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Lessons From a Tea Expert

The other day I was sitting at home organizing my kitchen cabinets when I saw the plethora of teas that I had collected over the years, sitting there, un-organized, and hoarding too much room. Bothered, I went through my collection and realized that I had so many different types of teas: chai, green, herbal, berry, you name it, and I had no idea what any of them did or why I had them. Which is when I thought to myself “this would make a perfect blog post”.

My friend Brooke is actually a tea expert at Davids Tea. She’s worked with the company for almost a year now and is probably the world’s biggest healthy living guru, honestly, check out her insta @dreamyvegan, it’s amazeeee. Anyways, she knows almost everything about tea and I trust her judgement with any questions and tips I may have relating to health. So I thought I’d take advantage of that a little. I decided to take all my tea filled questions and bring them to her in hopes that maybe I can start trying different teas that I own, and throw out some that I don’t need.

So, without further ado here is my one on one with my tea expert (she’s going to kill me for saying that).

First question is going to be the hardest, what is your favorite tea and why?

I get asked this question almost every day, and it never gets any easier. My favourite type of tea is probably matcha. Matcha is a powder made from pulverized green tea leaves, so instead of just steeping the tea leaves in water, you dissolve the powder. When you do this, you're able to ingest the entire tea leaf, and really get all of the health benefits (and caffeine). It also tastes delicious, but I rarely make it at home because the process requires whisking, and I'm kinda lazy.

A lot of people (like myself) try and switch out coffee for tea, what kind of tea would you recommend for those people? I've heard green tea, is there another tea that is more caffeinated or has the same level of caffeine? Switching to tea would be best for someone that likes a little pick-me-up in the morning but finds that coffee upsets their stomach, and green tea is a good option as it is easier on your system. My personal favorite replacement is Maté. Maté comes from a plant that is native to South America. It does not contain caffeine the way coffee or a green tea would, but it contains similar energizing qualities that classify it as a stimulant. To me it feels like a much cleaner form of energy. It never gives me the jitters or a mid-day crash like coffee does.

Interesting, what about for sleep? What kind of tea would you suggest for someone who has trouble falling asleep? There are so many different blends of sleepy time teas on the market, it really comes down to personal preference and discovering which flavours or herbs make you feel most relaxed. Some sleepy time teas will contain Valerian root, which is a natural sleep aid, and I find that this works best for me. I like "Mother's Little Helper" from David's Tea. It's an organic blend of peppermint, chamomile, lemongrass and Valerian that is just so soothing. If I'm feeling anxious during the day and want to relax but not necessarily fall asleep, I'll go for a Rooibos tea with lavender or cinnamon, because I find those flavours to be very calming.

I think we've all heard the benefits of green tea, I mean I have boxes on boxes, but what is another tea out there that has amazing benefits that might be a little underrated, for those of us wanting to change things up?

Rooibos! Rooibos teas have been my saviour as we are going into the colder months. Rooibos is a naturally caffeine free bush from South Africa, and it is known to help with hydration. I really notice a difference in my skin when I am consistently drinking my Rooibos teas.

Now I love me a very rich vanilla-ey tea that I can splash a little almond milk on, since you work at Davids Tea, do you have a specific teas you could suggest?

Hmm, a lot of people ask for a vanilla flavoured tea, but we actually don't carry very many that are specifically vanilla. My favourite would be 'Vanilla Orchid', but it is an extremely delicate vanilla scented Oolong tea, and probably not what you are looking for. If you want something richer, I would probably suggest 'Red Velvet Cake'. It gets its richness from the black tea base, but then it also has white and milk chocolate chips in the blend that melt in your cup while you steep it.

Red Velvet Cake sounds delicious. Do you have a suggestion for the more fruity tea lovers?

For a fruity tea I would suggest Goji Green. It's a green tea base with goji berries (hello antioxidants), raspberries and hibiscus. It makes the most amazing iced tea, even non-tea drinkers love this one.

Is there a specific reason you drink tea (ex.leisure, skin enhancing, weight loss etc.??)

There are so many reasons! I'll have a cup in the morning to wake me up, a cup during the day to soothe my stomach and aid with digestion if I've eaten too much. I'll have a nice iced tea if I'm thirsty and trying to avoid juice or pop, and then usually I'll have a cup of herbal tea around bed to target any issues I may be having. If my skin is acting up, I'll drink a rooibos tea with nettle leaf, if I have period cramps, I'll drink a raspberry leaf tea. I usually have a tea on hand for any problem

On that note, what made you get into teas, and being so knowledgeable about them?

Both of my parents are big tea drinkers, so it was always something I grew up drinking. When I was little it was mostly peppermint tea, or the occasional orange pekoe, but as I got older and more interested in health and the healing abilities of herbs, it really solidified tea as the perfect beverage in my mind. With so many blends on the market today, there is really something for everyone. I'm also fascinated by café culture, and sharing a nice warm cuppa' tea with someone can just be so special.

Do you have any final comments on people who are just starting to learn about teas, and figuring out which ones to purchase/what they like??????

I know it can be overwhelming, especially in a store like David's where there are just so many options. I would just suggest doing some research online first if there is a specific concern that you think tea can help with, or come into a store and talk to a tea guide! We have over 150 varieties and I've tasted pretty much all of them, so I can definitely help. And have an open mind! Tea can be so much more than you may be used to, there's bound to be something that you enjoy drinking even if you normally go for coffee or soda.

#tea #education #teabenefits #tealovers #teadrinkers #brunke

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