According to the "Coffee Statistics Report - 2009 Edition," coffee is still the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.
The U.S. alone imports more than $4 billion worth of coffee every year.
Americans consume some 400 million cups per day and nearly 52% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee daily... pretty staggering consumption numbers.
Fortunately I never acquired the taste for coffee. I simply don't like the flavor and rarely have a cup.
Instead, I prefer tea... in particular, Tulsi herbal tea.
And tea popularity is on the rise with some 55 billion servings in 2007 in the U.S. - that equates to about 150 million servings per day.
Regardless of whether you prefer the flavor of coffee or tea, there are some distinct health advantages in drinking tea.
Although coffee research and studies span decades, there still is a great deal of controversy surrounding its overall effects on your health.
But there is enough evidence to me, that I don't recommend you drink coffee. If you must, you should do so in moderation. Here's why.
Drinking Too Much Coffee Could Put Your Health at Risk
It appears drinking coffee may interfere with your body's ability to keep homocysteine and cholesterol in check... most likely by inhibiting the action of the vitamins folate, B12, or B6.
And coffee has been associated with increased risk of stroke and rheumatoid arthritis.
Plus, studies show that caffeine in coffee can raise your blood pressure and levels of stress hormones. And if consumed in large quantities, it can potentially...
- Lead you to heart palpitations...
- Create jitters...
- Boost your nervousness
With all this said, you can understand why I don't feel coffee is your healthiest beverage of choice. But coffee is still far less dangerous than sugary fruit juices or sodas.
Why Tea is Your Healthier Choice
Right off the top, tea has a higher content of antioxidants than coffee... and if you've visited my site at all, you know how strongly I feel about the health benefits of antioxidants.
In addition, on average, tea has significantly less caffeine than coffee.
Caffeine in coffee ranges from 125 - 185 mg per cup. While plain black tea, for example, contains about 55 mg per cup.
Now, if you're a coffee drinker and enjoy its stimulant effect, there are teas, such as Matcha Green Tea, that not only can give you an energy boost but help you avoid the coffee caffeine "crash" as well.
Here are just some of the health benefits tea may provide you:
- Improves your dental health
- Helps promote your healthy breath
- Boosts your immune system
- Promotes a healthy heart
- Helps you keep your cholesterol within normal levels
And if you choose Tulsi herbal tea, which I enjoy, you can take advantage of even more health benefits because Tulsi...
- Supports your healthy vision
- Enhances your antioxidant protection against free radicals
- Helps you alleviate minor discomfort and irritation
- Provides you with a calming effect and relief from occasional stress
- Gives your stamina a boost
- Balances the health of your digestive system
- Helps you maintain blood sugar levels already in the normal range
So, you can see many of the reasons I prefer and recommend tea over coffee. I guess one of the advantages I always will have is I don't enjoy the taste of coffee.
And with Matcha Green Tea you could get...
- Up to 17 times the antioxidants of wild blueberries
- Up to 9 times the beta carotene found in spinach
- Nutrient-rich bright green chlorophyll to provide you vibrant energy from the sun
By the way, if you're interested in Matcha Green Tea or a variety of Tulsi herbal teas, you can check them out on my website... there are some amazing stories and history behind these teas and herbs.
Now, even though making tea is quite simple, there is somewhat of an art form behind it... getting all the ingredients right not only makes for a tastier cup of tea, but a healthier one as well.
Besides the Tea, the Most Important Healthy Ingredient in Your Brew is...
If you've visited my site, you know safe drinking water is in the top of my list for great health.
Well, guess what is one of the most critical ingredients when you're making tea? - fresh, cold water, of course.
If you use ordinary tap water, you not only risk having your tea not taste as good, you also could be elevating your health risk.
You know chlorine is a chemical used in municipal water supplies. It's put there to kill hazardous bacteria in your water and in the pipes that transport water to your home.
There's strong evidence the disinfection byproducts (DBPs) produced from chlorine, can be far more harmful to your health than the chlorine itself.
Disinfection byproducts form when the chlorine in your water interacts with organic matter. Two primary DBP categories can form called trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs).
