The history of tea spans thousands of years, originating in China between 1500 BC – 1046 BC as a medicinal drink. Drinking tea later became popular in Britain during the 17th century, and by the mid-18th century tea had become the country’s most popular drink. Today the British drink a staggering 100 million cups of tea each day, which is almost 36 billion cups per year. Herbal teas are increasing in sales, and a study found that 37% of people aged between 25-34 within the UK reported that they drink 5-6 different types of tea at home or work, within 30 days.
I really enjoy herbal teas, particularly during the autumn and winter months. There are more than 1500 varieties of tea you can drink, with varying benefits. I am regularly scanning the tea isles for new teas to try out. I will share with you some of my favourite herbal teas (which the majority are caffeine free), and the incredible benefits they have. (Seek professional help if you have any concerns regarding taking herbal tea, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding). I hope you enjoy reading; and thank you for following my blog.
Number One: Teapigs – Loose Chamomile Flowers
Teapigs loose chamomile flowers can be purchased at Holland and Barrett’s for £3.99. Teapigs do not crush the chamomile flower, and this allows you to brew the whole flower – which I feel creates a stronger flavour. Teapigs are also the first tea brand to be awarded the plastic free trust trade mark, and none of their teabags contain plastic and are all biodegradable. Chamomile tea has several benefits, including that it may help people relax and fall asleep – helping with anxiety and stress. Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea may also help if you are feeling run down, with the cold or flu. Overall, this is a beautiful tea which infuses calmness, and helps me unwind after a busy day. As this is a lose tea, you will need a tea strainer, or an infuser in your teapot.
Number Two: Twining’s – Spiced Ginger Tea
Twining’s spiced ginger tea can be purchased in several stores, including Tesco for £1.70. This is one of my much-loved herbal teas, and I always have this stocked up. The spice and sweetness from the spiced ginger, creates the perfect blend – making it one of my preferred herbal teas. Unfortunately, Twining’s teabags contain plastic (polypropylene is used to seal around 96% of tea bags sold in the UK). Ginger tea is alleged to have numerous health benefits. One of these includes that it may help strengthens immunity, due to the high levels of antioxidants in the ginger. Another benefit may be that it helps relieve stress, due to the calming properties. I always have this tea with me on long journeys, as I feel it helps significantly with motion sickness. A hot cup of ginger tea is also a great relief, if you have the cold or flu.
Number Three: English Tea Shop – Organic Fairtrade Loose Rooibos Tea
Rooibos is a caffeine-free, herbal tea made from the leaves of the Aspalathus Linearis shrub (grown in South Africa). I purchased the English Tea Shop Rooibos Tea (Red Bush) from Amazon, for £6.35. There is no plastic used in this tea, or the packaging – and I always reuse the tin. Rooibos is a great natural caffeine-free alternative to breakfast tea, and also makes a lovely iced tea. I really like this organic brand, which makes for a rich cup of Rooibos tea. Rooibos contains high levels of antioxidants, (50% more antioxidants than green tea) which may have several health benefits, such as boost immunity.
Number Four: Tea-Pop – Herbal Collection
Tea-Pop was innovated to create a fun way to enjoy quality tea, for both traditional and herbal tea lovers. I purchased mine from Amazon, for £8.99. I chose the assorted herbal Tea-Pop sticks, which contains three blends, including: passion fruit punch, mint tea and wild berry punch tea (more varieties are available). Tea-Pop sticks are organic and they use 100% natural tea, fruits and plants. I was hoping this would be a great alternative from using teabags that contained plastic, however was disappointed as the Tea-Pop sticks are individually wrapped in plastic. The teas are really nice, proving unique flavours and are presented in different shapes, such as: hearts, flowers or crystals. The tea dissolves instantly in hot water, creating a strong flavoured tea. Overall, this makes for a unique method to drink herbal tea, and would make a lovely present for a tea enthusiast.
Number Five: Health & Heather Organic Peppermint Tea
I purchased the Health & Heather organic peppermint tea from Holland and Barrett’s at £2.25 (it is currently half price for £1.12). This is a naturally caffeine free tea which is blended with 100% organic peppermint leaves. Peppermint is an aromatic herb in the mint family, that is a cross between water mint and spearmint. This is an energizing and refreshing peppermint tea, and bursts with flavour. Peppermint tea has several suggested benefits, such as that it may act as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever – helping with certain types of headaches. Peppermint also contains menthol, which has a cooling effect and can help relieve a sore throat.
Number Six: Tetley – Cold Infusion Strawberry and Watermelon
Tetley has introduced a strawberry and watermelon herbal and fruit infusion tea, to enjoy with cold water. The cold infusion teas come in a variety of flavours, which includes: passion fruit and mango, orange and peach, raspberry and cranberry and mint lemon and cucumber. This is a nice alternative from hot herbal teas in the summer months. I purchased mine from Tesco, which is £2.49 (and currently reduced to £1.50). This is a refreshing infusion with no caffeine, sugar or artificial flavours. It is great for when you are on the go, and want to bring some added natural flavour to your water.
Number Seven: Homemade – Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is a very easy plant to maintain, and can be grown indoors or outdoors. If you are planting outdoors, I would suggest planting in a container, as it can spread vigorously. It is very simple to make peppermint tea, just choose between 5-10 leaves. Wash the leaves, and then crush the peppermint – this helps release the flavour and aroma of the herb. Then place the leaves in a mug, and add hot water. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, then remove the peppermint leaves – using a tea strainer. You can also add honey, lemon or lime if you wish. Then enjoy your fresh peppermint tea, as an invigorating way to start your day.
Number Eight: Homemade – Lavender Tea
Lavender is a gorgeous plant to have, and can be used in a variety of ways. Lavender contains high concentrations of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and amino acids – that help aid overall health. Natural herbal tea contains no sodium, fat, sugar and are calorie-free – also 99% water. To make a simple cup of lavender tea, collect some fresh lavender and wash it, add the lavender flowers to a tea infuser – and steep for 10 minutes in hot water. You may also like to add some honey or chamomile, for some added flavour – then enjoy your sweet lavender tea. A cup of lavender tea in the evening, is a great way to unwind and relax.
Number Nine: Homemade – Ginger and Lime Tea
Fresh ginger tea with lime is extremely refreshing, and is the best hangover cure. It is also very easy to make, and ginger root is available in most grocery stores. Firstly, cut the lime in half, squeezing the juice from one half into your mug, then slice the other half and add to your mug. Then peel and slice the ginger thinly, and add to your mug, with hot water. Leave to steep for 10 minutes, and enjoy. You may also like to add lemon if you prefer, or honey – as a natural sweetener. The scent from the ginger and lime is also a natural aromatherapy.
Number Ten: Neal’s Yard Remedies – Chamomile Tea
I came across Neil’s Yard Remedies this week, which is situated in the Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow. They became the UK’s first certified organic health and beauty brand, to help ban plastic microbeads. In 2014 they also became the first health and beauty brand to receive 100/100 for ethics by The Ethical Company Organisation. They sell a variation of different fresh herbal teas, which include: lavender, chamomile, elder-flowers, rose dried herbs and spearmint. I purchased some chamomile tea, which is 100% organic chamomile dried flowers. This is £4.00 for 50 grams. I am also looking forward to trying the other teas they sell. You can also bring your own container with you, and they will put your tea in this. To make the chamomile tea put two teaspoonfuls of the dried herb into hot water, and leave too steep for ten minutes, before straining – and enjoy. This is a really enjoyable fresh tea, and I like the ethics this company stand for.
“Tea … is a religion of the art of life.“