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January is National Hot Tea Month and according to a 2020 survey of 395 Americans conducted by Seton Hall University and commissioned by the Tea Council of the USA, consumers are choosing tea not only for cardiovascular health and immune-supporting benefits, but for improvement of mood, too. 

Ninety-three percent of respondents felt calm while drinking tea, while 84 percent felt centered. Green tea was most associated with emotional and mental health, with black tea was thought of as a pick-me-up. 

According to the Tea Council, studies investigating L-theanine and caffeine – the components of true teas originating from the Camellia sinensis plant – have found that L-theanine is associated with improved relaxation, tension and calmness. L-theanine is said to encourage relaxation by reducing the stimulation caused by caffeine. 

Time for teapigs  (Michele Stueven)

Studies have also found that L-theanine and caffeine support attention and memory and minimize distraction.  A 2020 review of studies examining pure L-theanine, concluded that 200-400 mg/day of L-theanine may help reduce stress and anxiety in people in stressful conditions. 

Some research suggests that drinking tea can counteract tiredness and can benefit work performance, supports cardiovascular health, may help increase metabolism and that daily green tea consumption might even reduce the risk of certain types of cancers and reduce blood pressure.  

So sit back, relax, turn on the kettle and give these seven teas a chance.

In addition to a wide spectrum of teas,  The Art of Tea in Monterey Park also offers customized tea menus, a hospitality tea program, customized blends and education and training on all that composes the world of tea.  In time for Valentine’s Day, The Art of Tea is releasing a special  Rose Black blend in 2.5oz artisan tins and teabag sachets.

Created by master tea blender and founder Steve Schwartz, the tea combines loose leaf black tea with notes of rose and can be served hot, cold brewed or over ice.  Fun accessories include  Art of Tea’s collection of  teaware like their newly launched Double Walled Glass Tea Cups and Perfect Teaspoon.

Rose Black Blend from The Art of Tea (Audrey Ma)

Chado Tea’s four L.A. tearooms remain open for pickup and delivery via Postmates and UberEats from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. They’re offering their full menu of tea sandwiches from classic smoked salmon to a tea-marinated egg salad in addition to paninis, soups, salads and desserts.

The shops are open daily and offer a variety of loose teas from across the globe. For January, they’re focused on everything wellness, including blends like the Holy Detox and Winter Berries, which both include anti-inflammatory rose hips. They also offer Ayurvedic blends that promote healthy lung function and organic turmeric blends for a healthy immune system.

Steep Echo teas are made with hand-harvested organic olive leaves and natural botanicals.  The olive leaf and olive tree have served as symbols of heavenly power since the days of the Ancient Egyptians and have been used as  health remedies for centuries.  The medicinal qualities are attributed to an antioxidant called Oleuropein, found in both the leaves and fruit. The line comes in five caffeine-free blends: 

Tend Detox: Organic olive and dandelion leaves, lemon myrtle, corn silk, couch grass, natural mango and pomegranate flavors, caffeine free green tea and stevia.

Ascent Daily Drinker: Organic olive leaf, vanilla bean, cinnamon, natural vanilla and monk fruit flavor for sweetness.

Bloom Immune Boosting: Organic olive leaf, peppermint, echinacea root, licorice root, thyme, rosemary and natural cranberry flavor.

Hush Digestion: Organic olive leaf, ginger, peppermint, papaya leaf, lemon myrtle and natural maple flavor.

Repose Rest & Relaxation: Organic olive leaf, chamomile, linden flower, passionflower and rose petal.

Pure Fruits Collection (Courtesy JAF Tea)

Seventy-five-year-old JAF Tea specializes in affordable Sri Lankan Ceylon teas in English breakfast and fruit and spice infused flavored black teas and classic green teas. They offer a large selection of gift collections like the pure fruits sampler with everything from grapefruit, forest fruit, passion fruit and mango banana to lemon, peach and creamy soursop.

Tea Forte has a wide variety of presentation boxes that can be personally designed to suit your taste by caffeine level, tea type, occasion or type of collections including fleur, chakra, herbal, lotus and wellbeing.

If you love caffeine-free berry teas, teapigs is a sweet sip. Superfruit is a blend of hibiscus, elderberries, black currants, cranberries and blueberries. No sweetener needed. Their feel-good tea selection includes organic cleanse, organic snooze, organic happy and bundles of chill and wellbeing.  For a heartier caffeine free cup, try their honeybush and rooibos blend, made from the leaves of a red bush in Southern Africa that has tones similar to Yerba mate.

Oregon-based Stash Teas has more than 250 different teas to choose from ranging from loose teas to tea bags. Chai tea lattes are still one of the most popular tea recipes in the country.  Brew your own with Stash Double Spice Chai, sugar, add frothed milk and top with cinnamon. Or, if you prefer your tea in solid form, try a snickerdoodle mug cake using cinnamon vanilla tea: 

  • 2 tea bags Stash Double Spice Chai (or substitute for any of their other chai tea flavors)
  • 2 oz boiling water
  • 1.5 tbsp organic sugar
  • ¼ cup frothed oat milk
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
     

Toppings

  • Honey for rim
  • 40/60 cinnamon and sugar mix

Directions:

First, pour some honey into a small puddle on a small plate. Take the glass you’ll be using and dip the rim of the glass into the honey. Dip the honey rim into your cinnamon and sugar mix and set aside. In a separate glass, place your Stash Double Spice Chai tea bags and add boiling water. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them. Add sugar and stir until it dissolves. Pour tea mixture into your cinnamon and sugar-rimmed glass. Add your frothed oat milk and stir. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and take your photo for the ‘gram.

Snickerdoodle Mug Cake (Courtesy Stash Tea)

Snickerdoodle Mug Cake using Cinnamon Vanilla Tea

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 1 minute

Yield: One mug cake

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Brew two tea bags in 4 oz hot water for 4 minutes. Then discard tea bags.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients in a separate 6 oz microwavable mug.
  3. Add 2 tbsp Stash Cinnamon Vanilla herbal tea and oil. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Place the mug in the microwave and set for 1 minute on high.
  5. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  6. Let the cake cool for one minute.

    Wellbeing Lifestyle (Courtesy Tea Forte)

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