And potential health challenges you could be exposed to from these DBPs include...
- Damaging effects to your cardiovascular system
- Harmful impacts to your respiratory system
- Unhealthy functioning of your renal system
- Disruptions to your central nervous system
- Weakening of your immune system
Plus, these DBPs may be up to 10,000 times more toxic than the chlorine itself in your water. Most experts actually believe chlorine causes virtually none of the damage in tap water. Instead, it's predominantly due to these DBPs.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking about all this. When you make tea, you heat the water. So, all this potentially hazardous stuff gets boiled away... right?
Well, not entirely.
Research shows that boiling water does not necessarily remove all the DBPs. Plus, an increase in certain DBPs is possible depending on chlorine and other chemical concentrations present.
So, my recommendation is to make sure you have a good water filter for your drinking water that removes DBPs, chlorine, fluoride, and heavy metals.
Why spoil a good cup of tea and potentially expose your health as well?
If you're interested in a good drinking water filter, you can check my site for more information.
How to Brew Your Tea to Perfection
So, now that you know the importance of good fresh water to brew your tea, here's a simple checklist that gives you a few more tips...
- Use fresh, cold water - heated water from a hot water heater can have higher mineral contents than cold.
- Water drawn from the hot water supply or water previously boiled and re-heated will have a lower oxygen level. Oxygen is important for the release of flavors in your tea.
- If your water supply is highly treated with chemicals, you might consider filtering it to remove some of the chlorine and other contaminants. (we already talked about the importance of this above)
- Like stronger tea? Add more tea leaves rather than using a longer steeping time. Letting your tea steep too long can give a bitter taste. (white tea is an exception)
- When trying a new tea, make one cup at a time and taste it at the lowest steep time and then again at consecutive one minute intervals. Some teas will taste best with less brewing, some with more.
- Make a chart with each type of tea you enjoy and note your preferred brewing times. I don't recommend marking a tea package, because it gets thrown away.
- Precisely measured water temps not necessary. The main thing to remember is not to use boiling water on green or white teas as this will cause a bitter taste. A longer steeping time will add a bitter taste because too many tannins get released. If you enjoy stronger tea, I would suggest you add extra tea leaves rather than letting your tea brew too long.
And speaking of water temperatures, here's a handy table that gives you some guidance on approximate water temperatures and steep times.
||WATER TEMPERATURE (°F)
||160-180 (when air bubbles start to rise)
||180 (Air bubbles are rising fairly fast)
||5-8 min up to 15 min
||212 (full boil)
||212 (full boil)
|Herbal "Teas" and Tisanes
||212 (full boil)
||212 (full boil)
||160-180 (when air bubbles start to rise)
Table adapted from "How to Brew Tea".
Table notes: Keep in mind all recommendations on amounts and lengths of steeping times are general rules. The table directions, in general, refer to loose leaf tea.
Your tastes and preferences will be established with experimenting with amounts and times. With practice, your friends and neighbors will be calling you for recommendations on how to brew tea!
Who Wants to Deal with Loose Tea in their Cup?
The next step in brewing a good cup of tea from loose tea leaves is for you to use a good infuser.
So, what's an infuser?
Well, there are many different types, but the main purpose of the infuser is to help you keep the loose tea leaves separate from the hot water used to brew the tea. Plus, it helps you better control the timing of the brewing process.
If you don't keep the water and loose tea separate, then you end up with tea leaves in your cup. And the tea will continue to brew beyond the time you might want it to.
Unless you drink the tea immediately after it's poured into your cup (with the loose tea leaves), it will continue to infuse and could become bitter.
So, whether you're brewing your tea directly in a cup or in a teapot, your best bet is to use an infuser to keep the loose tea separate from the water.
See example below of one type of infuser and how to use it when brewing your favorite tea in a cup.
I strongly recommend this type of infuser because it...
- Effectively keeps your tea leaves separate from the hot water - No one wants loose tea leaves in their cup of tea.
- Is easy to handle and won't burn your hand when removing it from your cup or teapot - Infuser is made of flexible nylon material.
