It has the stigma of being the “old people’s drink”. The very thought of black tea would, in the past, conjure up images of senior citizens and Chinese restaurants, or stuffy Englishmen with their cream and scones. But now, with the health-focused mindset of the current generation, black tea—along with its fellow teas green and white—is emerging as a phenomenon of its own—a fresh, revived alternative to the soft drink-dominated world of choice beverages.
Black tea is harvested from the Camellia sinensis plant. It has a dark color (hence the distinction black tea) that comes from the process of fully fermenting the tea leaves prior to drying. This fermentation also gives the tea a bolder flavor compared to green and white tea. Depending on where the plant is harvested, black tea can have many varieties—sweet, spicy, flowery, you name it. It’s not just served hot, but is also great cold. This makes black tea a drink as versatile and delicious as any soft drink.
In addition to its great taste, black tea is very good for the body. Black tea contains antioxidants that can prevent diseases coming from free radicals. Antioxidants compounds in black tea can fight inflammation, promote a stronger immune system, and even help to prevent cancer by killing corrupted cells.
Drinking black tea can also lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies have shown that those who drank black tea have lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and showed that their blood vessels were expanded, thus functioning more effectively and preventing blockage.
Soft drinks are loaded with sugar and add to the risk of developing disease. On the other hand, black tea can prevent diabetes. It contains certain components that have the ability to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, preventing the onset of the condition. For those who already have diabetes, these components help to reduce glucose levels, keeping the condition from worsening and lowering the risk of getting cataracts in old age.
Sugar also causes most of the dental problems we encounter, and with the added acidic elements, consumption of soft drinks can lead to weakened teeth and tooth decay. However, black tea also contains fluoride, which strengthens the tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. You can keep your dentist happy, and continue to enjoy a great-tasting drink.
And black tea doesn’t stop at your teeth—it makes your waistline happy as well. Regular consumption of black tea can also result in a faster metabolism, increasing the body’s ability to burn fat and making it a great choice for those watching their weight. Soft drinks, on the other hand, add calories from the syrups and sugars that make up its list of ingredients and ruin that great figure.
Black tea is no longer limited to your grandparents, or as an accessory to Chinese food, or even as an expensive British tradition. It is a dynamic, light, and delicious beverage that’s just as perfect for the modern person, the young person, the guy on the go. In these hot days, there are many cold drinks out there we want to reach out for. Why just go for taste and refreshment? Go for the option of taste, nutrition, and refreshment and live the healthy life.
Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.