6 Amazing Benefits of Tea

We just couldn't resist sharing this recent article in Huffington Post all about the top 6 benefits of... Tea! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did and when you're finished? Come SHOP for your favorite blends right here > 

If you are trying to improve your health or drop a few pounds, think beyond superfoods and supplements, because this "super-drink" deserves your attention. The things we chew are not the only dietary factors that contribute to weight management, disease fighting, energy boosting and stress reducing. Consumed for thousands of years, tea has provided delicious medicinal benefits to many cultures around the globe. Studies show that the components found in such a small little teabag can do wonders for your health. Drink up - your overall health is about to get a lot better!

Tea can help you in maintaining a healthy weight. A 2011 study in the Journal Obesity found that mice fed a high fat diet and given compounds found in green tea gained weight at a slower rate than mice that were not fed the same compounds. The findings from this study suggest that green tea extracts may actually interfere with fat formation in the body. As a side note: green tea extracts should not be confused with bottled green tea drinks that may be full of added sugar. To get green tea extracts, opt for the real deal -- boiling water with a good old-fashioned teabag or loose tea!

Green tea may help you see better. The eye, like any part of the body, can suffer oxidative stress -- making it more prone to disease. What if you could just add some green tea to your daily diet regimen to combat this? A 2010 study found that components in green tea positively affected the tissues of the eyes, especially tissue related to the retina. Drink on green tea lovers and protect your precious eyeballs!

White tea can help you look younger! White tea has a very high polyphenol count (that means it's really good for you), which deliver fabulously gorgeous benefits! A recent study demonstrated that tea drinkers may have already found their fountain of youth -- in their mug! In the study, extracts in white tea inhibited wrinkle production by strengthening elastin and collagen -- two important factors in your chances of developing what both men and women fear the most -- fine lines and wrinkles. White tea can keep your joints younger too according to this 2011 study.

Black tea can help to reduce stress levels. Stressed out? A cup of black tea may be just what you need. One study found that black tea actually helped in reducing levels of the stress hormones in study participants. The fun does not stop there -- black tea showed yet another benefit related to stress: blood pressure. As stress goes up, blood pressure does too, putting us at risk for developing a heart attack or stroke. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that six months of black tea consumption lowered systolic blood pressure.

It may help you fight diabetes. A 2010 study reviewing a variety of caffeinated teas found that the caffeine in tea may help in reducing the overall risk of diabetes.

Tea can make your ticker stronger! One study found that green tea helped to improve endothelial function rather quickly after consumption but resist the urge to add milk to your tea if you are drinking for better cardiovascular health! That's because the caseins in milk may actually decrease the cardioprotective benefits you get from tea according to one study.

The tea-takeaway. You can use tea bags or go loose, drink it hot or drink it cold. Either way, tea is fabulous -- and so are all of its benefits. For all the tea veterans, keep drinking your way to good health! For those that have not yet embraced a tea-drinking habit, it's never too late to start brewing a batch! Explore the various types, flavors, and brands to find your tea-mate.

For more by Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D., click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

 Follow Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., L.D. on Twitter:www.twitter.com/KRISTINKIRKPAT

Silver Needle {White Tea} One of the Rarest Blends

Classified as rarest of all teas, our tea selection in this week's blog is our unique blend, Heaven Sent Silver Needle White Tea. This high grown white China tea is plucked in spring right before the leaf opens. White, downy buds are quickly air-dried, resulting in a low-caffeine tea. We thought it would be nice to share some information about this rare tea so you will appreciate the norigin and the delicate nature of this delicious and delightful blend.

White tea is made in four counties in Fujian province, Fuding, Zhen He, Jian Yang, and Song Xi, though Bai Hao Yin Zhen (Silver Needle) white tea is only made in Fuding and Zhen He. These counties grow unique cultivars of the tea bush, Fuding Da Bai and Zhen He Da Bai, which are capable of producing the large and stylish tea buds that Silver Needle is known for. Seven Cups’ Silver Needle is made entirely from Fuding’s original Da Bai bush type, known for having buds that are bigger, richer, fatter and more numerous than the Zhen He cultivar. Additionally, Fuding’s Silver Needle white tea touts the claim of being the original, invented in 1796, much earlier than Zhen He’s.

Even at its beginning, white tea was a popular export to Europe. Its conspicuously large buds were some times blended with simple black tea to enhance its visual appeal. The First World War halted the export of white tea in 1918. Exports resumed briefly in 1926 but only to be stopped again by the escalation to the Second World War. White tea finally returned to the Western market in the late 20th century where it has been viewed with renewed curiosity.

Making Silver Needle

The sweetest of the white teas, Silver needle is made up of only buds from the tea bush. Meticulously separated from the stem, the buds are fanned on to a single layer on a bamboo tray and dried in the sun until 70% of their moisture is removed. The withering process is completed indoors as the tea is roasted over charcoal. During the roast, the tea is separated from the charcoal by bamboo trays lined with paper. The very low temperature drying of this tea is designed to preserve the white color of its buds. 

Unlike green tea, white tea is never fired or steamed to kill the enzymatic action that causes oxidation. Instead, oxidation of the leaves is prevented by their lack of moisture. The withering process is very long and gradual, thus slight oxidation of the leaves (or buds) will naturally occur. With this slight amount of oxidation, white tea’s color is typically not as bright or green as you would expect from a green tea.

Judging the quality of Silver Needle white tea

High quality Silver Needle should be made up of large, healthy tea buds with most of their white down intact. When infused, the buds will turn to a light green color right away. The color of the infusion is like a light honey. When compared to infused green tea, it will appear slightly yellow.

The fragrance is light, akin to freshly bloomed flowers. The flavor is more juicy than dry, filling the mouth with a smooth and lingering sweetness. Just like all of our superior, artful blends, Craft Of Tea Heaven Sent Silver Needle White Tea is exquisitely perfect.

For first time tea drinkers and seasoned aficionados alike, Silver Needle white tea is a very approachable tea. It is easier on the stomach than a green tea and even a long infusion in high temperature water will not bitter the flavor. You will find it very easy to drink and very easy to brew.