First brewed in China almost 5,000 years ago, the acceptance of tea as a healthy beverage was anecdotal. Much of these were hunches... until recently. A mountain of research is showing without a doubt that tea is much more than a pretty face – it is actually good for you! Harboring doubts on tea's widespread popularity? These Tea Association of the USA facts will change your mind.
When it comes to tea...
On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking.
In 2016, we consumed almost 84 billion servings or more than 3.8 billion gallons!
Approximately 80% of what we in the US consume is iced (cold).
A whopping 87% of Millennials drink it (fourth wave coffeebeware!)
Year after year, it is the number one drink in the world after water.
In its pure leaf form, caffeine levels in tea surpass coffee. Note: brewing extracts most but not all caffeine content from the leaves.
Not much of a tea drinker? Consider herbal teas! Made from a variety of plants and flowers, these contain zero caffeine and are primarily consumed for their health benefits. Stay tuned to our upcoming blog in the near future!
No exception: Black tea is the most popular tea in the world and in the United States. Almost 80% of the tea sold here is black. Oxidized for a robust flavor, black teas are high in caffeine. Many studies show a lower risk of the following when drinking black tea: ovarian cancer, clogged arteries, diabetes, high cholesterol, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease and osteoporosis.
As the tea of choice in China and Japan, green teas are not oxidized. Both countries process their teas for flavors ranging from grassy to smoky. Already making inroads in the United States, 16% of tea sold is green, with no end in sight. That may be due in part to its ability to improve blood flow, lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Along with loosening Alzheimer's related plaques and stabilizing blood sugar levels, green tea is fast becoming our most popular breakroom service offering.
Oxidized and then roasted, Oolong, a.k.a. Black Dragon tea is often served in US Chinese restaurants. Depending on who is producing, roast and caffeine levels can vary. As 2% of all teas sold, Oolong has not seen the same level of studies as its black and green counterparts. That said, it's a wonderful cross between both and possesses many of the same benefits.
White tea is the rarest of teas - not oxidized and gently processed. Allowed to wither, wilt and dry on its own, caffeine levels and flavor can vary, like in Oolong teas. One study has shown potent anticancer properties compared to the other teas. Of course, more research is necessary before drawing a conclusion. For the time being, keep drinking!
A subcategory of dark teas, Pu-erh teas undergo secondary fermentation to become the darkest, most oxidized of teas. Pu-erh skyrockted to mainstream status when Dr. Oz highlighted it as a weight loss tool. In some studies, it has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol. But, do not drink more than two cups of pu-erh tea in a day if you're pregnant. Excessive caffeine might induce miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, and harm to the baby. Use precaution!
When you're coming up with new ways to jazz up your breakroom lineup of beverages, don't count out teas. Not only is it a more gentle way to get your caffeine fix, it's a simple and elegant way to get healthy. Delight your palate! Brew up a batch of the good stuff — hot or cold — and enjoy!