And when it’s time for bed

There’s a lot to be said

For a nice cup of tea


The Beryl Cook print is available as a card from Absolute Cards here.

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