- Safely infuses loose tea with the hot water - Titanium mesh screen does not leach metal into your tea. Many infusers on the market are made of stainless steel or aluminum and could potentially leach metal into your tea.
- Small Tea Infuser
- Open the cap of the tea infuser by turning the cap to the left.
- Place the tea into the open infuser and then close by turning the cap to the right.
- Please refer to your tea instructions for the amount of time that the infuser with tea is to remain in the water for the correct brewing time.
- Remove the tea infuser, with tea from the mug after the tea has been properly brewed.
- Enjoy your healthy fresh brewed cup of tea.
Why You Should Never Settle For Just Any Ol' Teapot when Making Your Favorite Tea
Now you should know quite a bit about brewing a good cup of tea.
But there's still one loose end we need to tie up. What sort of teapot should you use?
Well, I can tell you that there are many popular types of teapots made of aluminum or stainless steel. I can also tell you that I would not recommend either type.
Just like heavy metal leaching from cookware and bakeware is a concern, it's also a concern with teapots.
Reference the test results below and pay attention to the areas highlighted. This independent test demonstrates how aluminum and stainless steel tea kettles can potentially leach heavy metals into your tea.
So, what do you do?
I would recommend you immediately look for an alternative teapot and stop using your stainless steel or aluminum one.
And I would not recommend glass, either. True, there are many quality and attractive glass teapots available. But to me, they are too fragile and cannot handle the temperature extremes to provide you with an adequate reliability margin.
One of the top reasons people need to replace their teapot is they accidentally forget it's on the stove and the liquid boils "dry."
When this happens, there aren't many materials that can handle that type of temperature extreme... except for one.
One of the best and safest materials you can find for a teapot is the same material I recommend for your cookware and bakeware... high temperature-resistant natural ceramic.
Here's a Teaware Set that Clearly Stands Out from the "Crowd"
To complement your ceramic cookware and bakeware, I decided to offer a ceramic teaware set called Mercola Healthy Teaware.
Here are some of the amazing benefits you'll receive from this ceramic teaware set that clearly separates it from the "crowd" because...
- You won't have to worry about your ceramic teapot boiling dry - Unlike metal and porcelain teapots, this ceramic material handles extremely high temperatures.
- You'll be able to serve hot tea longer from a brewed pot - Liquids heated in the ceramic teapot retain heat longer.
- You don't need to be concerned about this teapot material emitting gaseous or toxic odors - The ceramic teaware will not emit odors or gases at any temperature. You cannot damage it with metal utensils and the surface will never peel or flake off into your tea.
- You'll have confidence knowing the manufacturer backs your teaware with a 50-Year Warranty against breakage from hot or cold thermal shock.
- You'll be pleased that the surface of the ceramic teapot resists bacteria - Even highly acidic liquids will not stain the teapot surface which helps you avoid potential carry-over tastes and odors.
- You and your friends will be attracted to the beautiful high-gloss finish that provides you a stylish look to fit all types of modern day kitchen decors.
- You'll feel an extra level of assurance when handling hot tea or any liquid with the extra wide and permanently fastened handles.
So, you can begin to see the tremendous advantages from the Mercola Healthy Teaware set.
But, I assure you, there's even more...
How this Technologically Advanced Material Made from 100% Inorganic Minerals and Water Helps You Preserve the Environment
Not only is this ceramic teaware easy on the environment, you can "go green" with the Mercola Healthy Teaware because it is...
- Derived from inorganic natural materials from the earth's crust
- Made from the earth's natural minerals and water
- Manufactured by using clean burning, safe natural gas
- Non-reactive and non-toxic - Due to its ceramic surface, no odors or gases release into the air during the tea brewing process even if temperatures were to exceed 2500° F - no leaching!
- An energy saver - Due to its far-infrared technology, your tea brews effectively and efficiently from a lower heat setting - helping you save energy.
- A potential time saver - Since ceramic material is efficient in retaining heat, you could save tea brewing time.
- Extremely versatile - This lightweight teapot can be used on your stove top and in your microwave. Metal teapots cannot be used in microwaves.
So, this ceramic teaware comes through in flying colors to not only help you brew delicious tea but also to help you preserve your environment.
Who Ever Heard of a 50-Year Warranty?
Just like your cookware and bakeware, one thing you don't want to have to do is constantly replace your teaware.
Well, you won't have to worry about boiling your teapot dry anymore. And as soon as you get rid of your stainless steel, aluminum, or whatever teapot you currently use and replace it with Mercola Healthy Teaware, you'll be set for life.
See, this ceramic teaware comes to you with a manufacturer-backed 50-year limited warranty.
You will receive free replacement of any ceramic part of the teaware that breaks from hot and cold temperatures within 50 years from your date of purchase. (Of course, the free teaware replacement does not apply if you drop and break it.)
Plus, the manufacturer supports a 1 year total replacement warranty for any imperfections found when your teaware set arrives (though, this is quite rare).
To me, this goes beyond durability... it creates a level of trust and reliability you're looking for in your everyday kitchen appliances. Do you agree?
The manufacturer certainly wouldn't make a 50-year commitment unless their teaware could withstand the test of time.
So, here's why the Mercola Healthy Teaware is so durable...
- Made of lightweight ceramic 100% inorganic materials - this innovative non-reactive material is the key element in your teaware's longevity
- You can't scratch the ceramic surface - even when using metal utensils and cleaning with industrial steel wool
- You don't need to be concerned about damage due to meltdown of the ceramic teapot - helps reduce risk of stove damage and fire
- Far-infrared technology helps your teapot withstand very high temperatures (2700°F) - steel melts at 2200°F - aluminum above 1200°F
- Teaware surface will never flake off into your tea over a period of time
- Ceramic surface is highly resistant to bacteria - even highly acidic liquids will not stain the teapot and affect the taste of your tea
- Cleanup is a breeze - keeping your teaware in top shape is a key factor in having it potentially last a lifetime - it comes quickly clean in your sink or dishwasher
So, as a Healthy Chef, you can put your full trust in Mercola Healthy Teaware.
It seems highly unlikely a manufacturer would back its product with a 50-year limited warranty if they didn't have solid, tested proof of its durability.
Natural Ceramic - Your Right Choice to Last a Lifetime
So, just like your cookware and bakeware, I strongly recommend you choose natural ceramic for your teaware.
And one additional benefit you receive from the Mercola Healthy Teaware is I've bundled it into a complete set. This not only saves you money, it provides you a convenient set to serve all of your tea brewing needs.
Your 14-piece Mercola Healthy Teaware set comes in an attractive high-gloss black finish, with an extra wide, permanently fastened teapot handle for easy and safe usage.
Plus, you get not one, but two nylon infusers with titanium mesh screens. One infuser is for brewing tea in a cup... the other is for brewing tea in your teapot.
Please remember how important the infuser is to the quality of your tea (reviewed earlier). And for this teaware set, I know personally that the manufacturer spent months of research and development delivering one of the best infusers available today.
Here's what comes packed into your Mercola Healthy Teaware 14-piece set:
A great teaware set designed to last you a lifetime.
Move Up to One of the Healthiest Beverages on the Planet
Even if you still plan on drinking coffee (in moderation, I hope), wouldn't it make sense to give tea a try... it's a much healthier choice.
And with the Mercola Healthy Teaware set, you'll have everything you need to brew a delicious and healthy cup of your favorite tea.
At a price of $149.00, I think it's a fantastic value for a 14-piece set.
Remember, there are few if any teaware sets out there that offer the durability, flexibility, and health-supporting benefits of this set.
If you can find such a set, by all means purchase it - my main focus is to simply encourage you to take advantage of all the health benefits tea has to offer.
But don't forget that the Mercola Healthy Teaware set comes with a 50-year limited breakage warranty backed by the manufacturer and a 1-year total replacement warranty for any imperfection... plus, I include my own performance guarantee and warranty as well (see below).
So, take action now to help you brew one of the healthiest beverages I know of - order your Mercola Healthy Teaware set today.